FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield Museum and History Center is now the home of the Collier Collection, one of the best and most comprehensive libraries of Connecticut history.
Assembled over the academic career of former Connecticut State Historian Christopher Collier, the extensive compilation of books and other materials is the most complete collection on Connecticut history in private hands. The Collier Collection will be available to researchers and students at the Fairfield Museum’s Research Library, thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Acquisition of the Collier Collection distinguishes the Fairfield Museum’s Research Library as one of the best repositories of Connecticut history in the state.
Collier was born in New York City in 1930. He received a bachelor’s degree from Clark University and a master’s degree and a doctorate from Columbia University.
He is professor of history emeritus at the University of Connecticut and the author of the Pulitzer-nominated “Roger Sherman’s Connecticut,” “Decision at Philadelphia” and “All Politics is Local.”
He wrote the Newbery Award-winning historical novel “My Brother Sam Is Dead” with his brother, James Collier, as well as seven other historical novels for young adults. “Jump Ship to Freedom” was named a Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies in 1981 by a joint committee of the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children's Book Council.
Collier was the official Connecticut State Historian from 1984 to 2004.
Among the Collier Collection of Connecticut History’s 1,400 volumes are all the major monographs in Connecticut history, hundreds of local histories, biographies of Connecticut figures, vertical files of scholarly articles, rare and out of print books and popular works published over the past two centuries. The collection also includes more than 200 doctoral dissertations on Connecticut history, the only such collection in existence.
A reception opening the new collection was held on Thursday, April 21, at the museum. Speakers included Fairfield Museum Executive Director Mike Jehle, Chairman of the Fairfield Museum Board Sharon Lauer, Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodword and Collier.
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