New Archives Exhibits! Many of the doctors in 1890s Danbury were women… and Menus and Cookbooks.

By 1894, just 45 years after Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, Danbury was home to not one, but at least seven women physicians/dentists.   Find out about some of these trailblazing women in our online exhibit.


In the Haas Library atrium, see our menu and cookbook exhibit or visit it virtually at:

The life, times, and sounds of the Civil War in the camp of the 23rd Connecticut

The 23rd Connecticut Infantry Regiment was organized at Hartford, Connecticut, on November 14, 1862 and had in its ranks many men from Fairfield County.  One of those men was Joseph Bishop of Danbury.  The regiment was attached the defenses of New Orleans and District of La Fourche, Department of the Gulf under General Nathaniel Banks. The regiment lost a total of 59 men during during the war, 46 of those died of disease, including Bishop.

Thanks to a gift from WCSU Alum Carol Lieto, Bishops letters are now housed at the WCSU Archives.  Among his letters is also his music notebook.  Thanks to Ann Victor (a former member of our staff), one can now hear what the 23rd’s band was playing while in camp in far away Louisiana.

Ring a Hunter’s Peal! Identifying and saving a 110+ year-old painting by a Connecticut artist.

The title comes from Shakespear’s somewhat overlooked, Titus Andronicus which we thought was fitting for an even more overlooked piece of art.

Read the story of how an old loose canvas painting was identified, the story of the artist, and how the work was ultimately rescued.  This painting was also leveraged as a teaching opportunity for one of the WCSU Archives’ student assistants, Ava Westervelt, when the pandemic made leveraging anything a challenge.

Thanks to Associate Dean of Libraries at WestConn, Veronica Kenausis, for facilitating this work.   Thanks to Ava and Assistant Archivist Stacy Haponik for their research and work on this online exhibit.

Image search – a new frontier in archives?

The WCSU Archives had this in our collections:

It was listed in an inventory as “Japanese; by unknown”.  While accurate to our knowledge of the piece, it wasn’t going to help anyone searching for a Japanese woodblock print of Inukawa Sosuke Yoshinori.

How did we figure out this was Inukawa Sosuke Yoshinori?  First, we used  Google Image Search.  The initial results were other woodblock prints, but not really similar to our image.  We did find one print where the person portrayed looked similar to ours.  So, we threw that search term in with the image, and voila, we in the first 50 results found a gallery that was selling the same print and they had identified the artist, subject, publisher, and date.  Here’s our current record for this piece.

Subsequently, we also found that this same piece is at the MFA in Boston and their record had even more data about the piece.  We also found that there is an app specifically for identifying these woodblock prints:

Japanese Woodblock Print Search:

Based on this discovery, we will be using this to better identify a book of woodblock prints in the WCSU Archive.

Additionally, we found that TinEye search is even better than Google Image Search in this instance at finding a comparable image on the Web.

We also identified a long-unidentified painting ( from the Marjorie Echols collection.  Is it by Morelli or just a copy?

Cool stuff.


Heroines of the First Vietnamese Independence Movement – presented by the Danbury Library

 This is a virtual program via ZOOM. Participants will receive a link to the meeting at the email address they provided at registration.

The Trung sisters were Vietnamese military leaders who ruled for three years after rebelling in AD 40 against the first Chinese domination of Vietnam. Join Professor Wynn Gadkar-Wilcox for an exciting lecture on the fascinating history, legends, and cultural impact of the Trung sisters.

Dr. Wynn Gadkar-Wilcox, Professor of History and Non-Western Cultures at Western Connecticut State University in historiography of Vietnam and world history, religion and philosophy. He has given many lectures on Vietnamese history and culture. Professor Gadkar-Wilcox is a graduate of Cornell University with a doctorate in Non-Western History.

Free! Registration is Required

Register here: