Teacher Tips for Visiting the Museum of Connecticut History
A visit to the Museum of Connecticut History lets students discover the events, personalities and objects that have helped shape our state, local and national history. The following Teacher Tips will help make your visit more enjoyable for both you and your students.
- Before you arrive at the museum remember that no backpacks will be allowed in the building unless they contain emergency medical supplies.
- When you arrive at the museum please have the group remain outside while your group leader notifies building security of your arrival. All members of your group will be required to pass through a metal detector before entering the building. (remember, we share our space with the Supreme Court) A Supreme Court police officer will give you instructions regarding the procedures for passing through the metal detector. Please make sure that all members of your party pay attention to the officers instructions.
- When you enter the building please remember that this is a Library and Court area and staff members expect a quiet environment to do their work. Voices and squeaky shoes carry very easily so remind your students of this in respect of those working here.
- In the Museum pictures are allowed and encouraged. Food, drink, gum are not! Pests that snack on these might also snack on our collections so the best way to keep them out is to keep food out. Also cell phones and beepers are not allowed unless they are on silent mode. Finally, to keep the museum and visitors safe no running or horseplay is allowed.
- A museum staff member, if available, will greet your group in the museum and provide a brief orientation for your group. Currently no guided tours are available.
- The museum is handicapped accessible. Please contact Patrick Smith at 860-757-6693 with any questions regarding this.
A museum staff member, if available, will greet your group in the museum and provide a short orientation for your group. Currently no guided tours are available.
In the museum, the first room you will enter will be Memorial Hall. This grand and visually beautiful room holds the Governors Portraits Collection, the Connecticut Freedom Trail Quilt, the Mitchelson Coin Collection and documents including Connecticut’s Royal Charter of 1662.
Currently there are 71 portraits of former Governors on display including such Connecticut notables as Jonathan Trumbull, Roger Sherman Baldwin, Morgan Bulkeley, Ella Grasso and John Rowland. The only non-Governor who’s portrait is on exhibit is that of King Charles II. (He gave the colony of Connecticut the Royal Charter in 1662). Encourage students to note the many differences in the paintings including clothing, background and posture of the Governors.
Students wishing to learn more about the lore and legend of the Charter and Charter Oak can do so in the exhibit Liberties and Legends which is also in Memorial Hall. The Royal Charter of 1662, perhaps our state’s most famous document, is located at the far end of Memorial Hall.
The Mitchelson Coin Collection is one of the best collections of American coins in the world. The collection includes examples of every coin minted in the United States. The sampling of coins on display spans the period from the 17th century to the present.
Leaving Memorial Hall, your group can visit either the Connecticut Collections exhibit or the Colt Firearms Collection exhibit. The Connecticut Collections exhibit is a sampling of the museums vast holdings of Connecticut related political, industrial and military objects. Here you will find the state’s official copies of the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution and Articles of Confederation in the political area. Industrial objects include a sampling of the many thousands of products manufactured in Connecticut, from clocks to typewriters and lots of others in between. Military items feature flags, portraits, weapons and memorabilia from the colonial wars to the present.
The Colt Collection is one of the finest assemblages of Colt prototype and experimental firearms in the world. The exhibit includes revolving pistols, Gatling guns, shotguns, automatic weapons and more. Also featured are original patent drawing and marketing materials which made Hartford based Colt the leading firearms company in the world.