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Hartford Public Library Annual Reports

Identifier: MS-HPL-AnnualReports

Scope and Content

This collection contains the annual reports for the organization known originally as the Hartford Young Men’s Institute 1839-1878, then the Hartford Library Association 1878 - 1893 and then the Hartford Public Library 1893 - present. The Reports begin in 1840 and continue to the present with only the years 1842, 1843, 1845, 1859, 1863, 1867, 1881 missing.


  • 1840-2018

Access Restrictions

The records are stored in a restricted area and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

Use Restrictions

See Hartford History Center’s Collection Use policy. Permission to publish from the collection must be obtained in writing from the Executive Director of the Hartford History Center, and a copy of the published work may be requested by the Hartford History Center. The Hartford History Center reserves the right to refuse permission to publish, etc. to those who have not complied with its policies. Use of the collections will normally not be permitted for the purpose of promotion of commercial products and services or political campaigns. Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library reserves the right to limit the number of photographic prints/captures and to restrict the use or reproduction of rare, fragile, or valuable objects.

Historical Note

The Hartford Public Library can trace its roots back to 1774 when a group of prominent Hartford residents established the Library Company. The name was changed to the Hartford Library Company in 1799 and met in the Grammar School House and its first librarian was Solomon Porter, a Yale graduate and principal of the Grammar School. In 1838, the Hartford Young Men’s Institute invited the Hartford Library Company subscribers to join them and offered them lifetime membership. The Hartford Young Men’s Institute moved into the new Wadsworth Atheneum building in 1844 along with the fine arts gallery, the Watkinson Library, the Connecticut Historical Society and the Hartford Art School. In 1875, the Hartford Young Men’s Institute hired Caroline Hewins as its head librarian. In 1878, The Hartford Young Men’s Institute changed its name to the Hartford Library Association. By the late 1880’s the need for a free public library was recognized. On September 15, 1892 the city began appropriating tax money for free library service. On May 3, 1893, by a special act of the General Assembly, the library became the Hartford Public Library. The Hartford Public Library continues to operate under the original charter granted to the Hartford Young Men’s Institute in 1839.


3.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Collection comprises the published annual reports for what is now the Hartford Public Library, from 1840 to the present (2 copies of each year when possible).


The Annual Reports are arranged chronologically beginning with 1840. Where possible, two copies of each report have been processed.

Physical Location

HHC Closed Stacks, Range 39

Processing Details

EAD Finding Aid created in 2018.

Hartford Public Library Annual Reports
A Guide to the collection at the Hartford History Center
November 2018
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hartford History Center Repository

Hartford History Center
Hartford Public Library
500 Main St
Hartford CT 06103 USA