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Preserving All Things Greenwich

The most comprehensive resource for authentic, accurate Greenwich research.

A diversity of options

The Greenwich Historical Society is the only organization focused expressly on preserving Greenwich history in all its diversity. Preservation is a fluid, ongoing process, so we continuously collect, catalog and preserve tens of thousands of historical documents relating to life in Greenwich.

These include photos, manuscript collections, deeds, maps, postcards, menus, programs, correspondence, posters, journals, directories and books. Our collection includes many items from the 19th and 20th centuries, and some that date back even earlier. Even official Greenwich town records don’t include many of the documents contained in our collection. Opportunities for discovery abound.

The undeniable value of authentic, original materials

The Archive’s greatest value lies in its ability to offer primary sources—eyewitness accounts and intimate personal observations of events and time periods free from interpretation by historians and authors. Each primary source offers a unique, original perspective.

Collection highlights include:

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  • cos cob map
    Historical maps from 1890, 1900, 1908 and 1938 help researchers interpret property boundaries, acreage, home sales, structural footprints and who was neighbor to whom, as well as when streets were established or renamed.
  • cos cob map
  • directory
    Directories from 1911 to present give us a true glimpse of past business ventures, residential addresses, town occupations, ethnic immigrations, marital status and even how business types have changed over time.
  • directory
  • Ritch Groceries
    Old photos reveal undeniable facts regarding town characteristics, home architecture, interior design, furnishings, fashions of the day and, of course the people who played a role in this town’s colorful past.
  • Ritch Groceries
  • Personal and professional journals of every sort give readers an insightful view of the past—from emotional Civil War correspondence to diaries, notes and letters by influential personalities throughout Greenwich history.
  • Political pins, WWI medals, plus a huge array of other wearable ephemera are all here to help you learn more about life in Greenwich.
     
  • Civil War diaries and hand-drawn battlefield maps
  • Documentation of Greenwich as a possible location for the United Nations headquarters
  • Correspondence and official documents from the 1913 Armory Show
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  • Personal correspondence relating to the Cos Cob Art Colony and early American Impressionist artists
  • Raynal Bolling—WWI aviator and founder/organizer of the present-day Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command
  • Helen Binney Kitchel—professional and personal documents and scrapbooks of this local conservationist/preservationist and first woman to serve in the Connecticut State Legislature
  • Anya Seton—historical novelist famous for her meticulous research, whose classics—two of which were turned into Hollywood filmshave enjoyed decades of popularity.
  • Greenwich town records and reports—including town meeting minutes and town government publications that cannot be found anywhere else.
  • Yearbooks and publications from Greenwich Academy, Brunswick, Country Day and Greenwich High School
  • Minutes and documents relating to local clubs
  • Real estate files in many forms, including developers’ records, neighborhood association records, house listings, descriptions and photos

Help Preserve Greenwich History

“We collect continuously. History is being made every day.”
–Archivist Christopher Shields

It’s not unusual for Greenwich residents and business owners to chance upon items, documents, photos and artwork that may hold historic value. Although the Greenwich Historical Society is selective about what is accepted due to mission and space constraints, we urge you to email our archivist, Christopher Shields, or call him at (203) 869-6899, ext. 23 for more information.

Visit the Archives to take full advantage of this truly unique resource.

Greenwich Historical Society 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807 203-869-6899


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