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Clothing &

This truly exceptional collection is second only to
the Connecticut Historical Society in state-wide importance.

This collection contains more than 5000 pieces from 240 years: dozens of hats, many in their original hat boxes, hundreds of pairs of shoes, more than 100 wedding dresses, many of which have photographs of the bride, military uniforms, kimonos, furs, coats, evening and day attire, jewelry and accessories, parasols, undergarments and nightgowns, plus boxes and boxes of infant and children clothing.

The textiles in the collection include dozens of quilts, including an 1987 silk cigar ribbon quilt, lace, and ribbons.

Pieces in the collection have come primarily from New Canaan donors. Records are spotty. Some pieces have detail on when it was worn, who made it, or who owned it. For other pieces, there is no information at all. Many of the pieces are in pristine condition. Others are in need of repair.

By the winter of 2022, the collection will be digitized. This will allow researchers, designers, and fashion enthusiasts to explore the collection and locate particular items.

We are excited to announce that construction on the Jim and Dede Bartlett Center for New Canaan History is underway! Events will occur as scheduled, but because of the logistical challenges in the main building, the portrait exhibition is available by appointment only. Please contact