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Local History
Fountain at Walnut Hill Park

Normal schedule of hours for the Local History Room:
Monday: 9 am - 2 pm
Tuesday:Temporarily closed on Thursdays until further notice.
Wednesday: 9 am - 2 pm
Thursday: Temporarily closed on Thursdays until further notice.
Friday: By appointment
Saturday: By appointment
Sunday: Closed

If you are making a special trip to visit the Local History Room, please call in advance.

To make an appointment, please call (860)224-3155 ext. 125 or stop at the Information Desk.

E-mail requests may be sent to:

The Collection

The Local History Room collection includes histories of New Britain, histories of other Connecticut cities/towns, manufacturers' catalogs, general genealogical sources, genealogies, city directories (1870-1992), church histories, federal census on microfilm for Hartford County (1790-1930), collective biographies, maps, municipal records, newsletters from local organizations and over 9,000 photographs and slides.

The vertical files contain over 75,000 clippings from area newspapers and are arranged by subject. The clippings date from the mid-1800's to the present. Articles may be photocopied.

Fox's Theater, West Main Street
Fox's Theater, West Main Street

Digital Collections:

Elihu Burritt’s handwritten journals are now available in digital format. They are not searchable but can be browsed. The Symonds, Hanna, and Klingberg Scrapbooks (containing local news and obituaries) are available in digital format. Please click here to begin your search.

Special Collections:

  • Elihu Burritt "The Learned Blacksmith" - journals, written works, biographies, papers
  • Local Authors
  • Symonds, Hanna, Klingberg, Sullivan Scrapbooks (contain local news and obituaries)
  • Rev. John Smalley - speeches dating from 1767
  • High School Yearbooks, starting with 1904
*** We are looking for the following New Britain High School Yearbooks:
1947, 1963, 2012, & 2016

Local Newspapers:

  • New Britain Herald (weekly edition) April 1880 - December 1882
  • New Britain Herald December 1882 to December 1913, April 1914 to August 1914; November 17, 1914 to November 26, 1914; January 1915 to March 1920, June 1920 to the present. The Herald on microfilm is located in the Reference Department, and the recent issues of the paper are in the Periodicals Room.
  • True Citizen January 1862 - March 1866
  • North & South, New Britain Times May 1858 - April 1860
  • Farmington Valley Herald, Farmer Mechanics Journal, Tunxis Valley Bristol & Canton, CT 1882-1907
Main Street
Main Street

Use of the collection

Anyone may use the Local History Room. Some of the materials are very brittle and may not be copied. Materials must be used in the Local History Room, although there is a small circulating collection from which books may be borrowed for three weeks.

Photocopying Charges:
In person - 15¢ per page for letter and legal size; 25¢ for ledger size
By mail - 1 to 5 copies = 50¢ per page and a $1.00 processing fee
Anything over 5 copies = 25¢ per page and a $2.00 processing fee for the entire job

Great History & Genealogy Databases & Web Sites
The Hartford Courant (1992-present)
The Hartford Courant - Historical (1764-1922)
CT State Library's History & Genealogy Section
CT State Library's WPA Architectural Survey
CT Historical Society
Connecticut Historical Resource Guide
National Archives
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons)

How do I...
> Get a library card? > Search the catalog? > Reserve materials? > Join a computer class? > Reserve a museum pass?
> Review my account? > Make a suggestion? > Renew materials? > Reserve a computer? > Request materials?