The Account Books Collection is an artificial collection resulting from efforts to compile and record basic information about the numerous volumes of financial records held at the Windsor Historical Society. The bulk of the collection consists of day books, ledgers, and personal accounts of individuals and businesses in Windsor, Connecticut and the surrounding area. The account books had not been previously cataloged and were scattered throughout the Society’s repository. More than 150 account books and similar registers have been identified and inventoried. An Excel database provides information about the collection with descriptive fields including creator, date, type of business, and a brief narrative summary.
The account books represent a wide variety of merchants, artisans, agricultural enterprises, early manufacturing, and community organizations. Individual businesses include general stores and grocers, brick makers, distilleries, tanners, doctors, and farmers. Local manufacturing concerns represented in the collection were producing guns, silk and other textiles, men’s hats, canned food, and butter. In addition, a few volumes record the management of probate or estate accounts, the finances of local civic organizations, minor town and church accounts, and the early 20th century Windsor Fire District tax lists.
The record books vary considerably in size, extent, legibility, and condition. The volumes frequently contain extensive listings of local Windsor names. In most cases an owner or creator has been identified; some volumes contain records kept by more than one person. It is not uncommon to find entries or notations unrelated to the original purpose of the account book such as family records, recipes, penmanship practice, or newspaper clippings.