Research and living history go hand in hand. Countless staff members, volunteers, interns and university scholars have contributed to the body of knowledge that produces the Coggeshall experience.
As a museum of methods, we strive to acquire or make period-accurate tools and objects to do the work of the farm and household. In some cases, we inherit objects, some of which may be appropriate to the Federalist period, during which Coggeshall's historic farmhouse was built, and others which may be replicas from other time periods.
With the help of interns from Roger Williams University, the University of Rhode Island and other schools, we have begun to create a data base of our collections. We welcome the input of researchers who can add to our body of knowledge, either by perusing our data base or visiting the farm and viewing the collections in person.
Of the relatively few examples of material culture that we have from everyday people in early America, tools are of major importance. In 1992, Coggeshall Farm Museum received a collection of over 2000 antique tools from Tim Bornstein of Westport, Massachusetts. Some of the tools in the collection are or could be from the period we represent. These tools were collected over the years by Mr. Bornstein, a labor arbitrator, with an eye to their beauty and unique qualities and with an interest in the relationship between the tool, the worker and the worker’s hand.
For more information on accessing or contributing to our collections, please email Executive Director Cindy Elder.