Archival Collections and Finding Aids

The Mattatuck Museum has over 125 distinct archival collections spanning over 700 linear feet. Users who are interested in learning more should contact the archivist, Frances Martin, at

M-1 Plume and Atwood Company Records, 1874-1895 and 1909-1957

A postcard of the Plume and Atwood Co. plant – from the Postcard Collection

This collection is composed of the records of the Plume and Atwood Company, which made sheet brass, wire, lamp parts, rivets, fasteners, and other small brass goods.

Plume and Atwood Finding Aid

M-2 Waterbury Button Company Records, 1849-1935

1868 Presidential Campaign Button for Grant, created by the Waterbury Button Co
1868 Presidential Campaign Button for Grant, created by the Waterbury Button Co

The Waterbury Button Company was founded in 1812. The collection is largely composed of business documents including correspondence, bills, receipts, account details, patents, and ledgers. The collection also contains the J. R. Smith Papers. Smith was President of the company and the papers mostly relate to the Waterbury Country Club, of which he was a founder.

Waterbury Button Co. Finding Aid

M-3 Great Brook Manufacturing Company Records, 1856-1911

Articles of Association of the Great Brook Company

This collection documents the founding of the collective which served the purpose of building and maintaining a dam and reservoir in Great Brook at Buck’s Hill.

Great Brook  Finding Aid

M-4 The Waterbury Railroad and Transportation Collection, 1849-circa 1920, 1928-1997

A postcard of the NY, NH & Railroad Station in Waterbury – from the Postcard Collection

This is an artificial collection composed by the archivists at the Mattauck Museum to document the railroad and transportation development in and surrounding Waterbury. The collection is largely paper based, but also includes various tokens used for passage.

Waterbury Railroad and Transportation Finding Aid

M-5 The Waterbury Manufacturing and Business Collection, circa 1770-1984 and undated; bulk 1824-1890

Documents from Whalley’s Flower and Vick’s Inc.

The archivists for the Max R. Traurig Library have collected material regarding the industrialization and modernization of Waterbury. Document types include: account books, pamphlets, broadsides, advertisements, administrative records, general summaries by historians, and manuals.

Waterbury Manufacturing and Business Finding Aid

M-6 The Elton Family Papers, 1779-1935

A medical treatise authored by John Elton – from the Elton Family Papers

The Elton family was a significant Waterbury family. This collection documents the professional and personal relations of several members largely through correspondence and administrative papers. Of special interest are several family and local histories.

Elton Family Papers Finding Aid

M-7 The Kingsbury Family Papers, 1783-1937

A photograph of several Kingsbury family members

This collection documents the everyday, professional, and philanthropic life of several members of the Kingsbury family. While the collection is largely paper based, there are also publications related to the Kingsbury family, daybooks, account ledgers, and various photographic formats.

Kingsbury Family Papers Finding Aid

M-8 The George L. Lilley Papers, 1899-1909

Image of Lilley’s funeral procession, found in Postcard Collection.

George L. Lilley served in the Connecticut State House of Representatives from 1901-1903. From 1903 through 1909 he serves as a US Congressman. Finally, he served as Governor from January 5 through April 21, 1909, when he passed away in office. This collection documents his various activities as a politician. Additionally, there is a small amount of personal material.

George L. Lilley Family Papers Finding Aid

M-9 The Pritchard Family Papers, 1749-1920 and circa 2017

Cabinet Card of Sarah Pritchard, found in the Photograph Collection.

This collection documents several generations of the Pritchard family, who were from Waterbury, CT. Correspondence and ledgers highlight several of the family’s businesses. Sarah and Katharine’s interest and work in local history can be found in correspondence and professional writings. This collection is entirely paper based, but photographs of the family members can be accessed through the Mattatuck’s Photograph Collection.

Pritchard Family Papers Finding Aid

M-59 The Stereograph Card Collection, 1895-1905

An image from the Stereograph card collection, of Dixon Crossing the Niagara- 1890
An image from the Stereograph card collection, of Dixon Crossing the Niagara- 1890

The collection contains 103 stereograph cards spanning 1895 though 1905. Subjects include: Americana, documentary scenes, monuments, a presidential inauguration, scenes involving African Americans, places, animals, and jobs.

Stereograph Card Coll. Finding Aid

M-60 Raymond Donnelly WWII Scrapbook Collection, circa 1944-1946

A page of Donnelly’s scrapbook depicting soldiers, destruction, and Notre Dame cathedral.
A page of Donnelly’s scrapbook depicting soldiers, destruction, and Notre Dame cathedral.

The Raymond Donnelly WWII Scrapbook Collection is composed of one scrapbook that Donnelly created between 1944 and 1946. The scrapbook contains photographs that document the aftermath of WWII in Europe.

Raymond Donnelly WWII Scrapbook Finding Aid

M61 Glass Plate Photograph Prints of Waterbury Collection, circa 1890-circa 1905

The Green in downtown Waterbury
The Green in downtown Waterbury

This small collection contains 171 photographs printed from glass plate negatives. Subjects depicted include: the 1902 fire; groups of people; interiors of residences; transportation including horse drawn carriages, trains, and cars.

Glass Plate Photographs of Waterbury Finding Aid

M62 The Elsie Flink Papers, circa 1895, circa 1916-1996, 2020 and undated

Image of Elsie Flink, circa 1920.

The personal papers of Elsie Flink, Waterbury resident and personality. Flink worked at several local factories and was a member of St. John’s Church. She participated in a study about radium poisoning since she was one of Waterbury’s Radium Girls.

Elsie Flink Papers Finding Aid

M63 Horton Family Papers, circa 1930, circa 1940, circa 1942, 1955, and 2020

Image of Helen Horton blowing the Scovill whistle after purchasing a war bond, circa 1942

This small collection contains material relating to three generations of women who have lived and worked in Waterbury.

Horton Family Papers Finding Aid

M64 Chief Two Moon Collection, 1926-1932 and 1955-2013

Advertisement for Chief Two Moon bitter oil laxative, circa 1920

Chief Two Moon Meridas was an entrepreneur who lived in Waterbury from circa 1918 through his death in 1932. He utilized stereotypical imagery of indigenous peoples to sell “herbal tonics.” The collection includes Chief Two Moon Herb Company administrative forms, product sleeves, newspaper clippings, and advertisements from circa 1920-circa 1932. Advertisements range in type from small booklets, to broadsides, to a cardboard stand that would have been displayed in a pharmacy. There are several black and white photographs depicting Chief Two Moon’s personal life, as well as his professional career.

Chief Two Moon Collection Finding Aid

M65 Waterbury Civil Rights Collection, 1963-1970 and 1978

Report on education in Waterbury, 1963. From the collection.

This collection documents the 1968 State Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities public hearings in Waterbury. The commission was concerned with four areas: Housing, Education, Employment, and Police-Community Relations. The collection contains the 8 volumes of verbatim testimony, reports and responses, as well as contextual newspaper clippings in the 1960s and 1970s.

Waterbury Civil Rights Finding Aid

M66 Records of the Waterbury Maternal Health Center Trial, 1936-1940, 1942 and 1983

Publication regarding 1937 Supreme Court decision.

This collection documents the trial of the State vs. McTernon, Nelson, and Goodrich. This was a landmark case in Connecticut regarding the right to access birth control. Between 1938 and 1939 the Waterbury Maternal Health Clinic provided contraceptive materials to women. In 1939 the police seized all contraceptive materials and a trial ensued. J. Warren Upson successfully defended the nurse and doctors charged.

Waterbury Maternal Center Trial Finding Aid