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Library &
Resources

Whether you are looking for information on historic figures of New Canaan, property, rural cemeteries, a business or organization, Center School, town events, or architecture and antiques, the Museum’s Library is the place to go. With more than 3500 books, a digitized newspaper collection, and hundreds of subject files and vintage photographs, there is no shortage of resources to explore.

Michael Murphy

Librarian & Archivist

Schedule an individual appointment

The Library is open Tuesday-Friday 9:30-4:30 and is located in the Society’s headquarters, the Town House, 13 Oenoke Ridge Road, New Canaan.

The New Canaan Historical Society maintains a large, well-focused research library of more than 3,500 volumes, specializing in local history, regional history, and genealogy. The Library also includes an extensive collection of manuscripts, deeds, old newspapers, photographs, Colonial era documents, indexes of local businesses, town tax and real estate records, and more.

Aiding researchers, and maintaining and adding to the collection, are among our most important responsibilities, and we carry them out with the utmost care.

The Library specializes in genealogy. Our collection includes family records not just from New Canaan but from Stamford and Norwalk, as well as from Pound Ridge, N.Y., all of which historically had family and political connections to New Canaan. We also have genealogical volumes from a large number of Connecticut towns where New Canaan families settled.

For a nominal fee, our librarian can assist you in your individual research, either on-site or on-line. We will gladly provide a half hour of free research help, after which our minimum charge is $25 to respond to inquiries and provide library orientation for non-Society members. The fee for additional research by our staff is $30 an hour.

For Society members, we provide library orientation and up to three research inquiries a year free of charge (click above for membership information). You are also welcome to use our collections to conduct your own research. We kindly request a suitable donation for the use of our materials. Complete information about fees is available from our librarian.

Museum Services

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Librarian

The Library is open Tuesday-Friday 9:30am – 4:30pm. An appointment is strongly recommended.

The Librarian is available to answer questions or assist with research during those times. If you would like research done for you, please email Mike Murphy at mmurphy@nchistory.org. A research fee will apply.

The facilities at the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society are available for rental.

Plaque Program

Do you live in an historic home? If you would like an historical report on your home, complete with information about past owners and an assessment of noteworthy architectural details, please contact us. The fee is $450 plus the cost of a plaque.

RECORDS

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The New Canaan Museum & Historical Society holds biographical cards on New Canaan residents dating from the early 1700s, property files on houses by address, digitized collections of The New Canaan Advertiser, as well as its predecessor, The Messenger, the digitized collection of Early American Newspapers donated by Newsbank, as well as records from a number of New Canaan organizations. It also has an extensive collection of books, articles and other materials relating to mid-century modern houses in New Canaan, including a comprehensive index of all houses that have since been demolished.

DIGITIZED NEWSPAPERS

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Thanks to a generous gift from Newsbank, the Museum has access to the local New canaan newspapers – the Messenger and the Advertiser – as well as Early American Newspapers, a collection of more than 30,000 papers from around the country.

NEW CANAAN HISTORICAL HOMES

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Lists and records on New Canaan homes over 100 years old, Drummond Visitation homes, Landmark Homes, as well as the Historic District, are on file at the Museum.

MID-CENTURY MODERN ARCHITECTURE

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The NCM&HS has been on the forefront of educating visitors about the importance of mid-century modern architecture, and on preserving this important part of New Canaan's architectural landscape. In addition to the Modern Home Survey and dozens of books, the NCM&HS has documents, video footage, presentations, and other materials about the architects, designers, and buildings available for research and review.

LANDMARK ORNAMENTS

The Landmark Ornaments commemorate New Canaan’s past and present buildings, as well as favorite institutions and family events such as caroling on God’s Acre. For more than forty years, a dedicated group of volunteers has made each one. Faith Kerchoff, who chairs the “Crafty Tuesday” group of artisans designs the set of ornaments each year. The thought, care and work that goes into the process is astounding. The uniformity seems impossible for something hand-painted, and yet each is perfect. The Museum is the grateful recipient of both the annual additions to its tree as well as the proceeds from all the ornament sales.

Thanks to the Crafty Tuesday group, including: Faith Kerchoff, John Kerchoff, Judy Gilroy, Yvonne Hunkeler, Tracey Karl, Anna Kolikowski, Toni-Ann Vittoria, Gunilla Lawrie, Tucker Murphy, Rosa Palladino, Charill Pierce, and Judy Wiley.

Ornaments are $20 a piece. Both current year and past years are available for sale in the Town House.