Hartwick College was founded in 1797, under the provisions of the will of John Christoper Hartwick, as the first Lutheran Seminary in America.
The first Seminary building was erected in 1815 on the Hartwick Patent in upstate New York. In 1888 the Classical Department introduced the freshmen year of a collegiate course and in 1928 it expanded to a four-year liberal arts college and was moved to Oneonta, New York. Today, Hartwick College is an independent, liberal arts and sciences college of about 1300 students and 175 faculty.
The College Archives was officially established in 1973 and exists primarily to collect and preserve materials that reflect the biography of John Christopher Hartwick and the educational institutions bearing his name – Hartwick Seminary, Hartwick Academy and Hartwick College. In addition, the Archives houses over thirty special collections.