Our Collections

The Ridgefield Historical Society is dedicated to collecting photos, documents, and objects that tell a story about the history of Ridgefield. Since 2002, when the collections originated, the Historical Society’s diligent volunteers have carefully preserved over 10,000 pieces of Ridgefield’s past that are stored in archival materials and placed in our climate controlled vault beneath the Scott House.

Past Perfect Online Archive

Many of the materials in our collections are searchable online through our Past Perfect online archive, which is a virtual “portal” into our physical archives. If you are looking for specific items that are not listed here or in Past Perfect, please contact us.

Overview

    The Clarence Korker Collection

    Portrait of Clarence Korker

    Clarence and Geraldine Korker operated a photo shop on Main Street for forty years from 1950-1990. During that time Clarence photographed weddings, family portraits, town events, streetscapes and more.

    This valuable collection is a window into what the town looked like during that era and illustrates how its townspeople marked their family milestones by sitting for a Corker portrait.

    Maps

    1708 map of Ridgefield's Great Swamp

    This collection contains maps of Ridgefield from the early 1700s to the early 2000s. Included is the 1867 Beers Atlas map and Whitlock’s 1912 map in addition to modern day maps of the town’s streets, historic districts, open space, zoning, school districts, and graveyards.

    Oral History

    Portrait of David Watson

    The Oral History collection preserves the memories of many of Ridgefield’s World War II veterans. They tell the stories of the war in Europe, the Pacific, and at home.

    More than sixty audio recordings include photographs of the vets as young men and women and as older citizens relating their tales on tape.

    Postcard Collection

    Postcard of Lake Mamanasco

    Ridgefield was considered a resort in the early days of the last century, and many postcards were printed at that time for travelers to send home.

    The Historical Society has a large collection of postcards of Ridgefield’s houses, roads, lakes, and other scenes from that era.

    Research Library

    Historical Society library at the Scott House

    The histories of Ridgefield, its surrounding towns, Fairfield County, and Connecticut are stored in the Historical Society’s library as well as the 5th Connecticut Regiment’s extensive collection of Revolutionary War histories. Also included are sections on genealogy and Ridgefield’s historic graveyards.

    Ridgefield High School Yearbooks

    Ridgefield High School yearbooks

    This yearbook collection ranges from 1946, when thirty-three students graduated, to 2007, with a graduating class in the hundreds.

    The yearbooks follow the growth of the town’s school system and transition from the old high school on East Ridge to the new high school on North Salem Road.

    Ridgefield Probate Records

    Ridgefield probate records

    This collection of probate record books contain wills, inventories, distributions, and accounts of Ridgefielders in the early 20th Century. These books are an important research tool for those looking for the occupations, land ownership, and household belongings of their ancestors.

    The Ridgefield Press

    Bound archival volumes of the Ridgefield Press

    The Historical Society inherited a large collection of bound volumes from the Ridgefield Press ranging from 1930 to 2003. This collection of newspapers highlights the social, economic, educational and cultural changes that Ridgefielders experienced over seventy years.

    Warren Arthur Architectural Archives

    Portrait of Warren Arthur, architect

    The Warren Arthur Architectural Archives seek to honor the architectural heritage of Ridgefield by acquiring architectural drawings and related ephemera of the best representative work of architectural designers as well other works that represent the less-celebrated but important commercial and residential design that make up the character of the town. The Archives are a legacy gift in honor of architect and prolific lighting designer Warren Arthur who designed his own home on Lake Mamanasco and was a long-time member of the Planning and Zoning’s Architectural Advisory Committee.

    Women’s Suffrage

    Portrait of Laura Curie Allee Shields

    Laura Curie Allee Shields was one of twenty women who formed the Equal Franchise League in Ridgefield. Their first meeting was on July 28, 1911 in town hall. The League continued to grow and eventually joined with leagues in surrounding towns to work for the passage of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Historical Society’s Women’s Suffrage collection is based on Ms. Shield’s personal papers, notes, speeches, and photographs.