FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Britain, CT (July 22, 2022) — The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives has awarded the Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) a $99,980 Archives Collaboratives Implementation Grant to make archival collections at local history institutions across the state searchable online through its Connecticut Collections database and public portal.
Connecticut Collections (CTCo) is an open-source, web-based collections management system and public research portal run by the Connecticut League of History Organizations. It is used by 33 museums, historical societies, libraries, schools, and other cultural heritage organizations across the state. This grant will enable more institutions to participate in the Connecticut Collections project and provide them with direct support and assistance to share their archival collections online.
The two-year grant project, which commenced April 1, 2022, will provide free training for collecting institutions’ staff and volunteers through a “Basics of Archives” webinar series in the fall of 2022. These trainings will be carried out in collaboration with Conservation ConneCTion and the Traveling Archivist Program of the Connecticut State Library, and recordings will be made available for free. After completing the training, participating organizations will receive assistance from the Traveling Archivists to organize and describe several of their archival collections by preparing finding aids.
The grant will also fund improvements to the Connecticut Collections system, including enhancements to its public-facing website (www.ctcollections.org) and updates to the software that supports it. As a part of this process, the Connecticut Collections database will be automatically linked to Connecticut Archives Online (https://archives-library.wcsu.edu/cao/), a statewide aggregator of archival collections at Western Connecticut State University, increasing the discoverability of archival materials in Connecticut Collections.
“This grant will improve the archival capabilities of the Connecticut Collections system, and provide important training and direct support to museums, historical societies, libraries, and other collecting institutions to make their archival and manuscript materials more discoverable and accessible to the public,” said Amrys Williams, CLHO’s Executive Director. “Not only will this project forge important connections among Connecticut's digital history resources, it will increase the capacity of small history institutions to create new, publicly available finding aids for our state’s unique and irreplaceable collections, forging stronger connections with their communities and bringing heretofore hidden histories to light.”
This grant was one of the 36 awarded by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, totaling $2,975,339 for historical records projects in 27 states and the District of Columbia. The National Archives grants program is carried out through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
For more information about Connecticut Collections, please visit www.clho.org/ctcollections. To browse and search the public portal, please visit www.ctcollections.org.
About the Connecticut League of History Organizations
The Connecticut League of History Organizations builds connections among those who preserve and share the stories and objects of our state’s past. For over 50 years, we have strengthened and sustained our members by sharing knowledge and experience, and promoting best practices among museums, historical societies and all who steward Connecticut’s heritage collections.
About Conservation ConneCTion
Conservation ConneCTion is a program of the Connecticut State Library. Founded in 2008. Conservation ConneCTion provides training and resources on collections care, conservation, and emergency preparedness to cultural heritage organizations in Connecticut and seeks to identify collection care needs and develop a statewide plan to meet them.
About the Traveling Archivist Program
The Traveling Archivist Program was launched in 2013 by Conservation ConneCTion and the Connecticut State Historical Records Advisory Board to provide support to cultural heritage organizations. A team of professional archivists work throughout Connecticut, providing hands-on training, archival assessments, and support in the care and management of archival collections.
About Connecticut Archives Online
Connecticut Archives Online (CAO) simplifies searching for original historical records in Connecticut by making them available through one easy-to-use website. Users can browse and search the rich archival collections held in the libraries, universities, colleges, museums, historical societies and archives in the State.
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a statutory body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium ranging from quill pen to computer, relating to the history of the United States. The NHPRC supports projects that promote access to America's historical records to encourage understanding of our democracy, history, and culture.