UConn Magazine: Paper Work

As the university archivist at Eastern Connecticut State University, Tara Ludlow Hurt ’94 (CLAS) does the dirty work of rescuing centuries-old documents for posterity

Tara Ludlow Hurt standing in a filing room with boxes.

“I love the documents that connect people to a place,” says Tara Ludlow Hurt. “We need to understand our past to move forward as well-educated human beings.” (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

As the university archivist and head of archives and special collections at Eastern Connecticut State University, just down the road from UConn, Tara Ludlow Hurt ’94 (CLAS) does the dirty work of rescuing and maintaining decades- and centuries-old documents for posterity. Since her hiring in 2001, she has helped the town of Windham rescue countless treasured records and artifacts from the trash bin.

“People come into museums, people come into libraries, people come into town halls and they think, all the records are just here. But it takes so much to get them there, to have them be cleaned, preserved, and made accessible,” Hurt says. “I kind of like that behind-the-scenes mystery of it — it was dirty in a box and now it’s here for you to research with. And as we digitize, it’s not just available for local people, now everyone in the world can see all of it.”

Read on for more.