Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library

7 South Street, Litchfield, CT 06759

The Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library is open Tuesday through Friday by appointment only. Please call 860 567 4501 or email archivist@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org to schedule an appointment.

Library and object collections may be viewed in the Ching Reading Room, but do not circulate. Staff members are always available to help patrons. The library is located on the ground floor of the Noyes Memorial Building, below the Litchfield History Museum and can be accessed by the door facing East Street.

Research at the Library

Mary Wallace Peck Friendship Album

The Ingraham Memorial Library houses information about Litchfield’s 280 years of growth and change as reflected through the papers, publications, photographs, and ephemera of local residents, homes, businesses, institutions and organizations. The Library also serves as the official repository for the records of many local institutions including the Garden Club, the Litchfield Red Cross, the Junior Women’s Club and the Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter of the DAR.

Birth, death, and marriage records, as well as land and probate records, are located in the town halls of each town and are not collected by the Historical Society.

If you plan to visit the Library to conduct research, we strongly urge you to contact the Archivist at archivist@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org or
Curator at curator@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org about your visit in advance. Some items are stored off-site and require advanced notice for retrieval. If are unable to visit the Historical Society and would like us to do research for you, please see our Research Requests guidelines.

Plan your visit

On-site Research

Researchers are always welcome to the Helga J. Ingraham Library during operating hours. The staff is available to help orient library patrons to the collections and to help them find pertinent material. On-site copies of items are 25¢ per page. Researchers may photograph the items themselves on a camera, phone, or tablet free of charge.

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday through Friday – By Appointment, Call 860 567 4501

All researchers in the library are asked to follow these regulations:

  • Wash your hands prior to beginning your research. Restrooms are located in the vestibule.
  • Fill out a research form.
  • Use only pencil and acid-free bookmarks which are available on the library counter.
  • Place personal property (book bags, briefcases, purses, outerwear…) under the research table or use the lockers or coat rack available in the coat room.
  • We maintain closed stacks. Staff will retrieve and photocopy materials for you.
  • Use special care when handling archival materials.
  • Do not bend, fold, crease, write on, erase, trace, lean on or place other materials on top of manuscripts or books.
  • Alert the museum staff of materials in need of repair or attention.
  • Keep manuscript materials in the order in which they are given to you.

The Staff reserves the right to deny handling or photocopying of fragile materials.

This library respects the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). The researcher will be held liable for copyright infringement if reproductions are used other than for private study, scholarship or research. In order to obtain permission to publish or reproduce any of the materials in the collection of the Litchfield Historical Society, address a written request to the director.

Research Requests

If you are unable to visit the Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library to conduct research, you may fill out the Research Request form.

In an effort to be accessible during challenging times, we are no longer charging a $25 fee for remote research. If you would like to make a donation to help cover the costs of collecting, preserving, and providing access to Litchfield’s history enclose a check, or your credit card information with your form or donate online.

We recommend searching our online databases prior to contacting us.

Research requests are handled in order of receipt. Please allow six to eight weeks for a reply. Additional time and fees will be required for extensive or very time consuming work. The staff will send notification if this is the case.

The research fees assist the Library with the costs of making the resources available and of preserving them for future generations.

The Litchfield Historical Society is a private non-profit. We are not a government repository. Official birth, death, and marriage records, as well as land records, are located in the town halls of each town. Connecticut probate records are held in district probate courts. Vital records are NOT in the collection of the Historical Society.

The Society’s collecting mission is specific to the town of Litchfield. If you are searching for information about someone from another town, we urge you to check with that town’s repositories first.

If you wish to search our online databases prior to contacting us, see visit our Databases page for details.

Please fill out the ResearchFormRemote (PDF, 57KB) and mail or email with payment to:

Litchfield Historical Society
P.O. Box 385
Litchfield, CT 06759

Photographic Services

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to provide photo-reproductions of materials in its library and museum collections for study purposes, exhibition or publication. The Society retains all negatives and transparencies.

Written permission must be obtained from the Society to reproduce any image of any object from the collection in any form. Permission is granted for one-time use only, English language world rights and a use-fee is charged for commercial orders. Any subsequent use of materials in any media including, but not limited to, video home distribution, digitized imaging and educational use, must be requested in writing from the Society and additional fees or running royalties may be charged.

Each reproduction must be accompanied by the following credit line:
Collection of the Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield, Connecticut

Before ordering image(s), please read the Photographic Services Agreement form and Photographic Services Fee Schedule. An order form is also provided for those who know the exact image(s) they are interested in obtaining. For all other requests, please contact the Curator at curator@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.

These forms are provided in Adobe PDF format.

Photo Services Agreement (PDF, 186KB)
Photo Formats and Fees (PDF, 118KB)
Photo Services Order Form (PDF, 66KB)

Genealogy Research

The Genealogy Collection includes over 250 volumes of family histories, 500 family surname files, an index to birth, marriage and death records, and copies of church vital records. Genealogists have also found the Society’s manuscript collections useful for their research. The Society’s collections are strongest for the town of Litchfield, though we do have some materials pertaining to other towns in the county. Please also check the Guide to Local Historical and Genealogical Resources (PDF, 227KB) to find other repositories that may be able to help you.

Official birth, death, and marriage records, as well as land and probate records, are located in the town halls of each town. Information on contacting town halls can also be found in the  Guide to Local Historical and Genealogical Resources (PDF, 227KB).

Online Resources

https://archive.org/details/historyoftownofl00woodr/page/n6/mode/2up History of the town of Litchfield, Connecticut 
by Woodruff, George C 
Publication date 1845 
Publisher Litchfield, C. Adams 

https://archive.org/details/sketcheschronicl00kilb/page/n6/mode/2up  – Sketches and chronicles of the town of Litchfield, Connecticut : historical, biographical, and statistical : together with a complete official register of the town  
by Payne Kenyon Kilbourne. 
Publication date 1859 
Publisher Hartford : Press of Case, Lockwood and Co. 

https://archive.org/details/historyoftownofl1920whit/page/n9/mode/2upThe history of the town of Litchfield, Connecticut, 1720-1920. Comp for the Litchfield historical society by Alain C. White 
Publication date 1920  
Publisher Litchfield, Conn. Enquirer Print, 1920. 

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=yale.39002008719198&view=1up&seq=9  – A biographical history of the county of Litchfield, Connecticut: comprising biographical sketches of distinguished natives and residents of the county; together with complete lists of the judges of the county court, justices of the quorum, county commissioners, judges of probate, sheriffs, senators, &c. from the organization of the county to the present time.  
by Payne Kenyon Kilbourne 
Publication date 1851 
Publisher New York : Clark, Austin & Co. 

https://archive.org/details/litchfieldmorris00payn/page/n6/mode/2up  – Litchfield and Morris inscriptions; a record of inscriptions upon the tombstones in the towns of Litchfield and Morris, Ct.  
Transcribed by Charles Thomas Payne 
Publication date 1905 
Publisher Litchfield, Conn. :  D. C. Kilbourn 

https://archive.org/details/benchbaroflitchf01kilb/page/n8/mode/2upThe bench and bar of Litchfield County, Connecticut, 1709-1909 biographical sketches of members, history and catalogue of the Litchfield Law School, historical notes  
by Dwight C. Kilbourn. 
Publication date 1909 
Litchfield, Conn. : Published by the author 

https://archive.org/details/litchfieldbookof00inbosw/page/n10/mode/2upThe Litchfield book of days; a collation of the historical, biographical, and literary reminiscences of the town of Litchfield, Connecticut 
edited by George C. Boswell 
Publication date 1899 
Litchfield, A.B. Shumway 

https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3783l.la000062/?r=0.507,0.586,0.065,0.03,0 – Clark’s map of Litchfield County, Connecticut, 1859

https://collections.lib.uwm.edu/digital/collection/agdm/id/15637/rec/1 – Map of the town of Litchfield, Litchfield County, Connecticut / surveyed and drawn by E.M. Woodford ; published by Richard Clark, 1852

Connecticut’s Archives Online – Connecticut’s Archives Online (CAO) offers users a way to search across many of Connecticut’s archival repositories. If you find something in CAO, contact the repository to which the materials belong.

Email archivist@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org for archival-related inquiries.
Email curator@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org for artifact-related inquiries.
Call (860) 567-4501 to find out more about doing research.