diaryThe Shaw Mansion contains a research library of original manuscripts and reference materials for those interested in the history of New London County. Research is by appointment only.


The newspaper collection, useful to both the historian and genealogist, is one of the largest in the state. It concentrates on New London County, with some out of county issues. The earliest newspaper in the collection (a photostat) dates from 1758, but coverage is spotty until the mid-1800s, when newspapers seemed to publish more consistently and for longer stretches of time. The regular series of our newspapers ends in 1904, with scattered issues of various papers, mostly commemoratives, after that year.


  • Wills
  • Property transactions
  • Justice of the peace and tax records
  • Ship registers and logs
  • Diaries, correspondence
  • Minutes of societies
  • Account books

Some collections of particular note include

  • Historian Frances M. Caulkins genealogical and historical notes
  • The Nathaniel Shaw, Jr. papers, including microfilm of those originals held at Yale University.

Scrapbooks include

  • The R.B. Wall scrapbooks of his articles on New London, written in the early 1900s.
  • Scrapbooks kept by civic leaders and politicians during the early 20th century
  • The Wies collection dealing with urban renewal in New London

Reference works include

  • New London City Directories from 1853
  • The Records and Papers series of both the colony and state of Connecticut
  • Governors’ papers published by the Connecticut Historical Society
  • Connecticut Registers from 1785
  • Town and county histories
  • Church histories
  • Historic maps

For those interested in family history research, please see our genealogy section.