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 APPOINTMENT
Wednesday, June 15 - July 16, 2022
In spring 2022, founder of Juneteenth of Fairfield County Inc. Cynthia Griffin donated material about the organization and it’s history to the Bridgeport History Center. Encompassing documents, programs, and objects, the collection helps chronicle the organization’s elevation of the Juneteenth holiday in Bridgeport and its commitment to celebrating Black excellence.
As a part of the Bridgeport Public Library’s greater Juneteenth celebrations, the Bridgeport History Center has installed the exhibit Records of Juneteenth of Fairfield County: 30 Years of Celebration! on the third floor of the Burroughs-Saden library. Available to all whenever the library is open, the objects and documents convey the local character of Bridgeport’s Juneteenth celebrations and Cynthia Griffin’s role in stewarding and overseeing the organization from a small parade to massive event on the city’s calendar.
Can’t make it to the library? Check out the online components here!
The Bridgeport History Center continues to express deep gratitude to Cynthia Griffin for her gift and trusting BHC to steward the records of Juneteenth of Fairfield County Inc., helping make the organization’s history accessible to all.
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
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…)
By Britney Murphy
On December 22, 1939, Father Stephen J. Panik, proudly addressed the audience attending the groundbreaking ceremony for Bridgeport’s first public housing project. The erection of what would become Yellow Mill Village was the culmination of years of hard work on the part of Father Panik, city and state officials, and Bridgeport residents. Father Panik considered the Village to be, “perhaps the greatest Christmas gift that ever was given to the people of Bridgeport, –not a promise, but the beginning of a reality, fine, decent homes for about 5,000 people.” (more…)