The Barbour Collection
of CT Vital Records is a listing by town of records from the mid-1600s through 1850. Lucius B. Barbour, the CT Examiner of Public Records, from 1911 to 1934, directed the collection of these vital records, which include births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths.
The G&LH Room has the entire Barbour Collection, along with an index of the towns included. These blue, soft-cover volumes are arranged alphabetically by towns, and several towns appear in most volumes. If a town is not included, a listing of their vital records most likely existed in another publication at the time that The Barbour Collection was compiled. The volume and page number, which is listed after each entry, refers to the vital records registry of the town from which a record was taken.
The information that appears in the Barbour Collection is generally all that was included in the original entry. Not every record and every year is included, so visit the Town Clerk's office, in the town in which an event took place, to search further.
The Gilbert Home
The G&LH Room has several excellent books and notebooks containing information about The Gilbert Home for Friendless Children and its founder William L. Gilbert. The notebooks contain newspaper clippings, essays, editorials, images, remembrances, and excerpts from books, journals, and much more. We also have a partial index of children who attended The Gilbert Home, which was compiled by researchers Cheryl and Chris Klemmer.
For further info about The Gilbert Home, please contact Verna Gilson, at Beardsley Library, the media specialist at The Gilbert School, in Winsted, the Winchester Town Clerk's office, or the Winchester Historical Society.
The G&LH Room has a very large collection of CT history books, as well as books on other states. Genealogy books and cemetery records are also included in this collection, as are biographical sketches of prominent CT individuals and families.
"The Cornelio Legacy" - A 1948 Film of Winsted
Mr. Carmine (Carmello) Cornelio left Floridia, Italy, in 1903, to come to America. He settled in Winsted, worked as a laborer and stonemason, and eventually opened a service station and Oldsmobile dealership. In 1948, Cornelio decided to visit his 96-year old mother and family in Italy. Before departing, he hired a camera crew to film Winsted, so he could share the contributions of his fellow Italians with family “back home.” Seven years later, much of what appeared in the film was washed away by the flood of '55.
The Cornelio Legacy film offers a poignant view of a typical American town, and its Italian community, in the 1940s.
The first public screening of the film was held in May of 1998, at Northwestern Connecticut Community Technical College. The silent film was shown with piano accompaniment, and a program listed many of the people and places that appeared. The film was eventually made available to the public on VHS and DVD format. The Beardsley Library has copies of "The Cornelio Legacy" for loan in both formats.
Facts Sheets - "Genealogy at a Glance" Series
These fact sheets are published by the Genealogical Publishing Company. They are 4-page laminated folders that cover a wide range of topics. The “Genealogy at a Glance” series is designed to cover the basic elements of a genealogy research topic in a compact format. Each topic has been compiled by respected authorities, packs a great deal of information in a limited amount of space, and focuses on key sources for further research.
Some topics in the series include:
The G&LH Room has an extensive collection of research guides, with topics such as: researching newspapers, houses, and "famous" ancestors, reading fire insurance maps, deciphering old handwriting, dating photographs, and much more. Many of these guides circulate.
Town History Books
Most towns in Connecticut that have a published town history are represented in this collection. These books are shelved by county and are for reference use only. Many of the 169 cities and towns in CT are represented.
Town History Files
CT town history files are stored in the vertical file cabinets and represent many towns in Litchfield county and other counties in the state. They are for reference use only, but pages may be photocopied. These files include maps, newspaper articles, photos, pamphlets and more. There are even some MA towns included.
Wars & Oral History
The G&LH Room has a very extensive collection of books on the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI and WWII (including a 2004 oral history project) and other military conflicts. Records compiled by the CT Adjutant General's Office on the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and WWI offer a great deal of information about CT soldiers and battles fought. We also have research guides on locating military records, identifying uniforms, re-enacting, and more related topics.
Yearbooks & Alumni Books
The G&LH Room has yearbooks for The Gilbert School and Northwestern Regional School #7, as well as alumni books for The Gilbert School. Not every year is available, so we welcome additions to this collection. These are frequently referenced resources.
To Access the Library’s Digital Archives
1) Go to www.beardsleylibrary.org and click Digital Archives on the home page.
This will open a Local History webpage describing the Digital Archives collection.
2) Select one of the following collections to search, then click: Access the
Community History Archive Home Page.
3) Click the Home icon, on the Community History Archive screen, to access
the “Digital Archives of Beardsley & Memorial Library” search page.
4) Choose one of these search options:
Browse by Title and/or Browse by Year, or
Enter a Search Term and/or Date Range
5) To execute a search, click the Enter key. Search results will be highlighted in blue.
6) To edit a search, click Refine Search. Use + or – to add or remove search terms.
7) To select a different resource, click Title, Decade, Year, and/or Filter.
8) To return to Search, select the home icon on the menu bar.
Note: If a search result is difficult to decipher, click on the underlined title of the source. This will open a view of the original publication and allow page-by-page access.
Original page numbers may not match those that appear in the digital images, so check citations for accuracy.
The digital resources are “word searchable,” so try different word combinations.
For a complete listing of our historical digital resources, go to the Local History tab, on the library’s webpage, and select Digital Archives.
See Resources, on the Community History Archive home page, for: Overview, How to Use, Tips, and Tutorials.