Research Services

Research Services

A place to research our past

The Library & Archives consist of over 1,300 linear feet of personal papers and manuscripts, organizational records and photographic materials; printed works such as histories, genealogies, catalogs, maps and atlases and audio and videotape, pertaining to all aspects of Greenwich history, Bush-Holley Historic Site and the Cos Cob art colony.

The Library and Archives is currently open  by appointment only. 

To help us make your visit more productive, please contact the archives at least 24 hours before your visit and let us know about your research interests. This will help us to retrieve relevant collection material in anticipation of your arrival.

Remote research service is available if you are unable to visit the Library & Archives in person.

Complete the online research request form.

Download an explanation of our research service process and associated fees.

Photocopies and digital photo-reproduction services are available for a fee.

Permission to publish reproductions of material owned by the Historical Society must be obtained from the archivist before publication. A separate publication fee will be applied.

To set up an appointment to visit the Library & Archives, get assistance with Research Services or Reproductions, please email Christopher Shields

Help Preserve Greenwich History

Our collection includes 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 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.

“We collect continuously. History is being made every day.”

Archivist Christopher Shields

Collection Highlights

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Submissions to the Archives

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.