BHC Special Events/Announcements
Saturday, January 1 - December 31, 2022
Hi researchers, and welcome back to the Bridgeport History Center.
We are open for research appointments on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. What follows below are our COVID-19 policies and what you can expect when you come in to do your research.
Please be aware that right now, the Bridgeport History Center cannot honor walk-in patrons for the safety of your fellow researchers and our staff. BOOK AN APPOINTMENTView details
Monday, November 14 - December 31, 2022
Bridgeport resident Frank Reese has been researching his family’s genealogy for many years. Recently, Reese was able to gain an important recognition for his great, great, great, great grandfather, Jesse Sip Caples, Sr., a Revolutionary War veteran who was buried in an unmarked grave in the Washington Street Cemetery in Middletown. Through research, Reese was able to determine when Caples had served in the war, which ship he was on, and even that he had been a prisoner for part of that time. Reese spearheaded the effort to obtain and finally install the headstone his veteran ancestor so richly deserves. See segment on Jesse Sip Caples’ headstone from NBC-CTView details
The Bridgeport History Center has been a proud part of the Connecticut Digital Archive for years now, taking advantage of this unique digital preservation platform that invites cultural institutions from all around Connecticut to share digitized material. Since March of 2020, BHC has worked hard to take advantage of CTDA’s hosting, search features, and support in order to make more of it’s holdings available and easier to search.
BHC is proud to share it’s updated CTDA space. Explore Black Bridgeport. Get to know our Archives and Manuscripts better. Did you know we have yearbooks digitized? All of our Grassroots Historians articles are available too, along with postcards and Mary Witkowski’s newspaper articles. You can search within the Bridgeport History Center’s collections only, or expand it to all of CTDA in order to find more material.
The Bridgeport History Center updates our new and noteworthy page on a regular basis! Check back to see what we’ve added and you can come in and use. This page was last updated on April 22, 2022.
New Archival Collections
The Papers of Katya and Bert Gilden – Writing as K.B. Gilden, Katya and Bert Gilden were Bridgeport based authors. Their novel tween the Hills and the Sea is set in a lightly fictionalized Bridgeport and noted for its accuracy of union politics and life on the shop floor. This collection features both their individual papers, the creative process and more,
Papers of John Adam Hugo – Composer John Adam Hugo lived in Bridgeport following extensive musical training in Europe. In addition to having an opera produced at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, he composed extensive classical and popular works. The Bridgeport History Center is the sole location to house his composition manuscripts.
Films of Nicholas Pasquariello – Select films from Mr. Pasquariello’s collection of local public television have been digitized and uploaded to the Connecticut Digital Archive. These include local mayoral debates and discussions about the arts as well as Connecticut state debates and lectures regarding mid-00s politics including the war in Iraq and the USA PATRIOIT Act.
BHC has been continuing to add photographs to the Connecticut Digital Archive. There are over one thousand images available, with more on the way! Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact us on our contact form.
New Research Guides
At long last, BHC has updated it’s Labor and Industrial History Research guide! Clocking in at 11 pages, this contains an in depth list of the material related to labor history available for you to use at the Bridgeport History Center. Offerings include archival collections, newspaper resources, and secondary works.
Hot off the heels of finishing up the Records of the Warner Brothers Company, the Bridgeport History Center is pleased to present not one, not two, but three brand new research guides! Our women’s suffrage guide will help you celebrate a century of voting rights, the belatedly spooky guide to local witchcraft and hauntings will provide a different kind of January chill, and our comprehensive guide to material related to the Warner Brothers Company and the family will assist researchers who are keen to know more about one of Bridgeport’s biggest manufacturers.
BHC Events & Regular Monthly Programming
by Elizabeth Boyce
Just a few years back, my youngest daughter innocently summed up my work to new friends saying: “Oh, and that’s my mom.” As they passed by, she added, “She works with dead people.”
She wasn’t wrong. I do spend an inordinate amount of time getting to know the people of the past. So, for this Halloween, let me share with you the intertwining stories of two men who, like me, were historians. They each spent many hours walking amongst the headstones of local cemeteries-including those right here in our town. And while that might seem like a morbid pastime, these men were pioneers in local historic appreciation and preservation. (more…)
Seaside Park comprises two and one-half miles of gently curving shoreline on Long Island Sound. Long considered one of New England’s premier urban parks and Bridgeport’s “front yard,” it has an important place in the annals of American landscape and social history. For here is what is thought to be the very first of the waterfront “rural” parks, the forerunner of Chicago’s Grant and Lincoln Parks, Portland’s Eastern Promenade, Detroit’s Belle Isle, and all the great marine landscape designs that were to follow. It was also the first Olmsted park to be laid out after the initial triumphs of Central and Prospect Parks, and the last of the firm’s commissions to be laid out by the triumverate of Frederick Law Omsted, Calvert Vaux, and Egbert Viele. (more…)