Browse Collections

Pages

Avon Free Public Library
The Avon Free Public Library can be traced back to 1791 when Rev. Rufus Hawley started collecting money from residents to purchase books for a community library. In 1798, Samuel Bishop, a prominent citizen, began offering library services within his home with a collection of 111 titles. The library is a member of Library Connection, Inc., the cooperative regional automated circulation and online catalog database system, Encore, to which 30 libraries belong. Through this system, over 4 million volumes are available through interlibrary loan, the statewide reciprocal borrowing arrangement which encompasses over 160 libraries. Library cards are issued to town residents with valid identification, are active for 3 years, and can be used in any public library within Connecticut under a statewide program called Connecticard. You may apply for a card at the Circulation Desk. A printable registration form is available online. Our mission is to serve as the center of enrichment for the Avon community providing free and convenient access to information, literature, culture and the arts through a variety of media and technologies.
Barnum Museum
P.T. Barnum's impact reaches deep into our American heritage and the story of his vast contributions are preserved in his Bridgeport museum. Conceived and constructed by P.T., The Barnum Museum has proudly served an international audience since 1893, and is one of our country's great national treasures. The ornate, exotic building distinguishes the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut's uniqueness, it is a symbol of achievement and creativity, and is a testament to the pioneers and visionaries of the 19th century.
Bill Memorial Library
Frederic Bill was born in that part of Groton which later became Ledyard. Educated locally, he taught school for a time in his native town before resigning to travel and sell books in both this country and Canada. In 1856 he joined his brother Gurdon in the publishing business in Springfield, Massachusetts, until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 when he disposed of his interest to his brother. Following the war, he engaged in the importation and manufacture of linen goods in the firm of Tracy & Bill in New York City. He purchased the interest of his partner in 1870 and three years later sold the entire business and retired from commercial life. On October 15, 1888, Mr. Bill sent identical letters to a group of Groton citizens in which he stated that he wished to found a library to honor the memory of his two sisters, Eliza and Harriet. For this purpose he had selected some 1700 books and provided cases to be installed in an upper room of the First District schoolhouse, which then stood on the site of the present Groton Heights School. His aim in the selection of these books, according to his letter, was that "in the volumes collected there may be found that which will tend to stimulate a high ambition, strengthen good resolve, cultivate the taste an afford pleasure to all who may read them." The library was opened for the distribution of books on November 20, 1888, with 1750 volumes on hand. During the next year, Mr. Bill had plans drawn up for a new library, choosing for it a site upon the summit of Groton Heights overlooking the Thames River. The original library building, designed by Stephen C. Earle of Worcester, Mass., was constructed of Stony Creek granite, trimmed with Maynard freestone, and finished with a red slate roof. It was dedicated on June 18, 1890. Mr. Bill's first wife, Lucy F. Denison Bill, died April 2, 1894, and on August 14, 1895, he married Julia 0. Avery, the first librarian of the Bill Memorial Library. In 1907, extensive additions to the building were made by Mr. Bill for the purpose of enlarging the main reading room and providing space for a natural history museum. At this time a collection of birds was added to a collection of butterflies and paintings. The butterflies and paintings can still be seen today. In addition to the BML, Mr. Bill gave generously to the support of the Groton Congregational Church, paid for the Groton Heights School in 1912, and was an early supporter of Connecticut College. He died in 1920 at the age of 86.
Case Memorial Library
Case Memorial Library, Orange (Conn.), The Case Memorial Library is the public library serving the town of Orange, Connecticut.
Cities, Suburbs, and Schools Project
Research and learning on schooling and housing in metropolitan Hartford CT, based at Trinity College.
Connecticut Historical Society
A private, nonprofit, educational organization established in 1825, the Connecticut Historical Society is the state’s official historical society and one of the oldest in the nation. Located at 1 Elizabeth Street in Hartford, the CHS houses a museum, library, and the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center that are open to the public and funded by private contributions. The CHS’s collection includes more than 4 million manuscripts, graphics, books, artifacts, and other historical materials accessible at our campus and on loan at other organizations., Connecticut Historical Society
Connecticut Landmarks
Founded in 1936 as the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society, we are a state-wide network of twelve significant historic properties that span three centuries of New England history. Our museums are starting points, "landmarks in every sense," for deeper exploration and greater appreciation of the Connecticut experience. We have something for everyone: from captivating house tours to lovely historic gardens, history celebrations and remarkable collections of art and antiques. Our real-life stories, as told through our collections, make history matter. The historic, landmark properties span four centuries of Connecticut history and include: the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, Bethlehem; the Butler-McCook House & Garden and Main Street History Center, Hartford; the Buttolph-Williams House, Wethersfield; the Hempsted Houses, New London; the Isham-Terry House, Hartford; the Nathan Hale Homestead, Coventry; the Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden, Suffield., Connecticut Landmarks
Fairfield Museum and History Center
The Fairfield Museum and History Center’s research library offers a wealth of materials on the history of Fairfield and Fairfield County from 1639 to the present.
Florence Griswold Museum
During the early years of the 20th century, the Lyme Art Colony, centered in Miss Florence Griswold’s boardinghouse, became America’s most famous summer art colony. Today this museum of art and history tells the story of how Connecticut played a pivotal role in fostering an authentic American art. Located in the village of Old Lyme, Connecticut, the Museum is devoted to serving a growing audience made up of a loyal network of friends and visitors from around the world.
Hartford Medical Society
The Hartford Medical Society has been in continuous existence for over 160 years. The Society’s rules, adopted September 15th of 1846, state: “The object of this Society, is to maintain the practice of Medicine and Surgery in this city upon a respectable footing; to expose the ignorance and resist the arts of quackery; and to adopt measures for the mutual improvement, pleasant intercourse, and common good of its members.”, Hartford Medical Society Historical Library
Ivoryton Library Association
The Ivoryton Library, organized in 1871, is one of the few libraries in the state housed in its original structure, built in l889, that has continued to function as a library for over l00 years. The library has great significance for the village of Ivoryton because much of the present landscape and environment in the community is due to the unique ivory-cutting industry that flourished here during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The library, perfectly placed in the center of this once factory village, was built in part with funds from the ivory factory, Comstock, Cheney & Co. It is difficult to imagine that Ivoryton was at one time the center of the ivory cutting trade in the United States. A photographic exhibit of the Comstock Cheney ivory trade resides in the library as part of a permanent collection. Currently there are 9,000 books and other items on the shelves of the library, including archives on the library history, the ivory trade, and local history.
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum, located in New London, Connecticut, was founded in 1926 at the bequest of Harriet Upson Allyn (1840 -1926). She was a life-long New London resident and the youngest of Captain Lyman Allyn’s (1797- 1874) six children. She named the museum in memory of her father, a man who commanded a whaling boat by the age of twenty-one and who later became a director of a banking company, an insurance company and a railroad company. Furthermore, Lyman Allyn founded a school for boys in New London in 1817. In 1910 Harriet Allyn had requested, in her will, that the Connecticut Trust and Safe Deposit Company of Hartford use money from her estate to create a park and a museum. In addition, Allyn donated a significant tract of land to neighboring Connecticut College, then a women’s school. Allyn’s death in 1926 established the beginning of the museum. Initially there was no collection and no building. Architect Charles A. Platt was hired “to design an elegant neo-classical granite structure on a hill overlooking New London and the Thames River” using a design similar to the one Platt created for the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. The museum opened in 1932, displaying a collection built by the first Director, Winslow Ames, which famously consisted of only thirteen works! After several additions and renovations, the Museum contains nine galleries, an auditorium, a library, conservation laboratory, offices, bookshop and café. Today, the permanent collection consists of over 10,000 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, furniture and decorative arts, with an emphasis on American art from the 18th through 20th centuries.
Mattatuck Museum
The Mattatuck Museum was established as the Mattatuck Historical Society in 1877 to preserve the history of that part of Connecticut "anciently known as Mattatuck" - roughly the ten town region surrounding present-day Waterbury. In the 1960s the Historical Society expanded its mission to "collect and exhibit the works of Connecticut artists." The American Association of Museum accredited the museum in 1976, one of the first in the state to meet that standard. The Mattatuck Museum is known for engaging its community in an understanding of the past and providing vision and leadership for the future through its exhibits and collections of national significance that interpret the history of the region and the art of Connecticut.
Mystic Arts Center
Mystic Arts Center, a part of the Connecticut art scene for 100 years, is a place where culture, tradition, and the charm of small town New England converge. Founded in 1913 by a group of prominent artists rooted in the philosophy of the 19th century French landscape painters, Mystic Arts Center today serves as an arts and culture center for southeastern Connecticut.
Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929 to gather and preserve the rapidly disappearing artifacts of America’s seafaring past, the Museum has grown to become a national center for research and education with the mission to “inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience.” The Museum’s 41,000 square-foot Collections Research Center (CRC) offers exceptional physical and electronic access to the more than 2 million artifacts. The collections range from marine paintings, scrimshaw, models, tools, ships plans, an oral history archive, extensive film and video recordings, and more than 1 million photographs—including the incomparable Rosenfeld Collection. The CRC is also home to the G.W. Blunt White Library, a 75,000-volume research library where scholars from around the world come to study America’s maritime history.
New Britain Museum of American Art
The New Britain Museum of American Art's founding in 1903 entitles the institution to be designated the first museum of strictly American art in the country. That year, a $20,000 gift of gold bonds to the museum's former parent, the New Britain Institute, from industrialist John Butler Talcott, created funds to purchase "modern oil paintings." Subsequent purchases, with advice from New York museums and galleries, further defined "modern" to mean American works of art, now numbering more than 10,236. With particular strengths in colonial portraiture, the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and the Ash Can School, not to mention the important mural series The Arts of Life in America by Thomas Hart Benton, the museum relies heavily on its permanent collection for exhibitions and programming, yet also displays a significant number of borrowed shows and work by emerging artists. The singular focus on American art and its panoramic view of American artistic achievement make the New Britain Museum of American Art a significant teaching resource available to the local, regional, and national public.
New Haven Museum
The New Haven Museum was founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, which remains its corporate name. From the beginning, the institution sought to collect, preserve, and make available for research the materials which document the history of the greater New Haven area. The Society was housed in various locations around the City in the 19th century, including the City Hall and the State House on Green. The English Memorial building on Grove Street was the first location owned by the Society. In 1929, the current building on Whitney Avenue was built, designed by J. Frederick Kelly, noted colonial revival architect. The collections eventually evolved into the departments of the organization: the Whitney Library, the Photograph Archive, and the Curatorial Department. These departments care for books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, furniture, paintings, tablewares, textiles, and industrial and marine artifacts. Many well-known New Haven people who had an interest in history made up its membership and board of directors, including Thomas F. Trowbridge, Charles Hervey Townshend, John Warner Barber, George Dudley Seymour, and William Scranton Pardee. Yale administrators and professors have been among the leaders here including Williston Walker, Charles M. Andrews, and Leonard Labaree. The organization has always stressed scholarship. In the early days members gave lectures on various topics, many of which were published in the New Haven Colony Historical Society Papers, in ten volumes, from 1865 to 1951. The mid-twentieth century saw the development of a Journal, which included many significant works of the local history. Exhibition catalogues have been published including such topics as: silver, pewter, graphic images of New Haven and maritime history. The New Haven Museum seeks to educate young people and adults, and an Education Department was established to provide programs and educational outreach. Never just a museum of New Haven, the history of the area once included in the New Haven Colony is now within the range of interest of the organization, as it looks to the 21st century and a renewed emphasis on regionalism in local history., New Haven Museum
P. T. Barnum Digital Collection
The P. T. Barnum Digital Collection draws from the holdings of the Barnum Museum and the Bridgeport History Center, Bridgeport Public Library, both located in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The 1000+ archival items and artifacts selected for this collection pertain to the world-famous showman, Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891), and many of his associates, such as Charles S. Stratton (“Gen. Tom Thumb”), Jenny Lind, and Jumbo the Elephant, as well as his American Museum in New York City, circuses, four homes in Bridgeport, and other career, civic-life, and family-life topics. Both the planning and implementation phases of this project received generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Pages