Wright, Mabel Osgood Collection
Ms 54

Summary Information

Fairfield Museum and History Center
Wright, Mabel Osgood, 1859-1934
Wright, Mabel Osgood Collection
Ms 54
circa 1880-1920, 1998
2.5 Linear feet (1 box, lantern slides, 3 oversize items)
This collection mostly contains photogravures and photographs taken by Mabel Osgood Wright as well as letters and newspaper articles pertaining to her.

Preferred Citation note

Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Fairfield Museum and History Center, Fairfield, Connecticut.

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Biographical/Historical note

Mabel Osgood Wright (1859-1934), daughter of Unitarian minister, scholar and writer Samuel Osgood, was born and brought up in New York City, but spent her summers at the family estate in Fairfield, CT. The summer home, called Mosswood (and also known as Waldstein), was built on 8 acres of land. It is now the current site of the Mosswood condominiums off Unquowa Road. Mabel was introduced to nature and gardening at Mosswood, an introduction that led to her avocations as an adult.

When Mabel married book collector and dealer James Wright, the couple moved to Fairfield. Here she pursued her interests in photography, nature conservation and writing. Mabel became a noted author of bird and nature studies; helped found the Connecticut Audubon Society; was instrumental in building the Birdcraft Sanctuary on Unquowa Road for the protection of song birds; actively participated in the Fairfield Garden Club; and took photgraphs of historical and pastoral Fairfield which were published in her own books and those of others.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection is made up of one box and 3 oversize items. The box primarily consists of photogravures, mounted on cardboard, that were donated by the Sturges. These images are supplemented by copies of photographs by Mabel that are in a private collection; black and white prints attributed to her; a photo album also attributed to Mabel; copies of articles written by Mabel; research materials gathered while developing an exhibit in 1998 and 8 boxes of glass lantern slides and glass plate negatives. Also included are Christmas cards, photocopies of letters and articles about Mabel and book cataloging information.

Oversize Item A is a map of Mabel's property in 1913. Item B are photographs entitled "The Courtin, Bird Study Group." Item C is an autograph album containing items from many famous people including Oliver Wendell Holmes, J. Tyndall, Arthur P. Stanley, and Emma Lazarus.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Fairfield Museum and History Center

370 Beach Rd.
Fairfield, CT

Conditions Governing Access note

There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Conditions Governing Use note

Use of the material requires compliance with the Fairfield Museum and History Center regulations.

Custodial History note

Some of the items in this collection were donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Sturges III and others were found among our collections. The autograph album was originally in the collections of the Fairfield Public Library.

Processing Information note

This collection was processed in February 1991 by Martha Rockwell and August 1998 by Barbara Austen.

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Fairfield(Conn.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Brett, George P. (George Platt), 1893-1984


  • Autograph albums.
  • Correspondence.
  • Photographs.
  • Photogravures--1880-1920.

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Collection Inventory

 Folder A Photogravures on cardboard 

"Colonial House"   2 items

"Pulpit Rock (Union Rock) Waldstein"   2 items

"The Osborn House"   4 items

"Village Elms" (St. Paul's Church) 


"Grover's Hill" 

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 Folder B Photogravures on cardboard 

"The Verna Herd"   2 items

"Evening Shadows, Greenfield Hill"   2 items

"Middlebrook's Bridge" 

"Wilson's Mill"   2 items

"Timothy Dwight's house" 

"Perry's Mill-dam" 

"Our Ancestors" (headstones) 

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 Folder C Photogravures on cardboard 

"Sheepfold, Verna" 

"The Hemlocks"   2 items

"Fern Glen"   2 items

"Aspetuck Mill" 

"The Watering Place" 

"Black Rock Point" 

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 Folder D Photographs and photogravures on cardboard 

Post Office/"Ice Cold Soda!" 

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 Folder E Photogravures on cardboard/black and white photographs 

"Many Years Ago" (woman spinning) 

"The Courtin'" 

Bett's store, Post Road, ca. 1880   2 items

"Views from Gould's Bridge" 

Gardens at Mosswood 

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 Folder F Photographs of Frederick Sturges' estate ca. 1909-1910 

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 Folder G Photographs attributed to Mabel Osgood Wright 

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 Folder H Negatives and contact sheets of photographs in private collection 

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 Folder I Photographs attributed to Mabel Osgood Wright 

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 Folder J Christmas cards from MOW with her photographs/The Connecticut Hymn of the Flag written by MOW/Envelope to F. Sturges from MOW 1917-1929 

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 Folder K Photocopies of articles about MOW 

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 Folder L Photocopies of letters between MOW and George Brett 

Existence and Location of Originals note

Originals located at the New York Public Library

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 Folder M Newspaper clippings about MOW 

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 Folder N Book cataloging information 

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 Folder O Copy photographs and negatives 

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Oversize Item A: Map of MOW's property 1913 

Manuscript Box 1

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Oversize Item B: Photographs of "The Courtin', Bird Study Group" 

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Oversize Item C: Autograph album 

Custodial History note

This album was formerly located in the Fairfield Public Library collections.

Other Finding Aids note

A rough index to the album is available in the Box.

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