DPLA Welcomes Connecticut Digital Archive

By Samantha Gibson, March 6, 2019.

We are excited to announce that over 75,000 new items from Connecticut Digital Archive are now discoverable in DPLA. Connecticut Digital Archive, a program of the University of Connecticut Library, includes a diverse array of materials from over forty cultural heritage institutions across the state, from the P.T. Barnum collection of artifacts and ephemera from Bridgeport Public Library and the Barnum Museum to Connecticut State Library’s nineteenth century newspapers and Hartford Public Library’s Butch Lewis Video Collection documenting Hartford’s Black Panther Party chapter in the late 1960s.

Connecticut may be a small state, but its newly-added collections represent the nation’s shared heritage and are global in scope. The Cheney Brothers Silk Manufacturing Company collection from University of Connecticut and Connecticut Historical Society documents one of the most successful textile companies of the Progressive Era, known for providing its largely-immigrant workforce with such amenities as housing, schools, recreation facilities, and medical care. The Hartford Medical Society Historical Library’s collections feature correspondence, diplomas, account books, and meeting minutes documenting the lives, work, and medical practices of Connecticut physicians between the eighteenth and early-twentieth centuries. For researchers and students of twentieth century world history, Nuremberg Tribunal attorney Thomas J. Dodd’s papers capture in chilling detail Nazi strategies leading up to and during the Holocaust, as well as the Allied Powers’ prosecution of Nazi criminals for crimes against humanity after World War II.

Browse additional featured collections below and start exploring new materials from Connecticut today!

Roberto (Robin) Romano Papers

Photographer and documentarian U. Roberto (Robin) Romano spent his life as an advocate for children’s and human rights around the world. Explore his photography and film projects in this collection from University of Connecticut. Featured projects include “Stolen Childhoods: the Global Plague of Child Labor,” which was shot in Brazil, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal and the United States and addresses the causes of child labor, its costs for the global community, and what it will take to eliminate it.

Girls fill and empty baskets of rock at an Indian gravel quarry, photograph by U. Roberto (Robin) Romano, 2000, from the collection of University of Connecticut Libraries.

Butch Lewis Video Collection

The film collection of Hartford Black Panther Party co-founder Butch Lewis, contributed by Hartford Public Library’s Hartford History Center, documents various black and Puerto Rican community leaders and communities as well as white governmental and business leaders discussing issues facing poor communities in the City of Hartford during the Civil Rights Era. The films, directed by Canadian filmmaker Julian Biggs and assistant Baylis Glascock, cover issues such as urban renewal, housing, employment, education, political representation, and the Hartford riot of 1969.

A woman speaks at a Hartford Black Panther Party community meeting, filmed by Julian Biggs and Baylis Glascock, June 1969, from the collection of Hartford Public Library’s Hartford History Center.

Local History through Photographs

The Clinton B. Hadsell collection consists of 269 glass negatives taken by brothers Clinton and Frank Hadsell capturing everyday life in the town of Avon at the turn of the twentieth century. Around the same time, itinerant businessman and photographer E.A. (Everett Augustus) Scholfield took thousands of studio portraits, landscapes, business photos, and pictures of local interest primarily in southeastern Connecticut and western Rhode Island. Explore his photographs in this collection from Mystic Seaport.

Edward Wiggins with a dog, photograph by E.A. Scholfield, ca. 1890, from the collection of Mystic Seaport Museum.

P.T. Barnum Digital Collection

Contributed by the Barnum Museum and Bridgeport History Center of Bridgeport Public Library, this collection features ephemera, art, and documents capturing the transformative impact of Phineas Taylor Barnum’s career on American culture and show business. With over 1000 items, this collection documents the world-famous showman, Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891), and many of his associates, such as Charles S. Stratton (“Gen. Tom Thumb”), Jenny Lind, and Jumbo the Elephant, as well as his American Museum in New York City, circuses, four homes in Bridgeport, and other career, civic-life, and family-life topics.

This 1880 courier advertises the arrival of Barnum’s circus in Bridgeport, Connecticut, from the collection of Bridgeport History Center, Bridgeport Public Library.

Amity Star newspaper

This weekly paper, contributed by Case Memorial Library, conveys the flavor of life in small Connecticut towns during the Truman era. With the Amity Star, editor and publisher George D. Vaill created a publication with a distinct personality and an often surprising sense of humor.

Classified ads inviting “a pair of high school boys” to run a diner, bean-poles and chair seats for sale, and pilot’s licenses for young men who might be drafted provide a slice of life perspective on small town life in 1950s Connecticut, June 7, 1951 issue of Amity Star, from the collection of Case Memorial Library.

Share your favorite content from Connecticut Digital Archive on social media using #CTDAinDPLA! To learn more about Connecticut Digital Archive, visit https://ctdigitalarchive.org/.