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I. Frank Lees slides of Media


Held at: Media Historic Archives Commission [Contact Us]Media-Upper Providence Free Library, 1 East Front Street, Media, Pennsylvania, 19063

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Media Historic Archives Commission. 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

A long-time resident and local historian of Media, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, I. Frank Lees (1918-1999) was popularly known as "Mr. Media."

Lees spent his childhood in Media, working on a paper route for the Evening Bulletin. He volunteered for the Army and Navy during World War II but was rejected from both because he was too short. Instead, he served as an air-raid warden and delivered telegrams to the families of killed or injured servicemen. He worked for 17 years at Baker's print shop before opening the Media Office Supply Company.

Lees began collecting memorabilia related to Media history in earnest around the time of the borough's centennial celebration in 1950. He spearheaded the establishment of the Media Borough Historic Archives Commission, which was created by Media Borough on February 19, 1981, and which opened its archival collections for public access in the Media-Upper Providence Library on June 8, 1989. He also helped establish historic district zoning in the borough and advocated for the preservation of the historic Minshall House. Lees wrote a book about Media's history, From Media's Past, in 1979. In the 1980s he had a weekly history column, "Historically Speaking," in the local newspaper Town Talk.

In 1997, Lees was honored with a tribute at the Media Government Center. Borough Councilman James J. Cunningham called Lees "invaluable in preserving the history in Media."


Janco, Mary Anne. "Known Locally as 'Mr. Media,' Historian to Be Honored Today." Philadelphia Inquirer. October 12, 1997. Accessed October 17, 2013.

The collection consists of thirteen boxes of mostly color slides compiled by I. Frank Lees about various topics relating to Media Borough and Delaware County, such as Baltimore Avenue, State Street, Media Fire Company, Media current, and old Media. Many were used in slide presentations about Media history. Many are labeled.

Gift of I. Frank Lees.

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 Media Historic Archives Commission directly for more information.

Media Historic Archives Commission
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.
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Contact Media Historic Archives Commission for information about accessing this collection.

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