The Connecticut Historical Society

Connecticut Historical Society

The Connecticut Historical Society is one of the nation’s oldest private, nonprofit educational institutions and the official historical society of the state. It was founded in 1825. More than 4 million manuscripts, illustrations, books, artifacts, and other historical materials are housed in the collection of the Connecticut Historical Society’s museum, library, and Edgar F. Waterman Research Center. 

Mission and Vision

  According to the document of Connecticut Historical Strategic Plan, they state their mission as

 “We cultivate a deep understanding of the history and culture of Connecticut, and its  role in America and the world, through reflection of the past, active engagement with the present, and innovation for the future through our collections, research, educational programs, and exhibitions.”

Making Connecticut Exhibit: View of 1865-1918 Kitchen
CHS-Making Connecticut Exhibit: View of 1865-1918 Kitchen

CHS has made it a priority to connect Hartford residents to both Connecticut’s history and to one another through a shared understanding of history. CHS’s public programs benefit schools, families, teachers, researchers, and other interested parties. CHS is now actively working to bring the stories of Connecticut’s people to life by engaging the entire state in conversations about Connecticut’s past, present, and future. CHS recognizes the opportunity to influence Connecticut’s communities by promoting historical and cultural perspectives as essential tools for relating to others, forming communities, and making sound decisions while working with a diverse audience.

Our Community Partners 

Ilene Frank (

Ilene Frank serves as the Chief Curator at the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS), located in Hartford, a position she has held since June 2015. In that role she brings more than 20 years of experience working in museums to provide strategic leadership, guiding the CHS’s mission-related work, and collaborating with community organizations.

She oversees the exhibitions, education, collections, and folklife departments. In the fall of 2021, she led the effort to launch the new Community History Project furthering the work the CHS does in collaboration with the diverse communities of Connecticut.

For her work, the Connecticut Historical Society has received awards from the Connecticut League of History Organizations, the American Association of State and Local History, and Ms. Frank received a Woman in Business award in 2021 from the Hartford Business Journal.

Previously, Ms. Frank served as the Executive Director for the Rensselaer County Historical Society, now known as the Hart-Cluett Museum in Troy, NY. She has also worked for the Schenectady Museum & Planetarium, now known as MiSci, in Schenectady, NY, the McFaddin-Ward House in Beaumont, TX and Historic St. Mary’s City in St. Mary’s City, MD.

Andrea Rapacz (

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