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Henry Barnard Collection

Identifier: Henry Barnard Collection

Scope and Contents

The collection contains diaries and journals, correspondence, manuscripts such as speeches, research notes, and articles by Henry Barnard, printed materials such as programs, articles, and reports, as well as account books, appointments, awards, catalogues from Barnard’s library, and circulars. Printed materials and reports come from St. John’s College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Yale University, from approximately 1846-1899. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence by Barnard spanning the 19th century covering such topics as teaching conditions in schools, housing, and orphan asylums. Also prevalent in correspondence are discussions of politics surrounding school funding.


  • 1777 - 1901


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the John M.K. Davis Reading Room of the Watkinson Library, Trinity College Library, Hartford, Connecticut. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws when using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with the duplication policy of the Watkinson Library.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information (e.g. social security numbers) in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Barnard (1811-1900) was an educational reformer who created a state school board, and established the first teacher’s institute in the state of Connecticut (1839). He went on to study Rhode Island schools in the 1840s, and became the state’s first commissioner on education (1845). Returning to Connecticut in 1849, Barnard became the state superintendent of education and principal of the Normal School at New Britain, Connecticut. Barnard was educated at Yale University, graduating in 1830, and eventually becoming a chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1858-1861), and president of Saint John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland (1866-1867). He was founder and editor of Connecticut Common School Journal and Annals of Education (1838-1942).


15 Cubic Feet (42 flat boxes, 2 portfolios)

Language of Materials



Henry Barnard (1811-1900) was an educational reformer who created the Connecticut state school board in 1839. He became the first commissioner on education in Rhode Island, and the state superintendent of education in Connecticut. Barnard was heavily involved in educational reform, improving wages and working conditions for teachers, and conditions for students. This collection reflects his mission of reform with a large amount of correspondence dedicated to education in the mid-19th century, as well as reports, circulars, and other manuscript materials related to education reform throughout the 1800s.


The collection is arranged into four series by material type:

Series I: Account Books, Diaries, and Journals, 1777-1900 Series II: Correspondence, 1765-1900 Series III: Manuscripts, 1834-1900 Series IV: Photographs and Printed Materials, 1838-1901

Guide to the Henry Barnard collection
In Progress
Michelle C. Sigiel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Watkinson Library - Archival Collections Repository

Trinity College Library
300 Summit St.
Hartford Connecticut 06106