Table of Contents
A Guide to the collection at the Connecticut Historical Society
The Connecticut Valley Garden Club was first organized in 1917 as the Amateur Gardeners’ Club. The current name was adopted in 1923 and the organization revised their constitution and by-laws and began taking minutes. The purpose of the club, which is still very active today, is to promote knowledge of horticulture and interest in gardening, to stimulate interest and activity in civic planning, to participate in the conservation of our natural resources, and to encourage interest and participation in flower arranging and exhibiting. The club members initially gave flowers to people in the hospital but soon began participating in flower shows, garden tours and civic projects. In 1933 the club became a member of the Garden Club of America. It started its own newsletter, “The Dandelion”, in 1977. A copy of the 1992 history of the club is in the collection folder in the archivist’s office.
The first set of records given to the library for safe keeping were bound records of the minutes from 1923-1991, a photograph album and some loose material. They were never organized nor was a finding aid created. When an addition transfer of records arrived in 2007, the two deposits were combined and processed as one collection. Additional deposits will be arranged separately but using the same collection number.
Series I, administrative documents, consist of two versions of the constitution and by-laws, one from 1923, the other 1989. Minutes of meetings, 1923-1991, are contained in bound volumes, with missing years 1945-1949. Minutes from 1991-2004 are divided into Board meeting minutes and General Meeting minutes and while the folders are in chronological order, the items within these folders are in reverse order. Also included in this series are annual reports from the presidents, 1945-2005, committee annual reports, 1991-2004, some budget documents, 1992-2007, several tax exempt certificates, and versions of the club logo in paper and on floppy disk.
Among the records in Series II, Membership, are copies of annual programs that also include lists of members, circa 1930-2007, a separate membership directory, 1985-1987, papers read by members at club meetings, 1943-1985, and copies of the “Dandelion” newsletter, 1993-2007.
Project notebooks and collections of loose papers are in Series III, Projects. Some of the projects documented are the gardens at the Old State House, Sunrise Overlook in Elizabeth Park, and a topiary project at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. An index of the club’s projects can be found in volume 12.
At every anniversary, an updated history was gathered and sometimes printed. These histories, and something entitled the Historian’s notebook, are in Series IV. The most recent was written in 1992 for the 75th anniversary.
Awards, in Series V, include national, state and city awards for flower arrangements and civic projects, among others. Photographs of club activities, Series VI, begin with 1935, and then there is a gap until 1968. Most of the photographs are mounted in albums. The 1976 album documents activities at the Old State House. In 1993 the club photographed its 75th anniversary events. One volume is actually labeled "miscellaneous".
The most interesting documents in the lasts series, Unclassified, are a photograph and letter about a squirrel-shaped topiary, and two copies of the 1928 edition of Hartford magazine with articles on city gardens.
The collection is arranged into eight series. The first series contains administrative records. The club organized the minutes that are not in bound volumes in reverse chronological order and that order has been retained. Series II consists of membership materials including the members’ newsletter the Dandelion. Records of civic projects undertaken by the club have been arranged in Series III. Several histories of the club have been written for various anniversaries, and these are found in Series IV. Series V consists of awards the club received from local, state, regional and national organizations. Photographs are grouped in Series VI. Many of the photographs are arranged in albums, which have been filed chronologically. Materials related to Federated Garden Club and Garden Club of America activities are in Series VII. Series VIII contains some unclassified documents.
There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Use of the material requires compliance with the Connecticut Historical Society's Research Center regulations.
Women--Connecticut--Societies and clubs.
Connecticut River Valley.
Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
Collection was processed by Barbara Austen in 2007.
EAD Finding Aid created October 2014.