Connecticut Historical Society Awarded $238,000 IMLS Grant

August 14, 2020 ·

The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) announced it has been granted $238,604 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to inventory, rehouse, catalog, and digitize its Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP) collection.

The project will improve all aspects of the care, condition, management, access to, and use of the CCHAP archive. Museum staff will work with a project archivist and data technician to rehouse objects in the collection and create comprehensive object files and digital catalog records. Video and audio components will be digitized to preserve that collected material. New object files will be created including high resolution photos. The project will result in better management of the objects by staff and improved public access to these digital records through the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA).

Founded in 1991, CCHAP encourages and promotes traditional artists and their communities through an active process of documentation, technical assistance, and public presentation to bring their work and the history of their communities to new audiences. The fieldwork-based program is unique in Connecticut, employing original research in partnership with artists and communities to strengthen community-based resources. CCHAP documents tradition bearers across the state whose work would otherwise remain unknown or under-represented, collecting this material into a valuable archive of Connecticut traditions that is open to researchers and the public online and by appointment at the Connecticut Historical Society.

Robert A. Kret, CEO of the CHS, said, “We are excited this project will make these collections openly accessible to and useable by the communities whose cultural expressions they document, as well as for all interested people globally. The CHS views this as a crucial step forward in making accessible significant portions of our collection that explore Connecticut’s cultural diversity, and we are so grateful to the IMLS for making this important material available to all Americans.”

The Connecticut Historical Society is a private, independent, not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1825. Located at One Elizabeth Street in Hartford, the CHS is home to a museum and library, the Waterman Research Center, and the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program – the state’s folk and traditional arts initiative. Its facilities and programs are open to the public and funded by private contributions.

The CHS’s mission is connecting you and the stories of Connecticut. Its vision is a society that values historical perspective and understanding as essential tools in connecting with others, shaping communities, and making informed decisions. To accomplish that, the CHS serves tens of thousands of people annually through adult, youth and family educational programs, as well as tours, exhibitions, and library and research services. The organization’s renowned collection includes more than 4 million manuscripts, graphics, books, artifacts, and other materials accessible at its Hartford campus and on loan at other organizations.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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