Old House Research

Does the State Library have any resources I can use to research my historic home?

Today, many people are interested in finding the history of old houses. They may have purchased an old house, have one in their family, or just want to know more about the famous historic houses in their town. The Connecticut State Library has many sources that can help in this search, including those listed below. See the Related Pages for links to images, finding aids, and more.


Collections include:

Record Group 024, Records of the State Historical Commission. Includes records pertaining to the Henry Whitfield House, Guilford, records of the American Bicentennial Commission, 1974-1978, and microfiche of the Statewide Historic Resource Inventory.


WPA House Survey - Glastonbury House #1

Record Group 033:028, WPA Federal Writers Project, Architectural Survey, Census of Old Buildings. A portion of the Works Progress Administration Writer's Project, done in the 1930s, focused on old houses. Arranged in folders alphabetically by town, there are generally one or perhaps two pages describing each old house, often. RG 33 also includes copies of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) photographs and measured drawings.



Record Group 143, Colonial Dames of Connecticut, Committee on Old Houses. Old Houses of Connecticut. In the 1930s, the Colonial Dames of Connecticut completed a statewide project that described old houses throughout the state, built in the 1600s to the early 1800s, which were still standing. Each house surveyed has its own book containing a description of the house, usually with a floor plan and sometimes with a photo or photos of the interior, and a photo or drawing of the exterior. The information from many of these studies was published in Bertha Chadwick Trowbridge's Old Houses of Connecticut. The card index listing the houses surveyed is arranged by town and is located to the right of the Manuscripts Card Catalog in the History & Genealogy Reading Room.


Picture Group 320, Clark Photograph Collection. This group of nine boxes consists of photographs of old Connecticut houses. The original photographs were taken in the early 1900s. This collection is arranged in boxes, alphabetically by town.


Picture Group 340, Snyder Collection of 18th and Early 19th Century Connecticut Houses, 1921-1922; 1929-1930. Contains 609 photographs of early Connecticut houses taken by H. Rossiter Snyder or a member of his studio. 502 photos, taken 1921-1922 are exterior views; 107 additional photographs taken 1929-1930 include exteriors, interiors, and architectural details. All photos have information on the back showing location, occupant, date of photo, and "remarks" (original owner, history, erection date, etc. as available).


Picture Group 800, Postcard Collection. Contains over 37,000 postcards from the late 19th to early 20th century; some are of houses and other historic structures. Every town in Connecticut is represented.