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New Harmony collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 145

Scope and Contents

The New Harmony Collection (1820-1980s) contains materials from and information related to the New Harmony community in Southern Indiana and the family of Robert Owen, one of its leaders. The collection includes correspondence, newspapers, illustrations, maps, pamphlets, and historical research about New Harmony.


  • 1820-1980s


Historical Information

The area of New Harmony, Indiana, was initially settled as Harmony in 1814 by the Rappites, a German Lutheran group led by George Rapp. Rapp sold the land in 1825 to British industrialist Robert Owen, who established New Harmony as an experimental free thinking utopian community that would create "universal happiness through universal education." Owen recruited prominent thinkers, scientists, and educators to join the community. The Owenite community experiment ended after two years, but the Owen family - including Robert Owen's sons Robert Dale Owen, Richard Owen, and David Dale Owen - continued to live and work in the area. Contributions of the short-lived New Harmony experiment include the first kindergarten in America, first free public school, and first public school offering equal education to boys and girls. Historic New Harmony maintains the buildings and history of the original settlements.

Richard Owen, son of New Harmony founder Robert Owen, was the first President of Purdue University.

Source: materials in the collection


.7 Cubic Feet


The New Harmony Collection is organized into five series:





New Harmony Historical Information and Research

Related Materials

MSP 130: Collection of Virginia Poullard Dupalais Twigg, Lucy Way Sistare Say, and Charles Alexandre Lesueur Works of Art
New Harmony collection
Adriana Harmeyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States