Her words changed the world.

Collections at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center holds the largest collection of material related to the Beecher and Stowe extended families, members of the culturally significant Hartford, CT, Nook Farm neighborhood, and resources relating to Harriet Beecher Stowe's ground breaking novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Developed around the nucleus originally collected by the late Katharine Seymour Day, the collection has expanded to be a wealth of material on 19th-century America.

The Collections

The collections contain approximately 6,000 objects and over 200,000 manuscripts, pamphlets, books and images. They illustrate important themes in nineteenth-century U.S. history: women's history including suffrage; abolition; African American history and racial history and racial attitudes in the U.S.; the activist Beecher family; and decorative arts and architecture.

Library Collection

The Stowe Center Library has over 12,000 books, 4,000 pamphlets, and 180,000 manuscripts, as well as 12,000 images - photographs, prints, broadsides, posters and drawings.

"The power of fictitious writing, for good as well as evil, is a thing which ought most seriously be reflected on"
  • Broad collection of Harriet Beecher Stowe's personal correspondence, including the E. Bruce Kirkham Collection of annotated Stowe letters (1822-1895), sketchbooks, diaries, journals, and literary manuscripts.
  • First editions of Harriet Beecher Stowe's works, and the Uncle Tom's Cabin collection which includes most American and foreign language editions, interpretation and criticism, pamphlets, broadsides, and images of Stowe's most famous anti-slavery novel from 1851 to the present.
  • Extensive collection of Beecher/Stowe family correspondence and works by Lyman Beecher, Catharine E. Beecher, Henry Ward Beecher, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Thomas K. Beecher, and Calvin E. Stowe, among others.
  • Personal correspondence, diaries, journals and literary manuscripts by Stowe's Nook Farm neighbors.
  • Specialized collections on: 19th-century women's history, especially the votes for women movement; 19th-century slavery & 19th-century architecture and decorative arts, especially of the Greater Hartford area.
  • Letters from William Lloyd Garrison, the Duchess of Sutherland, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony.
  • Rare works by Hartford's Lydia Huntley Sigourney
  • Photographs associated with Stowe, Nook Farm residents, Katharine Day, members of the Beecher family, and 19th- and 20th-century Hartford architecture.

Artifact Collection

The Stowe Center's material culture collection is rich and varied: household furnishings from the extended Beecher and Stowe families, paintings, drawings, statuary, and decorative art items created or acquired by Stowe. Examples of Stowe's artwork, holly punch bowl and custom-designed serving pieces to Uncle Tom's Cabin- related figures and decorative plates, textiles and case furniture.

For more information about the collection email the Collections Manager