Materials that document, preserve, and explore the rich history of the area originally known as Lyme have many repositories. In addition to the resources available at the Florence Griswold Museum and elsewhere in town, the collections at regional archives, libraries, and museums provide a wealth of information about a shared past.
Chester Historical Society
The Chester Historical Society and its Chester Museum at the Mill promote interest in the town of Chester’s four-century evolution as a settled community. Located in a mid-1800s mill site, the Society acquires, interprets, preserves, and displays historic artifacts and records related to the community. Its collections include documents, photographs, textiles, and objects related to the town’s shipbuilding, agricultural, and industrial past as well as the papers and photographs of individual families and industries.
Connecticut River Museum
The Connecticut River Museum, housed in an 1878 Steamboat Warehouse building on the Essex docks, examines the history of the Connecticut River Valley and its people. The museum collects and preserves manuscripts, books, photographs, art, and artifacts of regional significance.
East Haddam Historical Society Museum
The East Haddam Historical Society Museum, comprised of three joined buildings dating back to the early 1900s, brings local history to life through photos, life-sized displays, portraits, detailed maps, costumes, postcards, antique tools, and other historic paraphernalia. Among the highlights of the museum are a photographic display of the rise and fall of the Industrial Age in Moodus Village, Native American artifacts dating to 1300 B.C., a photographic exhibit of the building of the East Haddam swing bridge, and a collection of changing fashions with period costumes on display.
East Lyme Historical Society
The East Lyme Historical Society supports the understanding and appreciation of East Lyme and its heritage. It collects and preserves historic books, photographs, and documents; engages in local history research; encourages the preservation and restoration of historic houses and burying grounds; and publishes books that explore East Lyme’s past.
Godfrey Memorial Library
The Godfrey Memorial Library in Middletown promotes the study of family history. Its collection of nearly 200,000 books and periodicals includes state, local, and family histories as well as church, cemetery, and military records. The library also makes historical and genealogical materials available using electronic media.
Florence Griswold Museum (Lyme Historical Society Archives)
The Lyme Historical Society Archives at the Florence Griswold Museum encompass correspondence, photographs, publications, and other records documenting the history of the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme. The archival collection includes Lyme and Old Lyme town papers; business records; local family papers; personal papers of Florence Griswold and members of the Lyme Art Colony; records of the Lyme Art Association; and papers of the Florence Griswold Museum.
Lyme Public Hall Association
The Lyme Public Hall Association is dedicated to the appreciation of Lyme’s history, culture and community. Its archives preserve papers of individuals and families from Lyme as well as historical records of local organizations, churches, and the town. The collection includes photographs, postcards, maps, manuscripts, memoirs, oral histories, house histories, and genealogy sources.
Mystic Seaport and Museum
Mystic Seaport and Museum preserves the history of the American maritime past. Its collections, which can be searched online, include art and objects, rare books and ships’ registers, maps and charts, photographs and ships’ plans, manuscripts and periodicals.
New London County Historical Society
The New London County Historical Society, located in the granite mansion of merchant Nathaniel Shaw, is the oldest historical organization in Eastern Connecticut. Its research collections include historic newspapers dating to 1758, wills and property transactions, diaries and account books, photographs and historic maps, as well as extensive genealogy and family history resources.
New London Maritime Society
The New London Maritime Society protects and preserves New London’s U.S. Custom House and the New London Harbor Light. Its museum, located in the historic Customs House near the mouth of the Thames River, promotes and interprets the maritime life and history of the port of New London and the surrounding region through exhibitions and educational programs.
Old Lyme Historical Society
The Old Lyme Historical Society preserves and analyzes Old Lyme’s social, civic, economic, and political past. It actively collects documents, photographs, and artifacts; produces exhibits; conducts an oral history project; offers cemetery tours; and publishes a series of books that tell stories about Old Lyme.
Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library
The Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library houses an extensive local history collection and provides a wide-ranging resource for historians and genealogy researchers. The collection includes county and town histories, family genealogies and memorials, records of the First Congregational Church, and public records of the Colony of Connecticut.
Old Saybrook Historical Society
The Old Saybrook Historical Society investigates, preserves, and maintains collections in archeology, furniture, genealogy, and historic records of the Town of Old Saybrook. The Stevenson Archive and Library contains books, maps, ledgers, diaries, documents, photographs, newspapers, mid-20th century newsreels, genealogical material, architectural histories, and cemetery records.