Peter C. Baldwin was born in New York City and grew up in Ithaca, New York. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1984. For the next seven years, he worked as a newspaper reporter for the Hartford Courant. He received his M.A. in history from Brown University in 1992 and his Ph.D. in history from Brown in 1997. From 1997 to 2001, he served as an assistant professor of history at DePaul University in Chicago. He came to the University of Connecticut in 2001. Prof. Baldwin teaches classes in the History of Urban America, and America Since 1877.
His first book, Domesticating the Street: The Reform of Public Space in Hartford, 1850-1930, considered how ideas about gender and domesticity guided efforts the shape the use of streets, parks, and marketplaces. His second book, In the Watches of the Night: Life in the Nocturnal City, 1820-1930 (Chicago: 2012) examined the social history of night in American metropolitan centers during the years when the city became illuminated by gas and electricity. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Urban History, Environmental History, and the Journal of Social History. He is completing a study of religion, sexuality, and friendship in nineteenth century America, focusing on the life and writings of a Massachusetts educator.