Skip to main content

Hartford Studies Project Collection

Identifier: Hartford Studies Project Collection

Scope and Contents

Collection contains several reels of 16 MM film as well as VHS tapes and DVDs of interviews from the early 2000s. It further contains photographic material, reports with data about residents, guidebooks, and other paper-based materials such as student papers and theses spanning the past several decades. The collection is composed of several smaller composite collections dealing with neighborhoods, development and cultural projects undertaken by various organizations within Hartford documenting urban life, Project Concern, Sheff vs. O'Neill, African-Americans, and Puerto Ricans in the 19th and late 20th centuries.

The collection also contains older documents and publications related to Hartford's history and identity during the 18th and early 19th centuries such as "Hartford's First 100 Years" (1835), as well as documents from the Hartford Jewish Community and Jewish Historical Society from the 1980s to early 2000s.


  • 1835 - 2008


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. Some copyright limitations to audio-visual material may apply.

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

The Hartford Studies Project Collection contains materials collected by and related to the Hartford Studies Project, a research group started at Trinity College around 1990. The Director of the Hartford Studies Project until 2008 was Associate Professor of History Susan D. Pennybacker (later, the Borden W. Painter Jr. Professor of European History at Trinity, then the Chalmers W. Poston Distinguished Professor of European History at UNC-Chapel Hill). Along with Trinity College professors Stephen M. Valocchi and James A. Miller, Pennybacker founded the Hartford Studies Project.

The Hartford Studies Project was multi-faceted and eventually involved dozens of faculty members, undergraduates, graduate students and independent scholars. Affiliated with the American Studies Department at Trinity College, the Hartford Studies Project acquired original items and secondary sources related to Hartford (Conn.) during the past decades, leading to a multitude of visual, audio, and audio-visual material as well as paper-based reports, studies, and papers on the city. Various facets such as housing, neighborhoods, and political activities were covered.

Oral history interviews were an important component of the Hartford Studies Project. They built upon the 1969 films of Julian Biggs, an acclaimed filmmaker from Canada brought the Fogo Method to the project by filming community leaders during the 1960s in conjunction with the Office of Equal Opportunity.

related to the Hartford Studies Project which began in 1969 as part of an initiative to bring various ethnic groups in Hartford together for dialogue in the wake of civil and political unrest marked by riots in the North End of Hartford in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death and police shootings the year before. Julian Biggs, Pennybacker and the Hartford Studies Project planned the creation of a documentary based on archival and more recent film footage.

In the summer of 2007 and spring 2008, Henry Arneth (Trinity College IDP graduate 2009) organized and helped inventory the collection during an internship and a class taken with Professor Susan D. Pennybacker. The project wound down in 2010 upon the departure of Pennybacker to UNC-Chapel Hill.


25 Cubic Feet (26 records storage cartons, 6 film reels, 1 carton of discs and floppies, and 6 vertical document boxes of VHS tapes. )

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged into several series: Series I: Neighborhood Collection, ca. 1980-1999; Series II: General Collection, 1835-2008; Series III: Keith Hook Collection, 1957- ca. 1980; Series IV: Hartford Clipping file, ca. 1977- 2006, Series V: NAACP and NUL files (photocopies-- originals with Library of Congress, 1995), 1912-1955, and Series VI: Film Interviews, 1969-2004.

Custodial History

In October 2011, the Hartford Studies Project collection was deposited at the Watkinson Library.

Related Materials

Links to films related to the 1969 gathering can be found on the Hartford Public Library's Digital Collections website. Digitized versions of some Hartford Studies Project papers by students and faculty at Trinity College may be accessed at the Trinity Digital Repository:

Guide to the Hartford Studies Project Collection
Henry Arneth and 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