BHC Special Events/Announcements
Thursday, April 22 - December 31, 2021
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.
Booking an appointment
Right now, we are open only by appointment. Below are our available research time slots:
Wednesday: 12 PM – 2 PM | 2:15 PM – 4:15 PM | 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM | 6:45 PM – 8 PM
Thursday: 12 PM – 2 PM | 2:15 PM – 4:15 PM | 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM | 6:45 PM – 8 PM
Friday: 10 AM – 12 PM | 12:15 PM – 2:15 PM | 2:30 PM – 5 PM
Saturday: 10 AM – 12 PM | 12:15 PM – 2:15 PM | 2:30 PM – 5 PM
We currently are splitting our rooms between our genealogy database computers and researchers in need of other materials. One researcher is allowed in each room during a given time slot.
To book your slot:
- Please fill out this form with your preferred time slot(s) and contact information OR give us a call at (203) 576-7400 ext.7
- We will get back to you ASAP during business hours to confirm your time slot, and to determine what research materials you need.
- Please know what it is you are looking for and be ready to let us know. Are you only using our genealogy databases? Do you need microfilm? Something else? Please let us know. We will be pulling all of your items in advance and are trying to limit how much our staff is moving in between floors during the day, in order to keep both you and them safe.
- The day before your appointment, we will call you again to confirm that you will be in and ensure we have all the material you are looking to use. We will also tell you which door to enter through (see below.)
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 is beyond pleased to have a bevy of new offerings, some available digitally and others awaiting you when we can safely allow researchers back in!
On the digital front, we have begun to place some of our most beloved and used collections onto the Connecticut Digital Archive. Please check out the new homes of our Postcard Collection and “From the Historical Collections” by Mary K. Witkowski! Moving these collections onto CTDA allows for better searching, and for you to find more related materials both from the Bridgeport History Center AND the other Connecticut institutions who choose to make their material available online.
Also in the digital realm is the new space for Genealogy from Home! It provides links and access information for all of the Bridgeport History Center’s main online databases so that you can keep working on your family history.
We also have a new array of physical collections! On the top of our list is our new Community Cookbook Collection, featuring local organizations and their favorite recipes. This collection is seeking additional cookbooks from Bridgeport organizations, so if you have one you’d like to donate, please be sure to use our contact form and get in touch. We also now are able to provide access to the Seeley Almanac Collection and our Sermons and Early Church Printings Collection, featuring publications from the mid 1700s to the 1890s!
On the archives and manuscripts front, BHC is happy to report that it has now surpassed over 100 processed archival collections. This includes the Records of Charles B. Tisdale’s 1976 Congressional Campaign, The Frisbie Pie Company and the Frisbie Family Collection, Records of Reads Department Store, and a whole host of records from local labor unions. There’s more in the pipeline we can’t tell you about, but to see what you’ve missed be sure to check our archives and manuscripts listing.
We’ve also compiled two new research guides – one to help you research Connecticut’s Native and Indigenous Peoples at the Bridgeport History Center and another of public domain Bridgeport histories with URLs to all the available books.
Keep checking back for updates and new material!
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 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…)
by Michael J. Bielawa
One hundred and thirty years ago this autumn, in 1888, Jack the Ripper terrorized the Whitechapel neighborhood of London, England. The madman brutally murdered five women. Then vanished. Never to be heard from again. Or was he? Some 21st century Ripperologists, as Jack the Ripper investigators are dubbed, think that the unknown assailant journeyed to America. Did Jack the Ripper voyage to Bridgeport, Connecticut? (more…)