WCSU Archives - Student Exhibition Space - WestD

Browse Exhibits (7 total)

Vietnam Oral History Project


This is the Western Connecticut State University Vietnam Oral History Exhibit. The project was started in the Fall Semester of 2016 as a part of a History 494 Senior Honors research seminar. The exhibit is a compilation of oral histories provided by Vietnam War veterans. These interviews capture the personal experiences of men and women who served during the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The digital exhibit is an ongoing project which will be continued by Western students who conduct oral history interviews of Vietnam Veterans.

The Election of 1920: Danbury and Connecticut

As the first national political election to ever permit the votes of women, the election of 1920 was a milestone for the men and women that had been working for women’s suffrage since the founding of the country.  Following Connecticut’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, voting registrars all over the state scrambled to register women and new voters just weeks before the election.  Participation of voters on became so immense the Election Day was established a national holiday for the Election of 1920.  Come Election Day, the streets of Connecticut bustled with the heels and hats of thousands of women ready to exercise their new right to influence politics through voting.  Voter rolls filled quickly with names of women who had waited many years to stand before a ballot which they could cast as their own, such as Elizabeth Hyslop who was 80 years old when she cast the first ballot in the Danbury election of 1920.  Participation in the election went beyond the traditional candidate and voter, with artists and writers joining in on the momentous occasion.  Even a powerful rain storm with tyrannical winds could not stop voters in Danbury from making the election of 1920 the election of the century.

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World War I: Selling The War

This exhibit will explore the use of propaganda in order to encourage support and provide justification for American involvement during World War I. Prior to entering the war in 1917, many Americans were reluctant to become involved in the European conflict. American home front support was necessary for funding the American military, boosting morale and encouraging civilian contribution. Propaganda was used in the form of pamphlets, cartoons, letters, and public documents which were all meant for public consumption. Cartoons and illustrations called upon Americans to give their financial support by purchasing war bonds. Propaganda appealed to American patriotism by demonstrating the heroism of the troops and demonizing the enemy to the allies. The CPI laid out the facts of the war and the military that were deemed essential to the knowledge of American citizens. Following the end of the war, further justification was provided by stirring up fear of future threats from the defeated Germans and by commemorating those who had served.

Civil War Materials in the WCSU Archives

Horace Purdy Letters

This Civil War exhibit explores the collection of documents, literature, and pictures of the Civil War within the Western Connecticut State University's Archive collection. Documents include letters from soldiers that were sent to their families and personal accounts of the war. The WCSU Archive collection also contains a wide variety of literature of the Civil War such as woman authors, post-War, and personal narratives. Each piece of literature gives readers a different perspective of the war. The collection also has pictures of soldiers and families of the Civil War. The WCSU Archive collection has a range of artifacts that give different meanings of the Civil War.

The Hatters Case

Mission Statement

Our mission is to acknowledge, represent, and establish the importance of the Danbury Hatters Case in relation to the labor movement in American History.


Once upon a time workers had few righs. Once upon a time unions were of little importance. The Danbury Hatters' Case was the popular name for the Loewe v. Lawlor case. It is the first U.S Supreme Court case to find that the Sherman Antitrust Act applied to organized labor. In our lifetime when groups of workers are not satisfied with their work conditions or if their jobs are trying to keep them from starting unions they can strike without fear that their company will sue them. In 1903 when the workers of the Loewe factory started the strike, the right to organize boycotts and strikes was not recognized by the Supreme Court. 240 lives were negatively changed by the outcome of the Supreme Court desison in 1908. 240 workers had to give up almost a year's worth of savings to pay off what Dietrich Loewe called loss of profit to his factory business which he blamed on the strikers. 240 familes were affected and deserved to be remembered. The events of the case needs to be retold. Our Exhibit looks at the people that were involved and affected by the Hatters Case and its importance in American History. We cannot brush aside this history of our work force; these people that almost had their homes taken away from them cannot become the "forgotten people" of the American Economy. We have the luxury of living in better times where employers legally have to treat us fairly therefore we have an obligation to look at how our labor movement changed over the years. During our archival research we have looked deeply into what we deemed to be the important parts of the case that we want to share with you the viewers of our exhibit.


Women's Suffrage

It has been written in history books that in 1972, women had to struggle for equal rights in the United States. However, many of the books fail to mention the years of struggle that suffragists of both genders had to endure since the beginning of it all. This exhibit’s mission is to bring a broad overview of Connecticut’s fight for women’s rights and how Connecticut participated in the national debate of women’s rights in the 1920’s. Chronologically, we will look at the Connecticut’s major suffragists and how they were able to call upon a vast majority of the population to their aid. In addition,we will look at the 19th Amendment and discuss the national attention of the women suffrage movement.


Credit to:

Western Connecticut State University Archives

“Men Support the Woman Suffrage Movement.” National Women’s History Museum. http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/rightsforwomen/menforsuffrage.html

White, David O. “Marcus Hensey Holcomb.” Connecticut State Library. Last modified October 2009. http://www.cslib.org/gov/holcomb.htm.

Public History

A series of exhibits that explore various topics represented in the WCSU Archives