Research Tools A list of the extensive resources to begin your research.

The catalogs and subject guides available online are a great introduction to the many materials available for research at the Connecticut Historical Society but represent only part of our vast collection.

An onsite visit to the Waterman Research Center will give you access to the following online databases: Ancestry Library Edition, American Ancestors, ProQuest (access to newspapers including the Hartford Courant), (New England edition), Fold3 (military records) and FIMo (fire insurance maps).

Online Catalogs

HistoryCat Library Catalog
Books, manuscripts, broadsides, maps, serials, newspapers, and audio/visual materials.

Clothing, furniture, weapons, needlework, tools, household objects, photographs, painting, prints, drawings, and more.

CHS Digital Catalog
This catalog, still in its pilot phase, will allow researchers to search all of CHS’s collection from one point of access and provides access to digitized collections. At this time, only a small fraction of the collection is available, but new records are being added all the time. Please let us know what you think!

Connecticut Digital Archive
A statewide, collaborative digital collection of thousands of still and moving images, documents, sound recordings, (including oral histories), maps, books, pamphlets, broadsides, paintings, and three-dimensional artifacts all relating to the history and culture of Connecticut from the 17th to the 21st century.

Finding Aids & Subject Guides

Manuscript Finding Aids
Finding aids are guides to manuscript collections. Each provides background and a description of the collection’s contents. See a list of finding aids that are currently available.

Subject Guide to African American Resources
A thematic guide to artifacts, manuscripts, and books in the Connecticut Historical Society collection, created in 1994. Although incomplete, it provides a partial view of African and African American-related materials in the collection.

Civil War Manuscripts Project
An in-depth survey of the Civil War manuscript holdings of the Connecticut Historical Society compiled in the 1990s, with some later additions. Browse by name, residence, or regiment. Includes some detailed examinations consisting of transcriptions, content analysis, genealogical or biographical information, and more.

Online Resources

Mary Morris Social Scrapbooks
An invaluable resource for Hartford-area social history, these 52 scrapbooks of newspaper clippings were compiled between 1873 and 1924.

Civil War Monuments Survey
Originally published by the CHS in 1997, this survey was compiled by David F. Ransom and funded in part by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, through the Connecticut Historical Commission. Please note: the content and the photographs have not been updated. Limited updates to the Wolcotville Soldiers Monument and the Northfield Monument were made in 2017.

Additional non-electronic catalogs and resources may be searched on-site. Contact us at (860) 236-5621 x228 for more information or help searching our collection.

Appointments are required for the Research Center. Please visit our Registration and Appointment page to request an appointment. For questions and inquiries regarding available materials, please call the Research Center, at (860) 236-5621 x228.

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