Inside the CHS

Collections

Everybody Walked to Work

December 9, 2014 · Collections

In the nineteenth century, my father’s grandparents emigrated from Germany to work in the Cheney Brothers Silk Manufactory in Manchester. In many ways, Manchester was a classic mill town.

Consumption

December 3, 2014 · Collections

The term consumption, particularly in the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, means something very different today than what it meant in the 19th century.

urban-renewal-in-hartford

What Have We Learned About Urban Renewal in Hartford?

December 2, 2014 · Collections

Urban renewal changed the face of Hartford by removing homes, movie theaters, restaurants, and shops in the downtown area and replacing them with large-scale office buildings and parking lots.

The Art of Giving Thanks

November 28, 2014 · Collections

While we associate the Thanksgiving holiday with turkey and cranberry sauce, the actual art of giving thanks has had a range of meanings throughout history.

In Thanksgiving

November 27, 2014 · Collections

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks…for all of you!

Fitz Hollister’s Observations on Virginia

November 26, 2014 · Collections

Fitz Green Hollister was a young farmer from Washington, Connecticut, when he joined the 18th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, in 1861. His letters home and his dairies evidence a keen intellect and an eye for detail.

Home for Thanksgiving

November 25, 2014 · Collections

Like many people, I always used to drive home for Thanksgiving. Home was always Connecticut, even when I lived in Massachusetts or New Jersey or New York.

Shine your shoes!

November 20, 2014 · Collections

When was the last time you saw a bootblack—or shoe shiner—anywhere?

But gosh, he’s cute!

November 19, 2014 · Collections

Kids in the 1940s were not all that different from kids today. They don’t always get along with their parents, don’t always want to go to school, want to go to the movies (or play on their X-boxes today) instead of doing homework. Most of all, though, girls get crushes on boys!

What is this?

November 18, 2014 · Collections

Hundreds of families and dozens of businesses were moved out to make way for urban renewal projects in Hartford.

What Hartford Was Supposed To Be

November 17, 2014 · Collections

What would Hartford have looked like if three proposed building developments had been realized in the 1980s? See Richard Welling’s depictions of these modern edifices that were sure to bring added vibrancy to our capital city’s downtown core.

Slap to it

November 13, 2014 · Collections

How do we mark where things come from in our storage areas….read on to find out!

Not another account book?

November 12, 2014 · Collections

CHS has an extensive array of account books ranging in date from the early 18th century to the later 19th century and covering every part of the state.

Autumn in New England

November 11, 2014 · Collections

It’s comforting to think that certain basic things don’t change and to a certain extent it’s even true.

Connecticut History and the Helicopter

November 6, 2014 · Collections

Connecticut has had a long and close association with this type of aircraft, harkening back to Igor Sikorsky’s pioneering work in the 1930s.

Our audiovisual heritage

November 5, 2014 · Collections

Monday, October 27, was World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, sponsored by UNESCO. We did nothing to publicly mark the occasion, but we are taking an inventory of our audiovisual collections in preparation for writing a grant proposal to get them digitized.

Constitution Plaza in Hartford – A History of its Development

November 4, 2014 · Collections

The plaza was considered a model for urban renewal in the 1960s, replacing the Front Street neighborhood, which consisted of 18th- and 19th-century buildings, housing mostly Italian immigrants.

You look familiar…Have we met?

October 30, 2014 · Collections

This years fall line looked a little familiar….and the reason why was awaiting me right in my office.

Research fellows at CHS

October 29, 2014 · Collections

CHS is a member of the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, a group of research institutions in New England that pool their resources to offer grants to scholars so they can spend several weeks at repositories in the region.

How Did He Do It?

October 28, 2014 · Collections

Richard Welling loved to draw and he loved to share his enthusiasm for art with others.

Mostly out of sight…

October 23, 2014 · Collections

As I was pondering this week’s blog I started to think about some of the tasks we undertake to ensure that the examples of material culture in our collection remain available for future researchers.

My nephew wants to know

October 22, 2014 · Collections

When new manuscript materials, whether a single item or a whole collection, come to CHS, I need to spend time getting to know the individuals whose names appear in the documents in order to put things into context.

Connecticut’s “Greatest Show on Earth”

October 20, 2014 · Collections

This familiar tagline may not only describe the travelling circus; it could aptly describe the man behind the entertainment.

Mourning in the 19th century

October 16, 2014 · Collections

Customs surrounding the mourning of deceased loved ones were prominent in the 19th century and the objects created around these practices tell quite a story.

William Blore proudly wrote his name inside his book of lace patterns. Ms 101711

William Blore’s lace pattern book

October 15, 2014 · Manuscripts

I wrote about the lace pattern book several years ago when we first acquired it and admitted I knew little of its history. Now I know more, thanks to William Blore’s descendant.

Everybody Makes Mistakes

October 14, 2014 · Collections

Nobody had anything good to say about the old Hartford Post Office. I thought surely when it was first erected it must have been much admired.

(Re)Building Hartford: A City Captured by Artist Richard Welling

October 13, 2014 · Collections

Last Thursday, October 2, was the opening of three awesome exhibitions here at the CHS, including the one that displays some of the work I’ve been cataloging for almost a year.

This amazing collection of Webster’s gear and personal belongings include diaries kept during his time in service. CHS 2014.141

“Had a touch of the chills & fever.”

October 9, 2014 · Collections

Disease was the prime source of fatalities among soldiers in the American Civil War. The story of Private Myron D. Webster provides a more personal glimpse of this reality.

CHS Home School Day, October 6, 2014. Shadow an Archivist.

Shadowing an Archivist

October 8, 2014 · Collections

On Monday, October 6, CHS hosted home-schooled children and their parents for a day of workshops. I offered a session called “Shadow an Archivist” which 10 students attended. They were given a “collection” to review and process. These were copies of documents in a real collection from the Root family of Farmington, Connecticut.

Connecticut Digital Archive

October 1, 2014 · Collections

Do you remember the 5″ floppy disc, 8-track tape and VHS? The technology that created these and other forms of media is now obsolete. That is why we are moving our digital assets to the Connecticut Digital Archive hosted by the University of Connecticut.

(Re)Building Bridgeport

September 30, 2014 · Collections

Bridgeport was originally a parish of Stratford and only became a separate town in 1821. An 1824 map shows its streets lined with houses—including several sea captains’ houses—and a few small businesses.

Benjamin Talcott account book needs a new spine, among other things.

Talcott record books off for treatment

September 24, 2014 · Collections

Two Talcott account books, and several manuscript maps and documents went with archivist Barbara Austen to North Andover, Mass. for conservation.

“Nutmegger” Newsworthy

September 22, 2014 · Collections

Connecticut has used radio and television to cover everything from Americans on the moon to treasures “from the vault” in a fun and historic way.

Textiles: Where Science and History Meet

September 18, 2014 · Collections

Home School Day is nearly upon us. A new offering this year is a workshop discussing the point where textile history and textile science converge!

The Artist and the Connecticut Landscape

September 16, 2014 · Collections

One of the things I like best about my job at CHS is the opportunity to network with other museum professionals throughout the state….

Musings on “Things”

September 15, 2014 · Collections

Listening to an episode of Radiolab while cooking dinner a couple of weeks ago, I started angrily defending the importance of “things” out loud to my cat, and thus, a blog post was born.

Detail of the casting data on the Hartford fire alarm bell. CHS 1931.14.0

Sounding the Alarm…in a Big Way!

September 11, 2014 · Collections

In an age when apps are increasingly becoming a way to alert people to important news, it can be both fun and instructive to look at how emergency information could be transmitted a century ago.

American soldiers at the Battle of Long Island, August 27, 1777.

Still fighting the Revolution

September 10, 2014 · Collections

For the month of August I kept telling my husband nearly every day that I had been fighting the Revolutionary War all over again. And in a way, I was.

Uncompleted Work

September 4, 2014 · Collections

As school starts back in session, I am reminded of many instances in my own childhood of the excitement that leads to that first day: the school supply shopping, the nerves regarding whether or not you would get the “good” teacher, and the wonderful idea of learning something new.

The Heartbreak that is Weighted Silk

July 31, 2014 · Collections

We have a number of fantastic volunteers at CHS for the summer, and I am lucky enough to have a few working with me up in the costume collection.

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