The University of Hartford Archives & Special collections will be offering free group tours this coming week. The tours will take students on a walk through the university archives located within Harrison Library. Since being founded in 1966, the archives have been acquiring and maintaining historical artifacts, documents, artwork, and miscellaneous items that pertain to the University. Each tour will be limited to 12 participants. During our interview, archivist Sean Parke explained that this limit will allow him to tailor the tour experience to the guests, ensuring that everyone is shown something that interests them.
Although the archives were founded in 1966, they have amassed a collection much older than themselves. During my brief visit, I was shown concept art from Elmer Nagy’s 1955 production of Faust, an egg that inspired a short story, and even candid photographs of an automobile class in 1897.
Interestingly enough, this is the first time in which Archives & Special collections will be formally offering group tours. Previously, tours were limited to individual requests, class trips, and occasional visits from graduate students. Parke believes that opening tours to the public will raise awareness about the archives and serve as a nice activity while courses begin to wind down.
The tours will take on December 17th, 20th, and 23rd. A spreadsheet of the dates and times can be found here. Once again, registration is completely fee. To sign up, simply send an email with your preferred time to