Held at: Delaware County Institute of Science [Contact Us]11 Veterans Square, Media, PA, 19063
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Delaware County Institute of Science. 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
Delaware County was the first section of Pennsylvania to be settled by Europeans, specifically Swedes in 1643. It was in the city of Chester, the original county seat of Delaware County, that William Penn and the General Assembly of Pennsylvania adopted Penn's "Great Law of Pennsylvania," which granted the right to vote, citizenship, freedom of religion and trial by jury to all settlers.
The Borough of Media became the county seat of Delaware County, Pennsylvania in 1850s. Located about 12 miles outside of Philadelphia, Media and its surrounding area were settled by Europeans beginning in the 1680s. A largely rural area prior to the 1850s, the town grew rapidly in the second half of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century. The West Chester and Philadelphia Railroad was built through Media in 1854, and trolley service to 69th Street Terminal in Philadelphia opened in 1913.
Delaware County, Pennsylvania. "The History of Delaware County." Accessed August 12, 2014. http://www.co.delaware.pa.us/ycounty/history.html.
Media Historic Archives Commission. "Media History." Accessed August 12, 2014. http://www.mediaborough.com/community/media-history.
This collection consists of a variety of local history materials including organizational records, business records, personal papers, photographs, scrapbooks, blueprints, subject files, maps and atlases, and other materials. Most of the materials relate to Delaware County (Pennsylvania), but some items pertain to other locations in Pennsylvania and other states. Although the 19th century is the best represented among the materials, there is a significant amount of materials from the 18th century and a few items from the 17th century.
Manuscripts in the collection include: business records such as account books for various professions and doctors' visitation records; paper photographs (most of which are of Media and Delaware County), glass plate negatives, and lantern slides; correspondence; receipts; deeds; maps and atlases; blueprints; scrapbooks; meteorological records; and other organizational records, business records, and personal papers. Of particular interest are records from the Farm Stock Association of Delaware County, a Revolutionary War orderly book from the Valley Forge encampment (1777), and a smattering of documents associated with famous historical figures such as John Dickinson and William Penn. A sizeable quantity of materials were donated by Minshall Painter, a Quaker horticulturalist and one of the founders of the Delaware County Institute of Science. These include several volumes of original records (and some copied by Painter in the 19th century) of meetings of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), other Quaker records, and some diaries of Minshall Painter.
There are also subject files mostly composed of newspaper clippings, publications, ephemera, and other printed items, as well as a small number of manuscripts, photographs, and other primary-source documents. The materials relate to Delaware County local history, members of the Delaware County Institute of Science, local events, and other topics.
Materials collected from various sources over time.
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 Institute of Science directly for more information.
- Delaware County Institute of Science
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu 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 Institute of Science for information about accessing this collection.