Connecticut History Online (CHO) was launched in 2001, the fruition of two years of planning and development by the three initial project partners, the Connecticut Historical Society, Mystic Seaport and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. Funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership grant, the Phase I CHO collection comprised over 11,000 objects, mostly photographs, prints and drawings representing the nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries. CHO I utilized Endeavor Voyager as the mechanism for storing, searching and maintaining metadata about the project images and Endeavor Imageserver as the mechanism for storing and accessing the digital images of materials in the CHO database. A teacher focus group was part of the collaborative process that determined the final form and features of the CHO website, and rich descriptive level of the object records.
In Phase II (2002-2007), Connecticut History Online added two partners, the Connecticut State Library and the New Haven Colony Historical Society (now the New Haven Museum and Historical Society) to the original group. The time period covered extended back into the eighteenth-century, additional formats, including broadsides, maps, newspapers, documents and oral histories, were added to the collection, and new technologies, such as page-turning and zoom capability were employed for relevant objects. A teacher focus group helped to define helpful features and search options. As the cataloging and uploading of material neared completion, technical problems with software selected for the Phase II repository prompted re-consideration, and the database was moved to the current digital content management system, OCLC's CONTENTdm; CHO II was launched in June 2007.
Throughout both phases of the project, a committee structure was used to identify options, determine standards and guidelines, and make decisions. Successive project coordinators guided this process, maintained project schedules, and compiled documentaton.