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Government Study Commission of Delaware County records


Held at: Delaware County Historical Society [Contact Us]408 Avenue of the States, Chester, Pennsylvania, 19013

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Delaware County Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Under the Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law (Act 62) of 1972, for the first time in Pennsylvania history, local governments were authorized to change their governmental structure upon voter approval. Act 62, section 207 specified, "It shall be the function and duty of the government study commission to study the form of government of the municipality, to compare it with other available forms under the laws of this State, to determine whether or not in its judgment the government of the municipality could be strengthened, made more clearly responsible or accountable to the people, or whether its operation could become more economical or efficient under a changed form of government."

Delaware County's government study commissioners, a group of unpaid citizens headed by chairman Charles C. Keeler, began meeting in July of 1973. They proposed a home rule charter with a new County Council. Approved in the May 20, 1975 election and effective the following January, Delaware County was the first in the state of Pennsylvania to become a home rule county.


Delaware County, Pennsylvania. "Government Structure - Home Rule Charter." Accessed June 25, 2013.

Government Study Commission of Delaware County. "Final Report and Proposed Home Rule Charter for County Government." November 11, 1974.

This collection consists of papers originating with or consulted by the Delaware County Government Study Commission, charged with drafting a home rule charter for the county. It includes the minutes, correspondence, press releases, and other records of the commission, as well as publications on governmental structures consulted by the commissioners during the course of their work, and drafts of the home rule charter they wrote.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Delaware County Historical Society directly for more information.

Delaware County Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Contact Delaware County Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

Ward and precinct map of Delaware County.
Box S7a
Correspondence, reports, opinion papers, etc., circa 1973-1975.
Box S7a Folder 1+2
Minutes, 1973 June to 1974 August.
Box S7a Folder 3
Items of press interest, 1974 January to 1975 May.
Box S7a Folder 4
Box S7b Folder 1
News releases.
Box S7b Folder 2
Home Rule Charter drafts.
Box S7b Folder 3
Delaware County government reports.
Box S7b Folder 4
Home Rule Charter.
Box S7b Folder 5
Various publications, reports, etc. regarding county government.
Box S7c

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