Held at: James A. Michener Art Museum Archives [Contact Us]138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, PA, 18901
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the James A. Michener Art Museum Archives. 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
The Bucks County Prison was built in 1885 on Pine Street in Doylestown, Pennsylvania to relieve overcrowding at the county jail and was used for a century. This was the town's second prison facility. Doylestown's first prison was built in 1813 on Main and Court streets after the county seat, including the county prison, moved to Doylestown from Newtown. The first prison was used until 1882. When the first prison was demolished, the stones were moved to aid in the construction of the second prison. For the second Bucks County Prison, Philadelphia architect Addison Hutton designed an expanded facility that included a three-story warden's house and guardhouse control center using a combined Romanesque and Italianate style. The architecture was inspired by Quaker ideas of reflection and penitence that dominated the American prison system in the 19th century. The overall design concept of the prison was modeled after the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Bucks County Prison closed in 1985. After extensive renovations to the prison buildings, the James A. Michener Art Museum opened on the site in 1988.
Sergey, Pam. "Pine Street Hotel Keys." In Michener Volunteer Voices. February 1, 2016. Accessed September 13, 2016. https://michenervolunteervoices.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/pine-street-hotel-keys/.
James A. Michener Art Museum Archives collection of Bucks County Prison photographs and ephemera, 1880-1987, consists of prison photographs, including exterior and interior images of the Bucks County Prison, prison views from 1907, aerial views of the prison complex prior to 1985, photographs of the abandoned prison in 1986, interior shots of the overcrowded jail in the early 1980s, photographs of prison warden (1962-1967) John Case and his family, and other materials. A majority of the photographs in the collection are facsimiles printed on modern photographic paper. Many of the photographs in this collection are undated and unidentified. Photographers who have images represented in the collection include: Ron Brown, Jay Crawford and Jim Pitrone of The Courier Times; Giancarlo Luiso of The Doylestown Intelligencer; and Milton Rutherford of Doylestown. Also included are facsimiles of photographs assembled by Lois R. Anderson for The Pine Street Hotel: A History of the Old Bucks County Jail, published by the James A. Michener Art Museum (Doylestown, PA, 1993). Mrs. Anderson obtained photographs from The Spruance Library of the Bucks County Historical Society. There are also 6 black and white photographs of the Sally Port, the secure holding place where prisoners first arrived; 6 black and white photographs of the interior of Bucks County Prison by Jim Pitrone; 3 photographs taken by Jerry W. Fuqua, a prison guard from the 1970s to 1987; 1 color photograph by Jack Tinney; and 1 black and white photo by Frank Pronesti of James A. Michener Art Museum's Pine St. facade. Additionally, there is 1 set of 3 iron keys on a large iron ring used in the Bucks County Prison donated by Miriam Derstine, a volunteer in the Bucks County Prison.
A more detailed finding aid, biographical note, or inventory for this collection may be available on-site or on the Michener Archives finding aid page: http://www.michenerartmuseum.org/collections-research/archives/finding-aids/.
Materials collected from various sources over time
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 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 James A. Michener Art Museum Archives directly for more information.
- James A. Michener Art Museum Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu and Anastasia Matijkiw through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using information provided by the James A. Michener Art Museum Archives
- 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 James A. Michener Art Museum Archives for information about accessing this collection.