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University of Hartford early history collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: ARCH011

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the early history of the University, beginning with the initial talks held by the founders. The collection contains minutes, correspondence, photographs, memos, and many of the original legal founding documents. Of particular interest are several oral histories. Occasional small additions have been made to the collection.


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Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (U.S. Code: Title 17). Any use of the material which exceeds “fair use” requires permission from the copyright holder. Researchers are solely responsible for obtaining the proper rights for their use of the material.


5.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection was arranged in roughly chronological order by the University’s first archivist, Ethel Bacon. Her original typed list was scanned and converted to a word document in 2005.

Existence and Location of Copies

The recordings in the collection have been digitized and are available at

Container List

Box 1: 1948-1959

Founding/University of Hartford. Early ideas, 1948

Founding/Hillyer Callboard, 6 May 1953: "Let's go campus!"


Founding/Negotiations and purchase from Harriette Sage Gabriel, 1955-1956



Founding/ H committee

Founding/Hillyer's new campus, December, 1955

Founding/Hillyer’s new campus/transactions, 1955-1959

Founding/Miscellaneous, 1956-1959

Founding/Council of Community colleges/minutes, 1956-1957

Founding/university of Hartford is born/newspapers clippings, 1956

Founding/Interim committee/minutes, 1956-1957

Founding/University of Hartford founding, 1956-1959

Founding/Formation of Schools into five academic divisions: business administration, education, Engineering, Humanities and Social sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, 1957

Box 2: History and photos, 1957-1967, including 21 February 1957. Documents, PHOTOS and film

Act of Incorporation, 1957 (signed copies)

Act of Incorporation, 1957 /news releases

Incorporators; Regents, 1957, 1967

University of Hartford History in Hartford Electric Light Illuminator, 1959

University of Hartford, chronology 1877-1967


photos/Gov. Ribicoff with the heads of the three schools and Judge Schwolsky,

photos/Convocation, first, 1957

photos/Ribicoff signing bill, 1957

photos/Campus model unveiling 12 June 1958. PHOTO

Founding/photo/Hillyer’s new campus, 1956

Founding/photo/Paranov and Wilson on new campus, 1956

Founding/Photos/Campus preview, 11 October 1958. PHOTOS -2 folders, includes helicopter pictures, a different occasion, per Ethel Bacon.[As of March, 14, 2018 the campus preview photographs are being merged with the campus preview photographs in the Special Events collection (ARCH074).]

Fuller and Lee sign application to the Conn. State Board of Education,

Council of Community Colleges.—Interim Committee, 1956-1957

Early correspondence.—by laws, first draft.—Financial organization, 1957-59

Founding, U of H. News paper clippings, 1959

Founding; "U of H is born", newspaper clippings 1956

Hillyer•/& new campus transactions, June 1955-January 1959

Hillyer's new campus, December 1955

Paranov and Wilson on new campus 15 November 1956. PHOTOS

The first all-university convocation, 1957. With PHOTOS

The Interim Committee, 1956-1957

University of Hartford, founding, 1956-1959

November 1956. PHOTOS

University of Hartford, founding (misc.) 1956-1959

film/Gov. Ribicoff signing the bill creating the U of H. FILM 16mm(?)

U of H Building & Development Program, primary organization/flow chart [n.d.]

Report to the people of Connecticut, 1958

Report to the people of Connecticut, 1960 .,

Financial reorganization, transfer of assets, 1959-1960

Warranty deed (copy) 1969

1965 UH history in newspaper clippings, 1958-1982

Building programs, gifts, 1957-

Organization charts 1961, 1962, 1965.

Box 3: [merged with box 2 in Aug 2018]

Box 4: History

Note: there are several versions of the Alice Cooke Brown history in boxes 4 and 5. “Glimpses” is an abbreviated version.

History of the University of Hartford: The Hartford Art School, 1877.— Hillyer College, 1879.— Hartt College of Music, 1920 [by] Alice Cooke Brown, June 1, 1959. 2 copies

Appendix, History of the University of Hartford [by] Alice Cooke Brown, 1959.

Brown, Alice Cooke,/newspaper clipping with photo, 1958

Box 5: Histories, 1959-1998

Council for the Advancement of Small Colleges, 1959

Note: there are several versions of the Alice Cooke Brown history in boxes 4 and 5. “Glimpses” is an abbreviated version.

Recollections about the early history of the U of H [mainly Hillyer] by Alan S. Wilson, 1959 2 copies

Glimpses into the history of Hartford and its university, by Alice Cooke Brown, 1960. Several copies

Hoagland, Frank, interviewed by Alice Cooke Brown, 1960,/Hillver Institute,^

Some notes on the history of the University of Hartford [by] John G. Lee and Alan S. Wilson, 1965.

Notes on the early history of the University of Hartford [by] Alan S. Wilson, 1967.

Wilson, Mary, Mrs. Alan S./Transcript of an interview with Ethel Bacon on May 23, 1989

The University of Hartford [1967]

A brief background of the University of Hartford [by] Alan S. Wilson, 1969.

Memos, E. Matesky to S.J. Trachtenberg; T. Pyle to E. Matesky, on the „ , subject of a History of the University, 1977.

The history we made, memories of people who helped build the U of H , 1979.

Fellows, Douglas. Historical notes, U of H, 1982

The University of Hartford is 30, by Bice Clemow, 1986

The U of H: review & assessment of the Trachtenberg era, 1988, by T. Moran.

A University for Hartford; a University for the World, 1998, With: Zip disc.

A university is born, supplement to West Hartford News1960

History by Matesky, 1975

Pictorial History/satire, 1982

Report to the people of Connecticut, 1960

Box 6: Founders

This box includes tapes of interviews, photographs, and other memorabilia regarding the various founders. There were two groups called “founders,” the original group who met together to plan the University, and another much larger group of prominent donors and supporters.

: Founders

: Founders of the U of H, 1957

: Founders' Fund, 1958

: Founders' Fund - News and comment, 1958

: Founders' League Luncheon, 1958

: Founders' Conference, 1959

: Founders - U of H honors its founders, 1982

Board of Founders. Speakers' Committee

Box 6A: Founders

Allen, Mildred P.

Barney, Austin Dunham

Clemow, Bice - Interviewed by Dr. Alice Cooke Brown

Collins, Atwood - Interviewed by Nancy Swain

Feldman, Rabbi Abraham Jehiel


Gibson, Raymond A. (obit.)

Lee, John G. (with obit.)

: Lee, John G. Papers (in five document cases)

Lavelle, Edward C. - The founding and early days of the University of Hartford, based on ten interviews.

Clemow, Bice (Lavelle interview)

Feldman, Rabbi Abraham Jehiel (Lavelle interview)

Fuller, Alfred Carl (Lavelle interview)

Gibson, Raymond Augustus (Lavelle interview)

Houghton, Frederick Darling (Lavelle interview)

Langton, Stephen (Lavelle interview)

Lee, John Glessner (Lavelle interview)

Paranov, Moshe (Lavelle interview)

Prentice, Mrs. T. Merrill (Lavelle interview)

Wilson, Alan Stafford (Lavelle interview)

Founders' Dinner 3 May 1958 (the first)

Founders' Dinner 1959

Founders' Dinner 1960 B70: Founders' Dinner 1963 JBTOj.. Founders' Dinner (final dinner) 1964 B75/1, B75/2: Founding and early days, interviews (audio tapes)

Founders' certificates, 1960. Signed by Barne , Fuller, Lee, and Coffin.

Founders/Founders’ Dinner/photos, 1950s

Box 7: Oral history/reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes of interviews and The Founding and Early Days of the University of Hartford based on recollections of interviewees. B75.1

Box 8: oral history/reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes of interviews at B75.2

Box 9: Founders/Individuals, miscellaneous information

Founders/Individuals/Ellsworth, Grace

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Capen, Elizabeth Beach

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Coffin, Vincent

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Hyndman, Bruce

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Johnson, Laura

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Loy, Helen

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Martin, Erle

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Meinke, Kenneth/College of Basic Studies

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Newman, John

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Prud’homme, Hector

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Roberts, Henry

Bice Clemow interview transcripts, 1977/Tomkins, Alan

Founders’ photos are now filed in photograph section of archives.

Watkinson School/discussion of merger with University’s School of Education, 1956

Watkinson School/Newspaper clippings

Processing Information

In 2015, the call number of this collection was changed to ARCH011. Previously it had multiple call numbers including: B1-B15; B30; B75/1; B75/2.

  • VHS copy of "Governor Ribicoff Signing the University of Hartford Into Being" film.
Guide to the University of Hartford early history collection
Transcribed to ArchivesSpace from word document finding aid by Tiffany Crawford in Nov. 2015, under the supervision of Sean Parke.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Hartford Archives & Special Collections Repository

200 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford CT 06117 United States