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Historical Society of Montgomery County photograph collection


Held at: Historical Society of Montgomery County [Contact Us]1654 Dekalb Street, Norristown, PA, 19401

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Montgomery County. 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

Montgomery County, situated in southeastern Pennsylvania, was established in 1784 out of the western portion of Philadelphia County. Part of the Welsh Tract, an area of Pennsylvania settled by Quakers from Wales, it is located along the Schuylkill River. Montgomery County has played an important role in U.S. history, including being the site of such Revolutionary War events as the dramatic reshaping of Washington's Army at Valley Forge and the lesser-known engagement of General Lafayette at Barren Hill. Among its significant residents are military figures Winfield S. Hancock, John F. Hartranft (also Governor of Pennsylvania), and Henry "Hap" Arnold; abolitionist Lucretia Mott; inventors David Rittenhouse and Thaddeus Lowe; and artist Thomas Hovenden. Since its founding, Montgomery County has experienced "booming industry and manufacturing, rich farm fields, advanced transportation, artistic endeavors and unique religious beliefs."

The Historical Society of Montgomery County was established in 1881 as the institutional successor to the Federation of Montgomery County Historical Societies. The Society's mission is "to preserve the county's rich heritage and help tell the stories of the many people who have walked and tended its soil."


Quoted text from: Historical Society of Montgomery County. "Home." Accessed March 2, 2012.

This collection is comprised primarily of photographs, with a number of negatives, glass plates, daguerreotypes/cased photographs, tintypes, and printer's plates. The collection is organized into three series: "Photographs by subject," "Photographs by collection," and "Oversized photographs."

The first series, "Photographs by subject," contains 4 subseries: People (arranged alphabetically), Norristown (organized by subjects such as churches, businesses, etc.), Locations (organized by towns/boroughs in Montgomery County, with a few other Pennsylvania counties, states, and Europe), and Subjects (such as transportation, churches, wars, etc.).

The second series, "Photographs by collection," is comprised of photographs taken out of family papers and other archival collections at the Historical Society. The photographs in this series are arranged into subseries according to the collection from which they were removed.

The third series, "Oversized photographs," includes photograph albums, glass plates, daguerreotypes, tintypes, and printer's plates. There are approximately 100 cased photographs in total. Of special interest are about two-dozen 8"x10" silver-coated copper plates made by William Stroud of Montgomery County scenes.

Photographs collected by the Historical Society of Montgomery County at various times.

Historical Society of Montgomery County
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza 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 Historical Society of Montgomery County for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

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