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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.