ImageDid you know that our Campus once had a championship basketball team?  Or that Charles Dickens ate supper in Hartford?  Or that you can make professional looking graphics in minutes on your computer for free?

The Trecker Library is beginning a new series of brief information sessions on a variety of topics.  Sessions are about 40 minutes long and will cover the history of the campus, introductions to free or low cost software, tips on database searching, and other subjects.  The overall program is tentatively called:  “Information Universe @ Trecker Library”.

The first three sessions, listed below, are being held in the Library’s Social Work History Room, directly opposite the Library’s main doors.  They will happen from 12:45 pm to 1:20 pm.  Due to the nature of the room, seating is limited.

The first sessions are:

“The History of the Greater Hartford Campus:  A PowerPoint Show”.   Over 100 pictures are used to trace the colorful history of the campus, including its championship sports teams,  beginning in 1939.   Wednesday, February 22 & Thursday, February 23.

“Searching the Hartford Courant Historical Database, 1764-1986”.  This session will show how to key-word search articles, advertisements, photos, obituaries, and more,  in our country’s “Oldest Continuously Published Newspaper”.  Wednesday, February 29 & Thursday, March1.

“An Introduction to Photofiltre”.  An experienced user will show the basics of this popular and free graphics program which can to used to edit photographs, create graphics from scratch, make flyers, and more.  Wednesday, March 7 & Thursday, March 8.

If the weather is dicey on the day of one of the sessions please call the Library at 860-570-9024 to confirm the schedule.

We will send campus e-mails to announce upcoming sessions and also list them on this blog.  If you have topics of particular interest which we should consider, please let me know!

Bill Uricchio, Library Director


Two recent exhibits celebrated historical aspects of Connecticut women who worked and now work in heavy industry.

All in a Day’s Work:
Photographs of Women in Connecticut Industry from the collections of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center


Women in Connecticut have a long and rich history as workers. Their traditional place was in their own homes, where nearly all household goods and services produced were done so through women’s labor. The Industrial Revolution ushered in a new role, that of paid worker, and women entered the workforce in significant numbers. Economically disadvantaged women augmented their household income by working in the textile mills and industrial factories that proliferated across Connecticut. By 1900, 1 in 5 females over age 10 were paid workers, and 25% of them worked in manufacturing.

The influx of southern and eastern Europeans between 1880 and 1920 to Connecticut brought thousands of immigrants into the workforce, including women, eager to contribute to newly established households. As did their American-born counterparts, immigrant women employed in manufacturing faced grueling workdays, hazardous working conditions, and substantially lower pay than men. Yet, work brought with it a sense of empowerment and wage-work provided the immigrant woman a new found freedom that was often not tolerated in the old country.

War accelerated opening the gates to women’s work in industry. During World War I the need for war goods and the absence of men of fighting age gave women new opportunities. But the gains did not last. After the war, returning soldiers expected their jobs back and there was enormous pressure for women to return to their domestic sphere. Most of them did. That pressure remained through the Depression when national sentiment strongly favored men holding the few jobs that were available.

World War II again brought women into industry in large numbers, many becoming skilled factory workers in jobs previously held only by men. The prohibition of married women holding paid jobs faded only as women reassured the country that they were still maintaining their homes and families. The home was still very much the woman’s responsibility, but it was increasingly possible for women to hold down a day job as well.

African-American women forged an alternate path in the workforce. In the late 19th century African-American women worked outside the home in higher percentages than white women, but they were less likely to gain employment in factories. Most worked in agriculture or as domestics. Manufacturing jobs were for the most part racially segregated until the Civil Rights era.

About the Photographs

The photographs in this exhibit were from the Business History Collections in Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center of the University of Connecticut in Storrs. These collections illustrate Connecticut’s rich history as a leader in business and industry, and represent the diverse nature of the state’s industries, ranging from textile mills to complex technology. Many of the companies had their start as family-owned and operated small businesses and evolved into nationally known producers of such products as brass, hardware, machine tools, cutlery, clocks and watches, silk and other textiles, and toiletries. The collections are composed of a wide variety of materials including administrative and financial records, maps and facilities drawings, and advertising samples, as well as thousands of photographs depicting the diversity of workers and their work.

“We Can Do It”

was a short video slide show highlighting women who worked in Hartford area defense industries during World Wars I & II.  Produced by the Trecker Library, it saluted both the “All In a Day’s Work Exhibit” and also the fact that UConn’s Hartford Campus played a significant role in the education of thousands (literally) of men and women moving from civilian to defense occupations during the war years.

GREATER HARTFORD CAMPUS GRAD and UNDERGRAD STUDENTS: New Virtual Focus Group Process To Begin — Please Join Us!

Please join our new Virtual Focus Group — It’s fast, easy, and will help us provide better library service!  Volunteers will  receive a nifty, suitable for framing, declaration of achievement.

Last spring’s very successful Virtual Focus Group activity (see earlier post)  has already led to some improvements at the Trecker Library including an increasingly popular small group meeting space.  Three individual, private study spaces are also about to be implemented.  More improvements are on the way!

This time, instead of responding to questions about library space or other service issues, a new virtual focus group will be asked to help us clarify the results of a large-scale University Libraries survey conducted last fall.  You do not need to have participated in that 2010 survey process to participate now.

That survey, which came from a vendor and was not developed locally, contained some confusing language which we are having trouble interpreting.  Our expectation is that, by responding to a short list of questions, and also to the comments of others over a two week period, virtual focus group members will provide insights which will make our survey results much clearer.  It is critical for us to more fully understand that survey because it is one of the most important planning tools used by the University Libraries as we strive to improve our services to better meet your needs.

At this time, we are asking for volunteers to join our new Virtual Focus Group.  You will be given a confidential web address to gain access to our survey instrument of just five questions.  We know this is a busy time so we ask only that group members visit the blog site three times (although more visits are welcome) to first respond to each of the questions and then to respond to the comments of others.

The only requirement for participation is that you currently be enrolled in one or more classes at the Greater Hartford Campus.

When the Virtual Focus Group concludes,  we will give each volunteer a colorful, personalized certificate featuring a photo of our namesake, Dean Harleigh B. Trecker.    This certificate, acknowledging your valuable assistance, will make a handsome addition to your career portfolio.

Will you help us?  Please e-mail me with your contact information and let me know if you are a graduate or an undergraduate level student.  We hope to start this process November 7th with a conclusion on the 18th.


Bill Uricchio, Library Director