Holocaust Memorial at the Mandell JCC in West Hartford and plaster model of same sculpture. Elbert Weinberg collection, Hartford History Center, Hartford Public Library.

Hartford Spotlights

Portrait of a Hartford Artist

Hartford Public Library is now home to four Elbert Weinberg original sculptures - and by no mere coincidence.
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Collection Spotlight: Photographs

Many people come to the History Center hoping to get a glimpse of Hartford in years past. We have several photograph collections that can help them do just that. To make it easier for patrons to browse our collections, most of the photographs have been photocopied.
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Visiting the Hartford History Center, Part IV

This is the final installment in our special series for American Archives Month. We welcome any further questions you may have. Please email or call us (860.695.6297) anytime. We will respond during our open hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 1-5PM.
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Visiting the Hartford History Center, Part III

Everyone is welcome to research in the History Center, regardless of whether you have a clearly defined topic when you first visit. Many times, if you tell us about your interests, we can point you to a collection likely to spark some ideas. Another way to formulate your ideas is to browse our subject files. Housed in the black file cabinets to the side of the entry door, the subject files have information on a variety of Hartford people, places, and ideas. Most of the information will be secondary sources, such as magazine articles about the topic.
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Gearing up for Women’s History Month: Gwen Reed

As we trade our Valentine's red for St. Patrick's green, we also move from Black History Month to Women's History Month. Warm up to the subject with Hartford's beloved Gwen Reed...
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“A Survey of the City of Hartford, 1790″

"A Survey of the City of Hartford," manuscript drawn by Solomon Porter, 1790. 54 ½ inches by 41 inches. Hartford History Center, Hartford Public Library.
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Hartford Spotlight

In a season of flowers, the “Sweet Singer of Hartford” floats over the Hartford History Center and reminds us that Lydia Huntley Sigourney, who loved flowers and once compared her daughter to a “thornless rose,” is still worthy of study and attention. Born the daughter of a gardener in Norwich, Lydia Sigourney became a gifted educator and America’s best-selling poet during the first half of the 19th century, and by speaking directly to the hearts of antebellum American women, she became one of the nation’s first women to earn a living from her writing.
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Cap and Gown for an Innovator

In 1882, Caroline M. Hewins had been a librarian in Hartford for only six years when, through a fledgling group called the American Library Association, she sent a questionnaire to twenty-five libraries around the country and asked: “What are you doing to encourage a love of reading in boys and girls?” A devoted reader since early childhood, Bostonian Hewins came to Hartford in 1876 to serve as the librarian of the Young Men’s Institute library, a precursor to what became the Hartford Public Library, and then housed at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Miss Hewins stayed with the library for the next fifty years, and oversaw its transformation from a lending library that charged fees into the free Hartford Public Library, complete with resources for children.
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Women’s History Month – March 2011

Ella G. Brown attended Hartford Public Schools, studied Education and Sociology at Virginia State University and, two decades later, received a master’s degree from the University of Hartford. In 1943, she became Connecticut’s first African American policewoman when she joined the Hartford Police Department.
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Women’s History Month

Gwen Reed came to Hartford as the daughter of a migrant farm worker and grew up to become a beloved actress, storyteller and teacher. In June 1937, Reed debuted on stage in a small role as “1st lady” in “Trilogy in Black,” a production of the Connecticut Federal Theatre Project’s Negro Unit. She went on to act in “The Emperor Jones,” “The World We Live In,” “Mississippi Rainbow,” and “One Third of a Nation,” becoming a Federal Theatre favorite.
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Hours and Locations

Hartford History Center, located on the third floor of the Downtown Hartford Public Library, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 1:00-5:00 p.m., and by appointment.