Hamden Historical Society Library

Welcome to our Archives Research Info Notable Archive Collections  Publications for Sale Personnel


Tuesdays 10am-11:30am
Thursdays 1pm-4pm

If you wish to make a personal appointment with the archivist, you can email him directly at joepepe1@comcast.net

John Hampden, 1594-1643

Hamden was separated from New Haven and incorporated as an independent town in 1786. According to tradition, 

the name chosen for the new town honored John Hampden, the English statesman and cousin of Oliver Cromwell, who was killed in a battle of the civil war. 

He was a popular hero of the Puritan founders of the New Haven Colony, the  forebears of the majority of Hamden residents in 1786.




Preserving the Past

Welcome to The Hamden Historical Society Library

The Hamden Historical Society sponsors our room known as the Hamden History Room. The collection in the room is known as the Hamden Historical Society Library. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and make available historical materials relating directly and significantly to Hamden. This Historical Society Library, inaugurated in 1984, provides a safe, central place to research Hamden’s past. It is the only facility in Hamden dedicated for these purposes. The Library’s holdings are listed on reQuest, a statewide database catalogue of materials in over 130 Connecticut Libraries, and in the National Union Catalogue of Manuscript Collections. The Library is staffed by one part-time professional archivist and assisted by trained volunteer catalogue specialists.

Welcome to our Archives!

Our archives contain family, government and other related historic records. We have texts and manuscripts for research into Hamden's past and present. Our existing records are continually developed with additional documents from donors interested in preserving Hamden's past.

There are records for historical, sociological and genealogical research. Our earliest records date back to 1730. Church records, family narratives and early town records are available for your research.







Can you research here?

Yes! You may research our archives without charge. We encourage you to come in and research the records yourself. The Archives are open to researchers on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 12:00, and Thursdays from 1:00 to 4:00. Some exceptions to these hours may be made by special arrangement, please call (203) 281-6426. Appointments are necessary because of our limited space and equipment. Please call (203) 287-2686, History Room extension #37 to schedule an appointment. There will be charges for copying material. 

What we can research

We are happy to do the research for you. All records are available to be searched. Our Hamden Historical Society, a nonprofit organization, offers this research to the public. There will be nominal charges for copying material and donations for research. 

We can respond to requests for more specific information.

An example such as, "Please search for the founding date and governing board members of the Hamden Free Public Library." Another example would be, "Please check for the burial records of my great-grandparents William and Anna Hudson. William died in 1881 and Anna died in 1900.

What we cannot research

Since we do not have a computerized database and because many of our records are handwritten, and many of the early records are hard to read --- each record has to be individually read. With that in mind...

We cannot respond to requests for general searches.

Those would include a request for all records on a certain surname or all records on a certain family during a large time span or within a general locality. For example, we cannot respond to such a  request such as, "Please send me information on the Webb family in the 1800's..."

What we need from you

To facilitate research, please supply us with approximate dates (within 10 years) of the event, locations (neighborhoods)  where the subject(s) lived, background of the family members or organization and other relevant information. 

Please send the information you do know to us by email or by letter.










The Hamden Historical Society Library

Miller Memorial Cultural Center 

2901 Dixwell Avenue

Hamden, CT 06518


Archive Collections

Since its inception, the Historical Society Library has received and catalogued hundreds of collections, including the following most widely used records: 

The Mount Carmel Ecclesiastical Society

The Sleeping Giant Park Association

The Hamden Chamber of Commerce records

The Webb Family collection

Rachel Hartley files

Thornton Wilder collection

The Leatherman collection

The Rectory School records

Golden Bells collection

The Farmington Canal records

Hamden: Our Architectural Heritage collection

The Hamden Historical Society records

Hamden Historic Districts collection

Hamden Schools and Board of Education records

Mount Carmel Free Public Library and Hamden Public Library collections

There are over 80 distinct collections and within each collection there are hundreds of documents catalogued and preserved for research. The Library has many texts on state, region and local history, volumes of agency and government publications, directories of services and several historical society publications. Regional and town maps from 1854, gravesite directories, family and personal narratives, Bibles, diaries and ledgers from the early families in Hamden are also catalogued in our archives.


Publications for Sale

The History Room has for sale several interesting works and items. Patrons can come to the History Room and purchase any of the following books or items:

1. Hamden: Our Architectural Heritage  by Martha Becker and Nancy Davis Sachse.   

2. Born Among The Hills by Nancy Davis Sachse.   

3. Hamden Historical Society Publications articles written by local historians. 

a.    “Farmington Canal  Northampton Canal 1822-1847”   by A. J. Ralph

b.     “William James Linton”  by William Todd

c.      “The Rectory School”   by Winter H. Everest

d.      “Colonel Thaddeus Cook—A Hero of Saratoga”  by William Todd

e.       “Some Early Mills of Hamden”  by B. M. Harris

f.        “Chauncey Bradley Ives, Sculptor”  by William Todd

g.       “Early Education in Hamden”  by A.J. Ralph

h.       “Early Industries in Connecticut”   by A. J. Ralph

i.         “A Sketch of Hamden History”  by A. J. Ralph

4. Christmas Tree Ornaments of Historic Sites

5. Posters of The Sleeping Giant.