Research ArchivesLearn


The Archives provide research and reference services to the public.

It is housed in the Chauncey B. Stillman Study Center within the Krieble Gallery.

Examples of items in the Archives

Artists’ correspondence
Books and publications
Family records
Local house research
Historical maps
Oral history audiotapes

Inventory Includes:

Please click on the red links to preview a more detailed account of the file’s contents.

Since its beginnings in the mid 1930s, the Florence Griswold Museum has collected documents, photographs, and ephemera associated with the legacy of Florence Griswold and the artists of the Lyme Art Colony. When the Florence Griswold Association merged with the newly formed Lyme Historical Society in 1955, the mission of the institution broadened to incorporate local history from the town’s original settlement in the 17th century to the present day.

Over the years the Lyme Historical Society Archives have grown to include significant holdings of original documents, letters, photographs, deeds, mercantile and business records, artists’ scrapbooks, and accounts of events that took place in Lyme and Old Lyme. This valuable resource, full of original materials, holds the key to understanding aspects of the town’s art and history.

Access to the Collection

The archival collection is available to researchers by appointment. Please call (860) 434-5542 x114, or email

Please review the Archive Use Policies before your visit.

Selected materials from the archives relating to the Lyme Art Colony and Lyme Art Association (including Florence Griswold’s personal papers) are on microfilm; reels 4599 and 4678-4680. These are available via interlibrary loan from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Click Research Collections then type Florence Griswold into the search field on the top right.

Archive Use Policies

Archive Research Request

  • Appointments must be arranged in advance. Please submit the Archive Research Request at least one week in advance of the requested date.

Posts highlight individual documents, photographs, buildings, and works of art that have stories to tell about Lyme’s people, places, and events. Editor Carolyn Wakeman invites you to explore the Archives and discover the richness of the town’s layered history.

Florence Griswold Museum Library

The library of the Florence Griswold Museum provides research and reference services to the public. It is a non-circulating research collection of approximately 1,000 volumes.

Using the Library

The library is available by appointment. Please call (860) 434-5542 x114, or email

It provides extensive coverage in the area of American art, the primary interest of the museum. Additional coverage is provided for related fields, including art history, architecture, decorative arts, and local history. The library also contains the John C. Evans American Art Collection, a group of publications funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and donated to the Museum by Mr. Evans. The library is housed in the Chauncey B. Stillman Study Center.

Using the Online Library Catalog

Searching the catalog: The catalog opens to the basic search page. The dropdown menu next to the search box offers several searching options, including Keyword, Titles, Authors, and Subjects.

Searching by Keyword: Simply enter the full word that you are looking for, such as impressionist – case does not matter. Click the “Search” button. All the books in the collection with catalog records containing the word impressionist be retrieved.

Searching by Title, Author, or Subject:
Searching by Keyword often provides a large number of unwanted or irrelevant results. If you know exactly what you are looking for, searching by Title, Author or Subject is generally a better choice. Select Title, Author, or Subject from the drop-down menu next to the search box. Subject refers to Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) which can retrieve more relevant results than keyword searches.

Sample Author search: Select Author from the drop-down menu.

Enter the author’s name – last name, first name: Andersen, Jeffrey, for example.

Select “Search”

Punctuation is ignored: Andersen Jeffrey will retrieve the same results as Andersen, Jeffrey

Understanding search results:
After performing a search, the system displays the results in a list. Each record contains the full title, the location and the item’s availability. If nothing was found, a blank list will appears. Click the “Search Again” link and try a different search.

Check your spelling, use different terms. If you find more records than can fit on a single page, there will be a “Next” link at the bottom of the page. Use the “Next” and “Previous” links to scroll or page through your entire set of search results. Click on any title in the results list to see the complete record.

Managing search results with the Clipboard:

Use the Clipboard to temporarily store and save records while continuing to search the catalog.

To save a record you are viewing, click on the “Add to Clipboard” link at the top of the record.

View your saved records by clicking on the Clipboard tab.

Download records from the Clipboard. To download records from the Clipboard page:

You must have at least one record saved.

Click on the “Clipboard” tab.

Click on the “Report” link.

A list of the record(s) will open in a new window.

Use your browser toolbar to print or save the records.

When finished, close the window.

Click on Return to Findset to return to your search results.

Clear the Clipboard by using the “Empty Clipboard” link.

NOTE: the Clipboard is automatically emptied when you signout.

Signout: When you finish searching, please signout from the catalog.

Learn how Miss Florence’s house was saved and the Florence Griswold Association was formed (which was the beginning of the Florence Griswold Museum). An essay by by Caroline Fraser Zinsser.

Learn More