New finding aids completed in SC&A

As part of my internship at SC&A I created finding aids for three collections. The most notable among these is the finding aid for a collection that I processed during my internship dealing with Wesleyan President James L. McConaughy, his wife Elizabeth, and son James Jr. The collection entitled, McConaughy Family Papers, details important aspects … Read more

Pick of the week, Aug. 30: Digitizing Pictures of Middletown and Wesleyan

The following was written by archives intern Owen Thompson: As part of my ongoing internship in SC&A, I recently digitized and made available in WesScholar an unusual book for Wesleyan’s Adopt a Book program. The volume, Pictures of Middletown and Wesleyan, was adopted by library staff and friends in honor of former Assistant University Archivist … Read more

Pick of the week, June 21: How to find out who lived in this old Middletown house

This week, I showed Sarah Croucher’s summer Field Methods in Archaeology (ARCP 373) class a selection of resources that help researchers discover who previously lived in various Middletown buildings and what the residents’ occupations were. One indispensable source is city directories, and SC&A has them for Middletown for the years 1868 through 1927. Here’s one … Read more

Pick of the week, Feb. 22: Bicycles on parade, 1900

A reader asked to see 1650-1900. Mattabeseck. Middletown. A description of the exercises connected with the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary, October 10 and 11, 1900. This booklet has a tremendous amount of detail about the celebration, including a full description of what we’re told was one of the longest parades yet assembled. The page … Read more

Pick of the week, Feb.1: Middletown before the wrecking ball

In the course of pulling sample materials for a presentation to Prof. Ron Schatz’s Exploring Middletown’s History (HIST171) class, I came across this aerial view of downtown Middletown found in the SC&A “Middletown, Photographs, Main St.” vertical file. Main Street runs diagonally from top left to bottom right, and Court and College Streets are running … Read more

Pick of the week, Jan. 25: Indian Hill Cemetery map, 1850

An association for the establishment of a rural cemetery in Middletown was organzied on July 3, 1850. It purchased property known as Indian Hill. The association charged Dr. Horatio Stone with laying out the grounds. The cemetery was dedicated on Sept. 30, 1850, and among the participants were the mayor, other city officials, clergymen, prominent … Read more

The Blizzard of 1888

The Great Blizzard of 1888 is legendary throughout New England, and it remains the benchmark by which all subsequent storms have been measured, including the one that will probably be known as the Blizzard of 2013.  Paralyzing the East Coast from the Canadian Maritime Provinces to the Chesapeake Bay from March 11 to 14, the … Read more

Pick of the week, Oct. 26: Insuring the schooner, Resolution, 1803

Our pick of the week is this 1803 insurance contract covering the schooner Resolution. A patron was interested in Benjamin Williams, then-president of the Middletown Insurance Co. At the time this document was signed, Middletown had a thriving seaport—it was one of the largest ports on the east coast—although in just a few decades, due … Read more

V. Middletown on My Mind …

With such strong interest in Special Collections & Archives’ local history resources this semester, we wanted to offer the larger community with information that we provided three classes.  In recent posts we covered some of the frequently used resources such as general histories, theses and student papers, maps and directories, print and manuscript holdings. Of … Read more