Research & Education


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With a mission to safeguard objects made or used in Middlesex County, we pride ourselves on the breadth of our holdings. From Civil War uniforms to Colonial era bibles, from China Trade porcelain to former slaves’ manumission papers, our collection represents the diversity of the area’s residents over the last 350 years. Featured too are many items from Middletown’s rich manufacturing past, such as suspenders made at the Russell Manufacturing Company, once the nation’s largest supplier of men’s braces, and a 1920s steam contraption used by Jack’s Lunch for making Middletown’s most famous culinary creation, the steamed cheeseburger.


Qualified researchers may utilize the Historical Society’s extensive collection pertaining to Middletown and others Middlesex County communities.  Highlights include early town records, maps, diaries, letters, account books, prison and early court records, and thousands of photographs and paintings.  Other objects from the museum collection are available for research as well.

Appointments to visit and view items in the collection are required and are available after contact with the Executive Director.

Fees for research undertaken by staff or volunteers will be charged at $40/hour (pro-rated for 30 minute intervals at $20); Sustaining and Life members will receive a 10% discount on research fees.  A $20 initial assessment fee will be collected on research undertaken by staff or volunteers.

Photocopying is $0.25 per page. Scans to digital format will be charged on a case by case basis. Inquire of the Executive Director for more information.



Teachers can enliven their students’ understanding of local history through guided tours or special research projects. We offer tours of our museum exhibits, the Middletown Heritage Trail and local historic graveyards, appropriate for students in grade four and above. We also can advise teachers on special student research projects as well as ways to incorporate local historic artifacts and documents in their course curriculum.

For more information, contact us at 860-346-0746 or e-mail us.

Sheedy History Contest

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Since 1990, the William E. Sheedy Memorial History Contest has honed the research skills of Middletown’s eight-year-olds, who study town history as part of their third-grade curriculum. Each spring the competition invites students to research the life of an ancestor and report their findings in an essay, video or format of their choosing.