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March 02, 2022

Preserving New History: the Connecticut Historical Society Kicks Off Community History Project Initiative






Preserving New History: the Connecticut Historical Society Kicks Off  

Community History Project Initiative 


All press and interested community members are invited to the Community History Project Kickoff & Reception to celebrate and learn more about this exciting new initiative to create the archive of tomorrow!


Thursday, March 10, 2022  

6pm – 7pm 


Connecticut Historical Society 

One Elizabeth Street, Hartford, CT 06105 


About the Community History Project at the Connecticut Historical Society:

We all recognize that the current COVID-19 pandemic has cemented its place as a historical moment. The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) has created a new initiative to preserve a diverse community experience of this historic health crisis.

The Community History Project at the CHS will use history and contemporary collecting practices to promote greater cultural understanding and collaborative efforts to strengthen communities’ ties. The project focuses on ensuring that the stories and experiences of the most marginalized and impacted communities are not lost to time. 

Thia is a new, public-facing initiative, focused on contemporary collecting, which gathers items of the recent past as well as from events happening today. This program will develop community historians to identify, document, and preserve their experiences as residents of Connecticut, and share these experiences during a series of community presentations.

The CHS was awarded $219,385 through the Museums for America grants by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the funding of this project, and funding will support the hiring of a full-time CHP program manager, project interns, as well as other programmatic costs.

In collaboration with Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA), and public libraries in Hartford, New Haven, and Norwich, this initiative addresses the need for contemporary collecting throughout the state. The CHSseeks to provide a better understanding of Connecticut residents’ lived history, improve education and career opportunities for Central Connecticut State University students, strengthen relationships between the museum and Connecticut residents, and build a more diverse collection at the museum that reflects Connecticut’s diverse communities.

The established Community Historian Councils (CHC) will receive training from the CHS and partners on public history practices. Each of the three participating cities (Hartford, New Haven, and Norwich) will have its own council of up to 10 members. The CHS will work with CHC representatives and community members to identify the best repositories for any physical items collected, and all digital assets will be ingested to the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA).

Robert Kret, Executive Director and CEO of the Connecticut Historical Society says of the project, “As the state’s historical society, we have a responsibility to not only preserve the past, but to actively collect the objects, stories and material culture that reflect the events that are happening today. With support from IMLS, the Connecticut Historical Society’s new Community History Project will foster purposeful engagement with underrepresented communities. Our contemporary collecting initiative will give voice to those communities and capture a more nuanced record of our experiences since we will be working directly with community members to record the histories, perspectives, and cultural traditions from previously marginalized populations.”

The Connecticut Historical Society ( is a privately funded, independent, not-for-profit educational organization that includes a museum, library, the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center, and the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program. Founded in 1825, the CHS is Connecticut’s statewide historical society, and a Smithsonian Affiliate. At the CHS, we cultivate understanding of the history and culture of Connecticut, and its role in the United States and the world. Through our collections, research, educational programs, and exhibitions we reflect the past, actively engage with the present, and innovate for the future.


Contact: Marissa Baum

Marketing and Communications Manager



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