Researching at CHS What you need to know to begin research

Because of the nature of the Connecticut Historical Society materials, certain registration procedures and regulations apply to keep our collection safe and available for future use. Here are a few things you should expect when arriving at CHS to do research:


The Waterman Research Center is open Tuesday – Thursday, 12:00 – 5:00 pm and Friday – Saturday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. All hours include access to pulled materials from the closed stacks or other parts of the collection.


On your first visit to the Waterman Research Center, you will be asked to fill out a registration card. Please bring a driver’s license or other form of photo identification. You may be asked to update your registration information each year.

Personal Belongings

Pencils, laptop computers, digital cameras, and loose papers may be brought into the Waterman Research Center. A coat rack and free lockers are available for all of your other belongings (coats, purses, brief cases, tote-bags, computer bags, folders, etc.) Paper is provided to researchers using historical manuscripts.

Photocopies and Print-outs

Because of the fragile nature of many materials, books over 100 years old and bound manuscripts may not be photocopied, although they may be photographed. Additional restrictions may apply to some manuscript materials. There is a charge of 25¢ per sheet for photocopies and print-outs. Coins are not necessary.

Retrieval of Materials

Although some reference materials are available in the open stacks of the Waterman Research Center, most of the CHS collection is stored in closed stacks or storage areas and must be requested by completing call slips. Materials are retrieved continually throughout the day until 4:30 pm. We will make every effort to retrieve your requested materials promptly. Some requests for fragile or large objects may require advance notice.

Rights & Reproductions

CHS objects, images, or other materials may not be published without written permission. More information is available in the Digital Reproductions section of this site.

Please note that the Connecticut Historical Society reserves the right to inspect all research materials and personal articles before patrons leave our building.


download-icon-down-arrow-23Handling Rare Materials (PDF)

download-icon-down-arrow-23Waterman Research Center Regulations (PDF)

To support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Connecticut Historical Society is closed to the public through July 31. All on-site programs and events are canceled during this time. Our Annual Meeting has been postponed until September 14. Click here for CHS's digital programs.