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1938 Thanksgiving Proclamation Friday, November 22, 2013

Posted by capittsley in Archives, digital collections, history, New Resources @ CSL, updates.
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Governor Wilbur L. Cross

In 1936 Governor Wilbur L. Cross penned what is widely regarded as one of the most lyrical Thanksgiving Proclamations ever written. A former English Professor and Dean of Graduate Studies at Yale, Cross was elected as Connecticut’s 71st Governor in 1931. He served four terms and was defeated by Raymond E. Baldwin in 1938.

While the 1936 Thanksgiving Proclamation is a familiar piece today, in years past some of the other Thanksgiving Proclamations were equally well known. A Hartford Courant editor wrote in 1968 that “…the late Wilbur Lucius Cross in 1935 issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation that remains one of the classics of American prose.” His 1931 proclamation was noted for being one sentence of 176 words. He was quoted in a November 6, 1936 Hartford Courant article as having said “I wrote the proclamation in one sentence so that it would have to be quoted in full, if at all.”

It was his 1938 proclamation however that is a real treasure, as he was filmed reading it on December 9, 1938. It was the first time a Connecticut Governor had ever appeared in a sound film.

The Connecticut State Library is proud to bring you that historic film and all eight of Governor Cross’s official Thanksgiving Proclamations. The film can be viewed on our YouTube channel and the proclamations can be viewed in our Flickr collection.

On behalf of the staff and board of the Connecticut State Library, Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Facebook Launches Advanced AI Effort to Monday, September 23, 2013

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Facebook Launches Advanced AI Effort to Find Meaning in Your Posts http://ow.ly/p7VKt

Connecticut State Library Receives Grant for Newspaper Digitization Friday, July 26, 2013

Posted by kabery in Archives, digital collections, genealogy, history, New Resources @ CSL, newspapers.
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NewspaperThe Connecticut State Library is pleased to announce that it has received an award of $274,034 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a two-year National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grant to digitize historically significant Connecticut newspapers. The digital images will be included in the Library of Congress’ newspaper site: Chronicling America.

Following the NDNP guidelines, the $274,034 grant will allow Connecticut to add 100,000 pages, digitized from microfilm of newspapers published in the state between 1836 and 1922. An advisory committee consisting of an historian, journalist, educator, librarian, and archivist will select the newspapers to be scanned.

“This is a great honor for Connecticut – a state where newspapers have always been important,” said State Librarian Kendall Wiggin.  Wiggin noted that while Connecticut boasts the nation’s oldest continuously published newspaper, the Courant, by 1875, there were 78 newspapers being published in the state, including 17 dailies and 51 weeklies.

This project builds upon the earlier Connecticut Newspaper Project (1991-2002) which inventoried the state’s newspaper repositories, cataloged the newspapers and preserved over 1,000,000 pages of 437 newspapers on microfilm. The State Library has already worked with digitizing newspapers through its Newspapers of Connecticut project.  This has short runs of 86 titles from 1821-1929, for a total of 3,243 issues from 31 towns.

John N. Barry, Chair of the State Library Board noted that “This grant will allow the State Library to continue its work in providing easier access to the significant issues and events of our history.  Connecticut’s newspapers are irreplaceable sources of obtaining knowledge, and this digitization grant will continue the modernization of preserving Connecticut’s rich history.”

Independence Day Closing – Thursday, July 4 Thursday, June 27, 2013

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All Connecticut State Library facilities will be closed on Thurs., July 4th for the Independence Day holiday.

Herbert Randall Survey of New Haven and Environs, 1880-1920 Now Available in State Library Digital Collections Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Posted by aramsey in Archives, digital collections, history.
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The Connecticut State Library has recently completed the digitization of a portion of the photographs from the Herbert Randall Survey of New Haven and Environs, 1880-1920 (PG 380), which is now available in its digital collections.  This collection consists of approximately 141 black and white photographs of New Haven and surrounding areas.  Most of the photographs are street scenes from the downtown area.  Herbert Randall (1850-1926) was born in Massachusetts and lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan before opening a studio in New Haven in 1894.  He served as a contributor and later as president of the Connecticut Magazine and sought to promote public awareness of the history of Connecticut.  From time to time the Connecticut State Library hopes to add to this collection.

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Hyman’s Store

State Library presents “The Life and Times of William Webb: An African-American Civil War Soldier from Connecticut” Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Posted by kabery in CSLmade, genealogy, history, Museum, updates.
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inageThe Connecticut State Library will present Kevin Johnson as William Webb, an African-American Civil War Soldier from Connecticut at the Connecticut State Library, 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, Thursday June 20, 2013 from Noon to 12:45. Private Webb was an actual soldier, a native of Hartford. He was recruited in 1863 and served in the Twenty-Ninth (Colored) Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry in several battles in Virginia. Johnson’s portrayal of Webb is told from an emotional and exciting first-person perspective that vividly illustrates the struggle of the African-Americans in the Colored Infantry during the Civil War. He tells of his early life in Hartford, his recruitment and training, and the traumatic final battles of the Civil War. The presentation is based on extensive research in the collections of the Connecticut State Library and the Museum of Connecticut History.

Johnson’s presentation is part of the State Library and Museum of Connecticut History’s Third Thursday BrownBag Lunchtime speaker series which features a variety of speakers on various aspects of Connecticut history. All programs are free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring and enjoy their lunch during the presentation.

Thursday, June 20, 2013
Noon – 12:45 p.m.
Connecticut State Library ~ Memorial Hall

About the Speaker: Kevin Johnson is an employee of the State Library’s History and Genealogy Unit. He has been presenting William Webb for more than twelve years and has given 506 presentations in schools, libraries, historical societies and other venues around the state.

About the State Library: The Connecticut State Library is an Executive Branch agency of the State of Connecticut. The State Library provides a variety of library, information, archival, public records, museum, and administrative services to citizens of Connecticut, as well as the employees and officials of all three branches of State government

“Follow the Blue Blazes”: Connecticut’s Hiking Trail System Exhibit Now Open Friday, May 31, 2013

Posted by aramsey in Archives, history, Museum.
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“Follow the Blue Blazes”: Connecticut’s Hiking Trail System exhibit opened this month in Memorial Hall at the State Library’s Museum of Connecticut History, 231 Capitol Avenue in Hartford.  The exhibit documents the Connecticut Forest and Park Association’s role in creating, maintaining, and making hiking trails accessible to the general public through programs like Connecticut Trails Day.  Included in the exhibit are maps, trail folders, patches, trail signs, booklets, and photographs.

The Connecticut Forestry Association, later named the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, was founded by a group of concerned citizens who met at the Weatogue home of Reverend Horace Winslow on December 30, 1895.  The association’s leadership voted on October 5, 1929 to establish a Trails Committee to administer the trails system.  Today, the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System is approximately 825 miles of trails maintained by hundreds of volunteers working in cooperation with many public and private landowners.  All of the items in the exhibit are part of RG 169:007, Connecticut Forest and Park Association records which were donated by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association to the Connecticut State Library on December 17, 2012.

The exhibit may be viewed Monday through Friday 9:00 to 4:00; and Saturday 9:00 to 2:00 through August.  All exhibits are free and open to the public.

Hurricane Sandy: Record, Remember, Rebuild Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Posted by capittsley in Archives, digital collections, history.
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Connecticut State Library is proudHurricne Sany: Record, Remember, Rebuild to announce our participation is the newest Historypin project, Hurricane Sandy: Record, Remember, Rebuild. Together with Google, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, the Society of American Archivists, and the American Association of State and Local History, the project is a shared online collection of local history as captured by individuals and cultural heritage institutions alike. Connecticut State Library has pinned our oblique aerial photos showing the damage from the Hurricane of 1938. These images give a great sense of what the shoreline and river communities looked like almost 75 years before Sandy.

You can read more about the project on the Historypin blog. If you want to get involved you can share your own stories, find out how to set up a school or community event, or add an institutional collection to the Hurricane Sandy project.

To see the rest of Connecticut State Library’s content visit our Historypin Channel. If you have questions about our Historypin channel or content please contact Christine Pittsley at christine.pittsley@ct.gov


Memorial Day Closing: May 25-27 Monday, May 20, 2013

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All State Library facilities will be closed on Saturday, May 25th and Monday, May 27th for the Memorial Day holiday. 

April 2013 CONNector Newletter Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Posted by kabery in CSLmade, history, updates.
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The April 2013 issue of the CONNector Newsletter is now available in pdf format at:  http://www.ctstatelibrary.org/sites/default/files/13aprildraftfinal2.pdf

This latest issue of the Connecticut State Library’s newsletter includes the following:

  • Surprises at the State Library by Ken Wiggin
  • After Thirty Years: Visual Surprises from the State Archives by Mark Jones
  • Publication of Volume XX, The Public Records of the State of CT, 1819-1820 by Douglas Arnold
  • Cryptographic Curiosity from the Connecticut State Library by Bonnie Linck
  • Across the Cataloger’s Desk by Bill Anderson
  • 10 Myths about CT Public Libraries by Tom Newman
  • Gems by Jenny Groome
  • Adoption of the Regulation concerning Real Property Electronic Recording by LeAnn R. Power
  • Third Thursdays at the Connecticut State Library