A group of archivists and special collections professionals from five cultural institutions in Newport, Rhode Island came together in January 2012 with the goal of creating a collaborative online collections database where each institution could share collections information online. The project was awarded a planning grant through the Rhode Island Foundation's Newport County Fund in 2013. This grant enabled the group to create a visual identity for Newportal, examine options for database platforms, and develop a plan for organizing the database. After the planning grant was successfully completed, the five institutions solidified the Newportal partnership with a formal memo of understanding in December 2013. With the groundwork set, the Newportal group was awarded an implementation grant from the Rhode Island Foundation in July 2014. The funds from this grant supported the design and development of the database to bring Newportal to fruition. The beta version of the site launched in April 2016.