Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Search the CSL Catalog. CONSULS, the State Library's online catalog, is a system shared with the four Connecticut State University libraries. The online catalog does not include the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Museum artifacts, or the Service Centers collections.
A conversion project since 1987 has created records in the online catalog for most titles in the other collections. Archives, federal documents, local histories, maps, manuscripts, photographs, and Special collections are still being added to the catalog, so not all items are available.
Aerial Photographs | Archives | Autographs | Broadsides | City Directories | Coats of Arms | Connecticut Digital Archive | Connecticut Documents | Electronic Resources | Federal Documents | General | Genealogical Charts | History & Genealogy | Law and Legislation | Legislative Archives | Library for the Blind | Local Government | Manuscripts | Maps | Museum | Newspapers | Pamphlet and Clipping File | Pictorial Archives | Service Centers | Special Collections | Special Genealogical File
Includes statewide aerial surveys made in 1934, 1951, 1965, 1970, 1980, 1985, 1990, and 1995 as well as additional smaller collections including a West Shore Aeroplane Mosaic, 1931; a survey of the Connecticut Coastline, 1932; and river surveys following the 1955 flood.
Historical records from the three branches of State government documenting the evolution of state public policy and its implementation, the rights and claims of citizens, and the history of Connecticut and its people. The State Archives holds records from more than 70 Connecticut state government departments, commissions, and offices, covering the period from colonial days to the present. In addition, there are files from many non-governmental institutions, organizations, and churches, as well as collections of tax lists and other official papers from Connecticut towns. See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections Materials for information on using these materials.
Researchers may access the collections through a variety of finding aids, and through the complete Guide to the Archives, 4th edition. History and Genealogy Unit librarians are available to assist in the use of these tools. Researchers may also consult with the archivists to clarify questions regarding unprocessed records, confidentiality issues, loans of archival records, copying of fragile items, and access to records subject to the Guidelines on Use of Restricted Original Archival Records.
Selected record groups include:
RG 1, Early General Records, 1629-1820. This group consists of colonial and early statehood records which, because of their nature or arrangement, cannot be attributed to the record groups for individual state agencies. They include some of the most valuable and significant archival materials. Sub-groups of note include:
The Connecticut Archives collection comprises the records of the Connecticut General Assembly to approximately 1820 and is grouped into broad topics.
The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1636-1776.
The Public Records of the State of Connecticut.
These sets comprise the official record books of the General Court/General Assembly. The original volumes are housed in the State Archives as part of Record Group 1, but those through the early nineteenth century have been published [CSL call number HistRef ConnDoc G25].
RG 2, Records of the General Assembly. These records, which
follow chronologically the "Connecticut Archives", consist of petitions,
memorials, remonstrances, affidavits, resolutions, public acts, annual
reports, reports of legislative committees, gubernatorial messages, and
other official papers that document the activities of the General
Assembly, Connecticut municipalities, corporate bodies, and many
individuals. Online finding aids:
Finding Aid to the General Assembly Papers, 1821-1870; State Archives Record Group No. 2.
Finding Aid to the Rejected Bills, 1808-1870; State Archives Record Group No. 2.
See also the Legislative Archives (Permanent Bill File)
RG 3, Records of the Judicial Department. Records of the Particular Court, 1638-1665; the Court of Assistants, 1665-1711; the Superior Court, the County Courts, some Courts of Common Pleas, Maritime Courts, Supreme Court of Errors, several district and municipal courts, and Justice Courts. Also includes the Records of the County Coroners. Little of this material has been indexed. Online finding aid: Guide to the Records of the Judicial Department.
RG 4, Records of the Probate Courts. Probate Court record books and estate papers, including wills, bonds, inventories, and administrators' reports. Much of this material has been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and is available for use in the H&G reading room or through LDS Family History Centers.
RG 5, Records of the Governors. Correspondence, memoranda, and other papers of the Governor and staff. Includes applications for appointive office, 1848-1881 and certifications and commitments to state hospitals, 1828-1948. Online finding aid: Gov. William O/Neill papers.
RG 10, Records of the Education Department. Includes some attendance reports and some passports and birth certificates of work permit applicants, 1870-1930.
RG 12, Records of the State Library. Includes Records of the War Records Department, with some military service records and veterans' death and burial records.
RG 13, Records of the Military Department. Correspondence, returns, reports, other records pertaining to Connecticut Militia, Governor's Guard, and Connecticut service personnel. Most papers dated after 1820.
RG 17, Records of the Corrections Department. Correspondence, commitment warrants, discharges from the State Prison, inmate records, ca. 1900-1953.
RG 19, Records of the Welfare Department. Includes records of the Litchfield County Temporary Home and New Haven County Temporary Home.
RG 33, Connecticut Work Projects Administration. Includes Connecticut: A Guide, ethnic histories, town and city histories, histories of city parks, Census of Old Buildings, Historic American Buildings Survey, Church Records Survey, Manuscripts Inventory, the Federal Art Project, American Imprints Inventory, history of the Hartford Flood of 1936, and a variety of guides.
RG 61, Records of County Governments, ca. 1792-1960. Includes payrolls and earnings records, commitment warrants, lists of County Home residents, and related items.
RG 62, Town and Borough Governments. Includes town meeting records, tax lists, grand lists, assessment books, deeds and land records, accounting records, school records, vital records, election returns, lists of electors, indentures, roads and highway records, justice court papers, and other materials.
RG 70, Church Records. The State Library houses originals or copies of early records of several hundred Connecticut churches and ecclesiastical societies. These contain minutes; membership lists; vital records; financial records; correspondence; and papers of missions, conferences, committees, and clubs. About a quarter of the church vital records have been indexed and included in the library's Church Records Index, and much of the material has been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and is available for use in the H&G reading room or through LDS Family History Centers.
RG 72, Vital Records. Birth, death, marriage information on Connecticut residents, mostly pre-1900. Reports, files from town clerks; indexes, abstracts (including the Barbour Collection); cemetery records, headstone inscriptions (including the Hale Collection); and abstracts of newspaper marriage and death notices.
RG 74, Genealogical Materials. Working papers, drafts, and collected reference materials pertaining to genealogical research, principally on Connecticut families. For the most part these materials have been donated to the State Library by patrons.
RG 123, Daughters of the American Revolution. Minutes, membership rolls, reports, historical sketches, applications, scrapbooks, and related materials.
RG 143, Colonial Dames of America, Connecticut Society. Includes "Old Houses of Connecticut", a series of studies conducted in the early 20th century on early Connecticut houses and other historically important buildings. A brief history of the project is included in the research guide to RG 143. A card index in the H&G reading room is arranged alphabetically by city or town.
RG 150, Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut. Includes applications for membership.
The signatures of many persons from the Colonial period to early 1800s may be found in the manuscript volumes of the Connecticut Archives and Trumbull Papers. These can be found in the indexes for these collections by looking for entries with "(A)" for "autograph".
Genealogists seeking signatures of their ancestors should also check wills and bonds within probate estate papers packets.
Historical broadsides from the colonial era through World War II. Many are cataloged and can be searched in the State Library catalog.
Before the advent of telephone directories, city directories provided information about local communities. Early directories contained lists of individuals, their addresses, and occupations. Later directories included additional information and could include: a yearly calendar, street maps, railroad schedules, and engravings of public buildings, along with local information about town offices, courts, public schools, various societies, and business listings. Some directories even included marriage, birth, and death information.
The State Library has an extensive collection of Connecticut directories from the early nineteenth century through ca. 1992 and a microfiche collection of directories from throughout the US to ca. 1870.
Clipping Files See Vertical Files.
Coats of Arms
A coats of arms index to older published books within the State Library's collection is arranged alphabetically by family surname. No additions have been made in over ten years. The library is reclassifying its book collection to the Library of Congress classification; however, cards in the Coats of Arms Index are not changed to show the new call numbers. An entry in the Coats of Arms Index will need to be checked the online catalog by author or title to verify the current call number.
Some illustrations of coats of arms are found in State Archives Record Group 74:49.
Connecticut Digital Archive
The Connecticut Digital Archive ensures that publications of Connecticut state government issued only in electronic format would be collected, cataloged, and preserved for current and future use.
Connecticut State Documents
Comprehensive, historical collections of primary materials by and about Connecticut state agencies. Contains materials dating from the late colonial period. Annual reports chronicling governance of the state for the past one hundred fifty years. Legislative support and background materials. Extended series of publications and individual studies done by various agencies collectively record almost every aspect of Connecticut's history, natural resources, socioeconomic condition, culture and quality of life.
Electronic Resources, Databases
Electronic resources (databases, online texts, CD-ROM's and other formats) in law, government information, genealogy, and general reference.
Regional Federal Depository Library for Connecticut and Rhode Island; receives and retains all publications, in all formats, distributed by the U. S. Government Printing Office. Comprehensive collection of Presidential materials (executive orders, papers, commission reports, budgets), Congressional materials (reports, documents, hearings, public acts, Congressional Record); judicial materials (rulings, reports, studies); federal agency publications (annual reports, periodicals, studies, administrative decisions, regulatory material); extensive historical coverage.
Public policy, social issues, economics, business, labor, education, and history, plus general news sources, general encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, directories, indexes, handbooks, and annuals.
A collection of genealogical charts is housed in the flat gray boxes on top of the Special Genealogical File in the History & Genealogy reading room. A partial index to this collection is available. Headings are generally limited to the key individual (person number one in the pedigree) and sometimes the surnames of that individual's grandparents, but this is not an every-name index. The charts themselves are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the key individuals. The Library also has charts of early members of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists.
History and Genealogy
Local histories and genealogies, with particular emphasis on Connecticut and New England; Connecticut town vital records, land records, and probate records; church records; family Bible records and cemetery inscriptions; newspaper notices of marriages and deaths; military records; Federal census records for Connecticut, New England states, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio; Index to New England Naturalization Petitions; ships' passenger lists and other immigration records; Connecticut atlases and maps, city directories, and newspapers.
Law and Legislation
United States and Connecticut law including primary source materials (statutes, legislation, judicial decisions, administrative regulations and adjudications, records and briefs); finding tools (digests, citators, indexes); secondary sources (treatises, reporters, periodicals, encyclopedias, online resources); current and historical statutes and session laws of the American states; state case law; regional and topical reporters; federal codes and U.S. public laws; international treaties and their finding tools; appellate case law and statutes for the United Kingdom.
Current and historical Connecticut legislative documents, including all bills, acts, committee hearings, and Senate and House Proceedings.
Books, periodicals, and electronic resources supporting the state's interests in public policy areas. Occasional Spotlight on the Law Collection Web pages offer a close-up look at a specific subject area within the library's law collection, including A "Spotlight" that focuses on books dealing with "Constitution, Courts, and Individual Liberties".
Legislative Archives (Permanent Bill File)
Copies of every bill introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly since 1911, as well as substitute bills, file copies, amendments, and added testimony for bills introduced after 1980 or so.
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Recorded and Braille books and magazines and necessary playback equipment for free loan by mail to eligible state residents unable to read conventional print because of a visual or physical disability.
Manuscript collections include letters, diaries, account books, minutes of organizations' meetings, and genealogies, and cover subjects in Connecticut history: politics; military, economic, religious, social, maritime and naval history; Native American Indians; women; education; individuals and families; architecture; professional organizations; public health and medicine; transportation; law; agriculture; public art and photography
Many items are individually cataloged. Larger collections are represented by title and subject in the Archives and Manuscripts Catalog.
Maps, atlases, and gazetteers of Connecticut, its counties, regions, and local political units, New England, and other areas to and from which Connecticut people migrated; maps and atlases documenting America's participation in wars from the colonial period to the present; worldwide maps and atlases from the 17th century to the present, including political, road/street, thematic, and topographic maps; Metropolitan District Commission town maps of the Hartford area; survey maps; manuscript maps related to Connecticut; maps from Connecticut state and United States government publications; and location maps used in the Hale Headstone Collection survey. There is a geographically arranged map card catalog as well as a map location list showing where each map is housed.
The library also holds the microfilmed copies of the Library of Congress' collections of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Connecticut, ca. 1884-1950 and 1951-1970.
Artifacts of Connecticut industry, history, and culture, including firearms, numismatics, hand and machine tools, clocks, architecture, militaria, mass produced consumer goods, and material culture.
Library materials on artifact collection areas; Connecticut manufacturers' catalogs; materials relating to Colt Manufacturing Co.; museum administration, collection management, exhibitions, and conservation.
Connecticut town newspapers, including every daily newspaper and the majority of weekly papers, business newspapers, and special interest publications; major national newspapers; indexes to the newspaper collections.
The Connecticut Newspaper Project identifies, catalogs, inventories holdings, and microfilms Connecticut newspapers.
Newspaper Clipping Files See Vertical Files.
Pamphlet Files See Vertical Files.
Photographs, posters, glass negatives, slides, postcards, and bookplates, etc. with emphasis on Connecticut events, people, and places. Highlights include photographs of Hartford and New Haven, state legislators, Connecticut architecture, and the Civil War.
Arranged in 63 picture groups, the collection is described in the Guide to Pictorial Archives in the Connecticut State Library, 1977 (available upon request). More detailed information on particular picture groups is found in the Picture Group Registers in the History and Genealogy Reading Room. These explain the origin and arrangement of each collection together with listings of the pictures or topical groupings and include separate portrait, subject, and name indexes.
Advertising and Business Cards, 1880-1900: cards of Connecticut manufacturers and retail businesses.
Artwork, 1875-1942: mounted watercolors of Connecticut wildflowers by Eva C. Potter, 1941-1942; sketchbooks of miniature watercolors and pencil drawings by Connecticut artist Amelia Watson of places in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Vermont between 1875 and 1916; watercolors, oils, and sketches of flowers by Connecticut artist Charlotte Ellen MacLean between 1877 and 1934; original portraits of notable men in Connecticut history in crayon by James Britton drawn for the Connecticut Tercentenary celebration, 1935.
Bookplates, 1770-1935: American and British bookplates including those designed by Connecticut engraver William F. Hopson.
Photographs: photographs generated by State government agencies; photographs documenting State government and its officials, photographs of Connecticut people, architecture, and locations, and of the Civil War.
Postcards, 1890-1930: cards from the United States and foreign countries with emphasis on Connecticut cities and towns.
Travel Posters, 1920-1969: posters from Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and Sweden in the 1920's and Great Britain in the 1940's.
World War I Posters, 1915-1919: posters produced by the United States and its allies.
World War II Posters, 1940-45: posters issued by the United States and private aid organizations. Includes some from Great Britain and other foreign countries.
Service Center Collections
Adult non-fiction, large-print books, children's books, young adult materials, library professional collection, audio tapes, DVD's, books on CD, music compact discs, multi-media CD-ROM's and public performance videotapes for loan to libraries in Connecticut. To search the collections, see their combined catalog, or the statewide library catalog, reQuest.
Almanacs; Automobile catalogs; Census material; Children's literature; Colt Collection; Congressional Journals; Connecticut bicentennial collection, 1776-1976; Connecticut industrial collection; Connecticut sheet music collection; early Connecticut acts and laws; early New England imprints; election sermons; Enfield Shaker collection; 19th century Connecticut manufacturers' catalogs; trade collection of 19th century newspapers.
Special Genealogical File
Folders arranged alphabetically by family or town name include some family Bible records not included in the Family Bible Records Index, researchers' notes, corrections to the Barbour Collection and to other records, and uncataloged periodicals.