Saving our oral history
Your Story is Colchester’s Story!
The mission of the Colchester Historical Society is to enlighten the community to the rich history of Colchester.
That rich history includes YOU! Help us preserve and care for your past as we launch the Colchester’s Story oral history program! We invite all Colchester residents to share their story or stories with us. Based on a successful pilot initiative in 2006, several people came to Cragin Library to share their childhood memories on audio tape. Many of these fascinating stories that were preserved range from living on a farm to the great hurricane of 1938. These narratives offer an important view of everyday life in Colchester during times of peace, war, economic upheaval, and social change throughout the 20th- and into the 21st- centuries.
Beginning in January of 2017, we would like to continue this process, and capture on audio and/or video as many stories from Colchester residents as possible, and we are particularly interested in stories from senior citizens 80 years and older.
We’d like to make this as convenient as possible. We can come to a person’s residence or set up a meeting at Cragin library or Senior Center. The conversation and length of time will be entirely up to the participants. Whether you share one quick poignant memory, or want to talk with us at length about an important time of your life in Colchester, Colchester’s Story will preserve your experiences for history.
If you’d like to be interviewed or know someone that is willing, or just have more questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call 860-465-7025
The Colchester Historical Society is proud to announce the successful completion of StEPS-CT, or Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs).
The Colchester Historical Society was one of 23 small cultural and heritage organizations which recently completed this intensive 2-year program. CHS received support and training via curriculum-based workshops; coaching from a dedicated mentor; and access to a Connecticut Humanities grant fund earmarked for initiatives related to achieving StEPs-CT program standards.
Over the course of the program, the Colchester Historical Society achieved bronze and silver certificates in six areas of museum practice. Through continued work on a self-study basis, CHS plans to continue to strive for gold certification in all StEPS Units. “This is just the beginning,” said CHS Co-President Gigi Liverant, “we are so grateful for StEPS-CT for all that we’ve learned, and we plan to continue developing procedures and policies that establish Colchester Historical Society as the premier steward of Colchester’s history and heritage.”
“Our experience with StEPS-CT has been invaluable,” Angela George, Co-President of CHS added. “From improved signage that has increased visitation to the museum, to implementing current policies that guide our volunteers through daily operations, StEPS-CT has improved our organization. We can now provide better programs to our community, and we are now better able to tell our audiences our local histories and preserve our heritage through our unique collections and images.”
StEPs-CT is a program of Connecticut Humanities and the Connecticut League of History Organizations, in partnership with Connecticut Historical Society, based on a curriculum of best practices developed by the American Association for State and Local History.
Connecticut’s program was the first to integrate the national StEPs curriculum and is viewed as a model for similar programs across the country, according to Scott Wands, manager of grants and programs at Connecticut Humanities.
Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, provides opportunities to explore the history, literature and the vibrant culture that make our state, cities and towns attractive places to live and work. Learn more by visiting www.cthumanities.org.
The Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) builds connections among those who preserve and share the stories and objects of our past. Learn more by visiting www.clho.org.