Connecticut Historical Society

1 Elizabeth Street, Hartford, CT 06105 - United States

860-236-5621

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Smithsonian Affiliate Museum

A private, nonprofit, educational organization established in 1825, the Connecticut Historical Society is the state’s official historical society and one of the oldest in the nation. The CHS houses a museum, library, and the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center that are open to the public and funded by private contributions. The CHS’s collection includes more than 4 million manuscripts, graphics, books, artifacts, and other historical materials accessible at our campus and on loan at other organizations.

The CHS collection, programs and exhibits help Connecticut residents connect with each other, have conversations that shape our communities, and make informed decisions based on our past and present.

Exhibits

Pieces of American History: Connecticut Quilts
This major exhibition explores the history, culture, and craft of quilt-making in Connecticut. About 30 stunning selections from the CHS’s approximately 150 quilts, ranging from the last quarter of the eighteenth century to the present day, will be displayed alongside costumes, photographs, and artifacts that illustrate the stories behind Connecticut quilters and quilting. The exhibit was guest-curated by Lynne Zacek Bassett, an award-winning freelance curator specializing in historic costume and textiles.

There will be a guided tour of this exhibit at 2:00 pm.

Making Connecticut
Don’t miss this exhibit 400+ years in the making! Colorful, interactive, and filled with more than 500 historic objects, images, and documents, Making Connecticut is the story of all the people of Connecticut, from the 1500s through today. Themes of daily life, clothing, transportation, sports and leisure, work, and social change run throughout the exhibit. Hands-on activities for kids (and adults!) include working a World War II assembly line, hand stenciling designs for a 19th-century chair, sewing a Native American moccasin, replacing bobbins in a textile mill, and cooking a meal and setting the table in both a colonial and a 1980s kitchen. Come be surprised, inspired, and amused as you explore our state’s past and your own place in “Making Connecticut.”

War, Maps, Mystery: Dutch Mapmaker Bernard Romans and the American Revolution
This exhibit shares the little-known story of Revolutionary War Patriot and Dutch mapmaker Bernard Romans. Romans came to the American colonies in 1757 during the French and Indian War, surveying for the British along the Atlantic seaboard. Romans became a supporter of American independence, joined the Continental Army, and eventually settled in Wethersfield, CT. Both the British and Americans used Romans’ maps during the American Revolution. In 1780, he was captured by the British and died in 1784, mysteriously, while a prisoner. Incredibly rare maps from the CHS collection, published by Romans and his contemporaries, as well as earlier Connecticut maps from the 17th and 18th centuries, will be displayed.

With special gratitude to Priscilla Romans Hexter and Madeleine Romans Hexter. The Connecticut Historical Society extends a special thanks to Priscilla Romans Hexter and her daughter, Madeleine Romans Hexter, for helping develop this exhibit.

Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.