UConn Library Exposes Connecticut’s History through Digital Public Library of America

Rows of chicken coops on Horsebarn Hill, 1923. From the Jerauld A. Manter Collection, UConn. © University of Connecticut

Historical collections from over forty cultural heritage institutions across Connecticut are now available alongside more than 33 million images, text, videos, and sounds from across the United States through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA), a program of the UConn Library, serves up over 75,000 digital items relating to Connecticut history from state-wide heritage institutions including the Barnum Museum’s artifacts and ephemera and the Connecticut State Library’s collection of nineteenth century newspapers. You will also find UConn archival collections such as the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and the Hartford Medical Society Collection at UConn Health.

Professor Bob Asher’s car rolls into Duck Pond (now known as Swan Lake), 1972. From the UConn Photograph Collection. CC BY-NC

The UConn Library recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of the CTDA and our commitment to preserving not just UConn’s history, but Connecticut’s too. Today’s announcement furthers our work, putting us alongside giants such as DigitalVirginias and Digital Commonwealth.

“Being a Service Hub for the DPLA is a great way to connect the storied history of Connecticut with so many people, from the serious researcher, to history buffs, and everyone in between,” noted Anne Langley, Dean of the UConn Library. “It affords us the ability to expand access to the rich historical resources of UConn and across Connecticut.”

Bonded (slave) Child Labourer Carrying Clay
© Robin Romano / GlobalAware

What is just a mouse-click away when searching the CTDA? You can find glass negatives taken by brothers Clinton and Frank Hadsell capturing everyday life in the town of Avon at the turn of the twentieth century from the Avon Free Public Library. How about films from the collection of Hartford Black Panther Party co-founder, Butch Lewis, documenting community leaders during the Civil Rights Era from the Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library? For human rights researchers, the U. Roberto (Robin) Romano Papers housed in the UConn archives, documenting his ground-breaking work to raise awareness of children’s rights and child labor around the world are available.

We continue to work with institutions across Connecticut interested in the programs of the CT Digital Archive and are looking forward to the resources that will be added in the months and years to come. There are new materials to be discovered all the time so check it out today!

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