Special Collections at the Wilson Music Library: The John Hartford Collection

An overview of the special collections available for students, faculty, and researchers held by the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library.

About John Hartford:

John Hartford (1937-2001) remains best known for the country-pop song "Gentle on My Mind," a major hit and theme song for Glen Campbell and later covered by hundreds of musicians. This song brought Campbell and Hartford to national prominence through appearances on television shows staring and produced by Tom and Dick Smothers. Hartford was a multi-talented old-time musician, a riverboat captain, a DJ, a satirical songwriter, and one of the founders of both progressive country music and old-time string music revivalism.

About the Hartford Collection:

  • Size of the collection – inventory or finding aid
  • Strengths of the Collection: Fiddle tune books, working musician resources, ephemera from Hartford’s life and career (festival advertisements, concert programs, etc.), sheet music, music history and biography (including folk performers and genres), instructional books (particularly from the 19th century).
  • Diversity – Hartford was a man of many interests, and they are reflected by the great variety of the collection. A few of the topics represented include works on architecture, Irish folktales, clog dancing, Appalachian culture, history, biography, and literature.
  • How Do I Access the Collection? Rare and fragile materials are kept in the vault, but items in good condition have been added to the normal circulating collection. You can do a phrase search for “from the john c. Hartford collection” in Library Catalog or ask a member of the Wilson Music Library staff for help.
  • For more information on the Hartford Collection, see the Research Guide.