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J. Hammond Trumbull Collection

Identifier: J. Hammond Trumbull Collection

Scope and Contents

This collection contains annotated books, correspondence, manuscripts, notebooks and notes, and other printed materials such as scrapbooks related to indigenous North American languages and geographical names. The collection includes large volumes of correspondence related to Trumbull’s work in developing lexicons, grammars, and indigenous geographic names throughout his life, as well as correspondence related to his publications and articles in journals on philology and early United States history. It further contains manuscripts on early Connecticut history, printing and publishing, as well as texts prepared for a bibliography by Trumbull. The collection materials primarily span Trumbull’s lifetime, but also include copies and annotated books for his publications from the early 16th to 18th centuries.


  • Creation: 1500 - 1921


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

James Hammond Trumbull (1821-1897); a noted philologist of American Indian languages and historian of colonial history, as well as a noted bibliographer who wrote a substantial work titled The Catalogue of the Library of the Late Mr. George Brinley of Hartford, Connecticut, made noteworthy contributions to the field of indigenous philology and language studies with his translations of John Eliot’s Catechism for the Indians (1653), as well as a dictionary accompanying the work published posthumously by the Smithsonian Institute. Trumbull is also known for his numerous other lexical and grammatical studies of American Indian languages. Trumbull wrote extensively on Connecticut history, leaving an unpublished manuscript upon his death titled A List of Books Printed in Connecticut, 1709-1800; the first bibliography of Connecticut imprints in the state. The bibliography was published and edited by his daughter, Annie Eliot Trumbull (1857-1949). Along with his many publications, Trumbull served as assistant-secretary and state secretary in Connecticut as well as state librarian in 1854, and President of the Connecticut Historical Society from 1863-1889.


8.6 Cubic Feet (26 flat boxes, 1 portfolio)

Language of Materials



Collection contains fourteen series and is arranged alphabetically by material type, and manuscripts and notebooks are arranged alphabetically by subject:

Series I: Background and Annotated Books, 1500-1888 Series II: Correspondence, 1846-1890 Series III: History: Colonial New England (Manuscripts), 1869-1890 Series IV: History: Connecticut (Notebooks), ca. 1860-1890 Series V: History: Connecticut, Printing & Publishing (Notebooks and Notes), ca. 1864-1892 Series VI: Connecticut History: Stonington (Notebooks), ca. 1857 Series VII: Indian Languages: Comparative Philology (Notebooks and Remarks), ca. 1860-1890 Series VIII: Indian Languages: Place Names (Notes), 1879-1885 Series IX: Indian Languages: Texts (Transcriptions and Records), ca. 1860-1880 Series X: Indian Languages: Word Lists (Notebooks), ca. 1874-1880 Series XI: Indian Languages: Variations (Miscellaneous Materials), ca. 1869-1890 Series XII: Miscellaneous Manuscripts, 1870-1881 Series XIII: Natural History (Notebooks), 1849 Series XIV: Printed Materials, 1849-1883

Guide to the J. Hammond Trumbull Collection
In Progress
Michelle C. Sigiel, based on inventories prepared by Jeffrey H. Kaimowitz and Michael J. Breen.
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