Hill-Stead Museum has archived the family papers and photographs of Alfred Atmore Pope (1842-1913), his wife Ada Brooks Pope (1844-1920), their daughter Theodate Pope Riddle (1867-1946), and her husband John Wallace Riddle (1864-1941). Nearly 13,000 family letters, miscellaneous family documents, such as those accumulated by the settling of A.A. Pope’s estate, correspondence tracing the growth of his malleable iron business in Cleveland, and 800 postcards (primarily of England) comprise the bulk of the collection. Included are approximately 2,500 photocopies of documents by or about the family, the originals of which are in other repositories. There are 1,600 original photographs and an additional 150 facsimiles from other sources.

  • Researchers are welcome by appointment during business hours, Monday to Friday.
  • For on-site research: Please complete our Research Request Form and return it to prior to your visit.
  • Research fees for those unable to visit in person: The first hour is free; additional time is $30/hour plus necessary photocopying and postage. Please allow a two-week minimum for museum staff to process requests.
  • Please contact Melanie Bourbeau, Senior Curator, with any questions (860.677.4787 ext 122 or

Finding Aids

Finding Aids for Hill-Stead’s archive material contain biographical notes, scope and content for each collection, and indexing terms/keywords.

  • For contents and searchable keywords related to the Pope and Riddle family and Hill-Stead, in general, see Pope-Riddle Papers.
  • For contents and searchable keywords related to Pope, Riddle and Hill-Stead photographs, see Pope-Riddle Family Photographs.
  • For contents and searchable keywords related to Alfred Pope’s art collecting, the J. H. and Harris Whittemore families (Naugatuck, CT) and Alfred Pope’s business correspondence related to the Cleveland Malleable Iron Company and later the National Malleable Castings Company, see  Harris Wittemore Jr. Trust Collection Papers.
  • Searchable versions can be accessed via Connecticut Archives Online.  

“I hear from Dr. Kennedy how you may be reached, And I send you my tenderest of love and blessing. I think of you with unspeakable solicitude and every sort of intimate imagination and devotion. But you have been through more than is knowable or conceivable save by your own heroic experience, and I throw myself on the confidence that absolute kindness and protection now compass you about, to show you what infinite care, beyond any even you have known, we shall all take of you henceforth.”

Excerpt from a letter from Henry James to Theodate Pope May 12, 1915, after her survival of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, May 1915