Connecticut Historic Preservation Collection
Scope and Content
The collection consists of archaeological surveys, historical and architectural surveys, documentation studies of properties, and maps, produced for the Connecticut Historical Commission by archaeologists and historians. Other materials include books, CDs, posters, and pamphlets.
Most of the historical and architectural surveys were completed by selected towns in the state to inventory properties they deemed historical and noteworthy. These surveys often determined which properties would be eligible for submission to the National Register of Historic Places. Please note that the forms for the NRHP submissions are not kept with the CHPC; they are kept at Connecticut's Division of Culture and Tourism, in Hartford.
The Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) describes the archaeological survey process in this manner:
The National Historic Preservation Act mandates that all federally funded, assisted, licensed and/or permitted projects be reviewed by the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office. As such, they review 1,200 to 1,500 proposed projects annually and, depending upon specific project location, will require the federal agency (or permit applicant) to employ a professional archaeological consultant to conduct appropriate historic and archaeological studies. Approximately seventy percent of the archaeological reports are generated from the federal review process.
The Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) mandates that state agencies coordinate with SHPO regarding the consideration of historic and archaeological resources as part of project planning and development. Unlike the federal process, state agency assisted, permitted or licensed projects are exempt from the historical commission's review. It is only when the state agency proposes an action (such as, for example, a new campus building, changes in a state park, construction of a new prison) that SHPO has an opportunity to review and comment. Also, any proposed archaeological investigation on state lands (whether CEPA-related or academic research) requires a permit from the office. About ten percent of the CHPC archaeological reports are generated in this manner.
About thirty town governments have enacted Planning and Zoning regulations that require developers to consult with the State Archaeologist regarding archaeological sensitivity of proposed subdivisions. In turn, the State Archaeologist may require the developer to hire an archaeological consultant. Also, towns have chosen to require archaeological surveys, irrespective of its regulations, for especially complex or controversial projects as an important way to gather additional information about a proposed development area. This generates about ten percent of CHPC reports.
The last ten percent represents projects that tribal governments, town governments, and/or private property owners have commissioned to acquire baseline data about their respective properties. Other surveys may be generated as academic research projects (thesis-related).
[Thanks to David Poirier, former Staff Archeologist of the Connecticut Historical Commission, for the above description of the survey process.]
Documentation studies are generated when a federal or Connecticut-funded project has to take into account its affects on historical archeaological resources. The studies document the "before" structure or when changes in the structure mitigate adverse effects of changing or destroying the building. If the building is considered irreplaceable or very important historically then the State Historic Preservation Office decides whether or not to allow the project to proceed.
The collection is open and available for research.
Restrictions on Use
Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.
The Connecticut Historical Commission was established in 1955 as a state agency, and was mandated when the National Historic Preservation Act required every state to appoint a State Historic Preservation Officer and establish a State Historic Preservation Office. In 2003 Connecticut established the Division on Culture and Tourism which combined the state's historical commission, the Commission on the Arts, the Film Office and the Tourism Office. The division administers the State Register of Historic Places as well as federally funded National Register-based programs designed to identify, register, and protect the buildings, sites, structures, districts, and objects that comprise and define Connecticut's cultural heritage. The CHC also possesses regulatory authority for all archaeological studies undertaken on state lands or within state-administered waters.
200 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Office of Connecticut State Archaeology are the lead agencies for the preservation of the state's archaeological and architectural historic heritage. This guide provides references to documentary, architectural and archaeological survey reports conducted in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations regarding cultural resource protection, provided by SHPO, and is intended to provide researchers with an overview of the available literature and completed surveys. The surveys are organized by the 169 Connecticut towns, as well as sections for Statewide, Regional or Thematic surveys, and thereunder within four catagories of types of surveys -- Historical and Architectural, Archaeological, Documentation Studies, and Maps. Other materials include books, CDs, posters, and pamphlets.
The listing of the surveys and studies are arranged alphabetically by Connecticut town and thereunder by historic and architectural survey, archaeological survey, documentation study, and maps. Cities in the state of Connecticut are considered dependent municipalities, meaning they are located within and subordinate to a town. All but one -- Groton, Connecticut -- of the currently existing cities in Connecticut are consolidated with their parent town. Winsted is an incorporated city but administered within the town of Winchester. Former cities include South Norwalk, which is consolidated in the town of Norwalk; Rockville, which is a census-designated place and a village in the town of Vernon; and Willimantic, a census-designated place in the town of Windham. Information about villages within towns (ex. Storrs is a village of the town of Mansfield) can be found within the literature about the town.
Historical and Architectural Surveys and Documentation Studies should be requested by town and title of survey or study, or title only. Archaeological surveys are each given an item number (ex. CHPC no. 756). Maps are organized by town.
The surveys, studies, books, and other materials, were initially donated by the Connecticut Historical Commission in 1984. Additions to the surveys are made on a continuing basis, as they are generated by the archeaologists and historians who provide them for the State Historic Preservation Office.
Location of Copies or Alternate Formats
Digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository
- Archaeology Subject Source: Fast
- Blueprints (reprographic copies). Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Connecticut (state) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- Historic buildings Subject Source: Fast
- Histories Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- History Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Maps (documents) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Monographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Photocopies Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Posters Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Publications (documents) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Connecticut Historic Preservation Collection
- Archives & Special Collections staff
- 2010 April
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- 2018 April: Revised for consistency.