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October in the Archives

November 3, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

The Connecticut Historical Society’s website is Please visit to learn more about us! (Due to circumstances beyond our control the site is not currently listed on Google) And now back to our regularly scheduled blogging… The temperatures are dropping, which means it’s a great time to warm up in the Research Center with some…
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African-American Land Owners in 18th c. Simsbury

October 29, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

The Connecticut Historical Society’s website is Please visit the site to learn more about us! (Due to issues beyond our control the site is not currently listed with Google. ) And now back to our regularly scheduled blogging… One of the collections I cataloged this week is the Joshua Holcomb papers. Holcomb was a…
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October 22, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

“As this is my first attempt at an editorial…I of course tremble at the idea of having so great a responsibility resting upon me” Hattie Seymour and her Hartford, Connecticut schoolmates self-published a paper called Excelsior. Volume 1, number 4 was edited by Hattie, the previous three having been edited by others in the class….
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September in the Archives

October 8, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Highlights this month: Town records, First Church of Windsor, and the Tyler family.

Roberts’ Opera House: Finest Place of Amusement in New England

September 30, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

In January 1869 the Roberts’ Opera House opened on Main Street in Hartford, Connecticut. In an article announcing the event, the New York Times called it the “finest place of amusement in New-England.” Today I was cataloging a ledger with listings of performances at the Opera House between 1871 and 1886. Each entry includes the…
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“…the War…with Great Britain, is extensively unpopular;”

September 24, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

“the War in which we are engaged, with Great Britain, is extensively unpopular”

Weather report for September 22

September 22, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

19th century weather records

Elizabeth Cady Stanton letter

September 10, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Letter from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Isabella Beecher Hooker

Woman suffrage in Wyoming Territory: A letter to Mrs. John Hooker

August 25, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

“…and could not be induced to return to the old, barbarous system of disfranchisement of a portion of our citizens any more than our nation could be persuaded to return to allegiance to Great Britain.”

This Week in the Archives: Mary K. Talcott, Genealogist

August 17, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Collection of genealogist Mary Kingsbury Talcott.

Physicians Record Book

July 29, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Includes detailed journal entries on women in childbirth.

June in the Archives

July 1, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Another month, another 162 records added to the CHS online catalog! Earlier this week we reached the 1800th entry. Our original goal being 900, this was a fairly significant accomplishment. Here is a quick look at some of the items cataloged over the past month: We begin with an account book kept by Major John…
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Early book club

June 16, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

How long do you think book clubs have been meeting? Five years? Fifty years? Would you be surprised if I told you no less than 194 years? Early in 1816 a dozen ladies met in Colchester, Connecticut to form a reading class. Eliza L. Bulkley, Clarrissa Bigelow, Ann E. Bigelow, Sarah Clark, Frances A. Cleaveland,…
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First Church collections book

June 11, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Recently I cataloged an account book kept by one of the collectors for the First Congregational Society in Hartford. It is a small volume, only partially filled, and was used for the fifth district.  The district’s limits were “North of, but not including State St, East side of Main St. & Windsor St., and all…
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May in the Archives

June 3, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Account books and commonplace books.

Passports, Papers, and Politics

May 28, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Col. Samuel Colt’s passports!

Calico Printing

May 20, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Earlier this week I began working with a calico printer’s recipe book and a calico printer’s record. Though there are no indications either is from Connecticut, several of us at CHS have enjoyed paging through, looking at the various patterns and colors. The printer’s recipe book contains over 280 pages, each with approximately four different…
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Buy war bonds!

May 14, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Scrapbooks chronicling women’s organizations that sold savings bonds during World War II.

April in the Archives

May 5, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

This past month found Barbara cataloging many, many sermons. There are too many to list,  but if you are looking for 18th or 19th century religious writings, definitely search our catalog. If you need any help, never hesitate to contact us (regarding sermons or any of our other research material). Another collection with a religious…
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Joshua Leffingwell

April 29, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Joshua Leffingwell, a native of Hartford, Connecticut, seems to have enjoyed wintering in a warmer climate. Leffingwell was an architect and builder in Hartford. According to the Leffingwell Record (a genealogy published in 1897), Joshua and his brother, John, built a number of buildings, including the Hartford Bank, Center Church, and the Old State House….
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“Warm as you please, thunderstorm in eve.”

April 21, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story (“Twitter Updates, the 18th Century Edition,” April 13, 2010) about how the 140 character limit for a Twitter post would not have been a problem for diarists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  As luck would have it, some Connecticut related examples have recently crossed my desk….
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Who ya gonna call?

April 7, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Today I found an account book from the Essex Central office of Southern New England Telephone Company. SNET was founded in New Haven, Connecticut in 1878, and this account book demonstrates that by 1890, telephones were still not found in every home and office. Phones were rented to customers for at least $5 a quarter,…
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March in the Archives

April 2, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

March came in like a cataloging lion! Barbara and I managed to complete 177 records this month which, if not a record, is pretty close to it. Instead of lions and tigers and bears, however, please read on to learn about our collections related to governors and buttons and ships. Oh my! Barbara worked with…
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Using Census Data

March 19, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

I admit to being very disappointed when I read my Census form earlier this week. It certainly accomplishes its goal of counting the people, but will offer little else to future researchers. I use the census data from 1790-1930 on a daily basis. Often I will have an account book with little identifying information. On…
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February in the Archives

March 5, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

It is time once again to recap the month’s processing activity. All of the records for our NHPRC project have been uploaded to our online catalog and the materials are ready for you to research! Frederick Curtis‘s silver manufacturing company is considered the first to manufacture German silver (Nickel silver) in the country. An account book…
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Rev. William Weston Patton

February 18, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

It isn’t too often that I start cataloging a collection and find that the subject has his own Wikipedia entry. That was the case yesterday as I worked with the diaries of Rev. William Weston Patton. Patton was born in New York on October 19, 1821. He graduated from the University of the City of…
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January in the Archives

February 2, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Records added to the Connecticut Historical Society’s online catalog during January 2010.


January 22, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Two letters were brought to our attention yesterday by our volunteer, Raquel, who is processing the Rowland Family letters, 1764-1860 (Ms 66917). The collection measures 1.5 linear feet (3 boxes) and contains correspondence to and from several members of the family. In November 1827, Mary Elizabeth Rowland (1805-1845), living in Exeter, New Hampshire, wrote a…
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January 15, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

Teasel: 1. A plant of the genus Dipsacus, comprising herbs with prickly leaves and flower-heads; esp. fullers’ teasel, D. fullonum, the heads of which have hooked prickles between the flowers, and are used for teasing cloth (see 2); and wild teasel, D. sylvestris, held by some to be the original type, but having straight instead…
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December in the Archives

January 8, 2010 · Collections, Manuscripts

As the year ended we continued cataloging materials for our NHPRC project. Here are some of the treasures we were able to add to our online catalog last month: The Greene & Park minute book is a small booklet recording an 1806  “cheese” voyage by the Sloop Lady Washington for the firm Greene & Park…
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A Look Back: Part II

December 30, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts

A look back at 1986.

A look back

December 24, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts

We tend to use the holiday season as an excuse for many things — overeating, overspending. Today I am going to use it as an excuse to talk about a printed document, one that is not part of our project. Fear not! There is at least one tie-in.  It is also a time of year…
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Bald? Try Onions!

December 10, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts

Dr. Howell Rogers of Colchester, Connecticut recorded a cure for baldness. It involved onions.

November in the Archives

December 4, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts

There was no turkey coma in the CHS manuscript department this year. We have prepared another 145 records for the online catalog! All of these collections are open for research, so please stop by. While you are here, <shameless plug> do  some of your holiday shopping! We have several books for sale in our store…
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Rose paper and a bottle of ink

November 24, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts

Account books, a merchant, and a state heroine!

October in the Archives

November 4, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts

Highlights of Connecticut Historical Society’s manuscript cataloging efforts in October

Welcome home, Willie!

October 29, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts

Cpl. William L. Norton, Company B, 10th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry missed his sweetheart.

Learning from the Collections: UN Day Poster

October 23, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts

October 24 is United Nations Day

What are you working on?

October 13, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts

This is a question I am asked routinely by family, friends, and co-workers. Admittedly, I often struggle to come up with something more profound than, “Uh…um…you know, stuff.” I encounter great material every  day, and it is so hard to remember all of it! The larger collections are usually easier to recollect, simply because they…
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September in the Archives

October 2, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts

In September 2008 CHS embarked on a two year, NHPRC grant funded, project to catalog a backlog of 900 manuscripts and account books. Today, 13 months into the project, we have been able to create and add more than 600 catalog records to our online catalog. Some of the highlights from the past month include…
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