Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Research into Connecticut's early history and people would not be complete without consulting a unique collection known as the "Connecticut Archives", 1629-1820. The "Connecticut Archives" are the papers and correspondence of the General Assembly, the Governor and Council, and other colony or state officials. Included in this collection are petitions, drafts of bills, acts, resolves, and other early government documents. They are arranged into 27 broad subject areas and then arranged mostly chronologically. Best of all, most of the Series are fully indexed! The indexes are available online in pdf form and are linked from the title below.
Colonial Boundaries, Series II, 1664-1820. (Series II index begins on page 173).Corporations, 1790-1820.
Colonial Wars, Series II, 1689-1806.* (Series II index is appended in the end of Series I. See the 3rd vol., page 205)
Foreign Correspondence, Series II, 1666-1768. (Series II index begins on page 147)Indians, Series II, 1666-1820.
Revolutionary War, Series II, 1756-1856.* (There is no complete index for this Series).Susquehanna Settlers 1771-1797and Western Lands 1783-1819, Series II.
The “Connecticut Archives” are files of the General Assembly up to 1820 and consist of two series. About 1845 Sylvester Judd, author of the History of Hadley, Massachusetts, selected and arranged documents up to the year 1790 then in the custody of the Secretary of the State into one hundred and twenty-two volumes. This "First Series" of papers remained in the custody of the Secretary of the State until the first State Librarian was appointed in 1854. They were moved to the present State Library/Supreme Court Building after its completion in 1910. Additional documents from 1790 through 1820 were transferred from the office of the Secretary of the State when the new State Library and Supreme Court building was occupied, and, along with documents of the earlier period omitted from the First Series by Mr. Judd, were arranged by State Library staff to create the “Second Series”.
Within each series, most of what were originally loose documents have been bound in large folio volumes, numbered, and indexed.
Originals: 303 volumes, 66 boxes, and 55 index volumes. These volumes are subject to the Guidelines on Use of Restricted Original Archival Records and are available for use only if the microfilm is not legible.
Microfilms: Films of all series are arranged alphabetically by series title in a cabinet in the History and Genealogy Reading Room. The State Library is currently in the process of cataloging the Connecticut Archives; not all series are currently in the catalog. Information on those that have been cataloged may be found by doing a "Keyword" search, for example, "Connecticut Archives Court Papers", or "Connecticut Archives Crimes Misdemeanors", or "Connecticut Archives Indians". As the films are cataloged, "Copy 2" becomes available for use through Interlibrary Loan.
Those series marked with an asterisk (*) in the list above were filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and are available for use through LDS Family History Centers. Film numbers are shown in the LDS Family History Catalog. The easiest access is through an "Author" search on "Judd, Sylvester" and then selecting the appropriate "Connecticut Archives" series.
Films not currently available on Interlibrary Loan or through Family History Centers must be used at the State Library. The State Library staff does not search or provide copies from microfilmed records, but a list of Professional Genealogists Familiar with Connecticut State Library Collections who will make copies of microfilmed records for a fee is available.
Indexes: Bound and slip indexes to the Connecticut Archives are available for use in the History and Genealogy Reading Room. Documents are indexed by locality, subject and by names of individuals. The index entries provide volume, document numbers, and page numbers. Images of several of the bound indexes are available online through the State Library's Digital Collections page and linked from the Connecticut Archives Series title in the list above. Separate indexes are also found at the front of most of the original Connecticut Archives volumes and are included on the microfilms.
Related Resources: For additional pre-1820 Colony and State records, see Connecticut's "Early General Records".
Prepared by Connecticut State Library staff. Revised July 2003, November 2008, February 2010. ©2003.