Hilbert College has its roots as a teacher training college, developed in 1957, for the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1969, the College broadened its curriculum to include degrees outside of teacher training and expanded its enrollment to include both men and women, and the institution officially became known as Hilbert College. It is named after the founder of the FSSJ, Mother Colette Hilbert.
Sister Joanette Rutkowski, Hilbert College Archivist for more than 20 years, is the first and only official archivist at the college since it was founded. The collection was named in her honor in April 2008. The content at present reflects the history of the College.