A museum staff member, if available, will greet your group in the museum and provide a short orientation for your group. Currently no guided tours are available.
In the museum, the first room you will enter will be Memorial Hall. This grand and visually beautiful room holds the Governors Portraits Collection, the Connecticut Freedom Trail Quilt, the Mitchelson Coin Collection and documents including Connecticut's Royal Charter of 1662.
Currently there are 71 portraits of former Governors on display including such Connecticut notables as Jonathan Trumbull, Roger Sherman Baldwin, Morgan Bulkeley, Ella Grasso and John Rowland. The only non-Governor who's portrait is on exhibit is that of King Charles II. (He gave the colony of Connecticut the Royal Charter in 1662). Encourage students to note the many differences in the paintings including clothing, background and posture of the Governors.
Students wishing to learn more about the lore and legend of the Charter and Charter Oak can do so in the exhibit Liberties and Legends which is also in Memorial Hall. The Royal Charter of 1662, perhaps our state's most famous document, is located at the far end of Memorial Hall. To view and print a transcribed copy of the Charter visit http://www.sots.ct.gov/registermanual/sectionI/firstconst.htm
The Mitchelson Coin Collection is one of the best collections of American coins in the world. The collection includes examples of every coin minted in the United States. The sampling of coins on display spans the period from the 17th century to the present.
Leaving Memorial Hall, your group can visit either the Connecticut Collections exhibit or the Colt Firearms Collection exhibit. The Connecticut Collections exhibit is a sampling of the museums vast holdings of Connecticut related political, industrial and military objects. Here you will find the state's official copies of the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution and Articles of Confederation in the political area. Industrial objects include a sampling of the many thousands of products manufactured in Connecticut, from clocks to typewriters and lots of others in between. Military items feature flags, portraits, weapons and memorabilia from the colonial wars to the present.
The Colt Collection is one of the finest assemblages of Colt prototype and experimental firearms in the world. The exhibit includes revolving pistols, Gatling guns, shotguns, automatic weapons and more. Also featured are original patent drawing and marketing materials which made Hartford based Colt the leading firearms company in the world.