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Malvern Historical Commission subject files


Held at: Malvern Historical Commission [Contact Us]Borough of Malvern, 1 East First Avenue, Suite 3, Malvern, PA, 19355

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Malvern Historical 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

In the 17th century, Welsh immigrants settled in the area that would later be known as Malvern, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Originally part of Willistown Township as a village called West Chester Intersection, Malvern was the site of the Battle of Paoli in 1777, which took place during the American Revolution. This site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 as the Paoli Battlefield Site and Parade Grounds. In 1873, when the Pennsylvania Railroad laid its tracks through the village, it was renamed Malvern. Economic development in the small village led residents to officially incorporate in 1889 as the Borough of Malvern, separating it from Willistown Township. Following incorporation, the Borough of Malvern continued to grow, including the creation of the Malvern Fire Company, the Malvern water system, and other organizations. As of 2015, the Borough of Malvern remains a small town with a railway station and a variety of cultural and civic organizations, and as a result of recent revitalization efforts, boasts a wide assortment of local shops in its business district.


Schmitt, Nancy B. A Century in Malvern. Malvern, PA: Malvern Historical Commission, 1989.

This collection consists of subject files organized into six series: I. Business files, II. Citizens, III. Borough files, IV. Malvern files, V. General History, and VI. Malvern Area and Chester County.

Series I. Business Files consists of files arranged alphabetically by business types, such as animal hospitals, beer and beverages, dentists, and knitting. Materials in the files include flyers, business letterheads, histories, and ephemera from various local businesses. In addition, there is a file for the Malvern Business and Professional Association.

Series II. Citizens consists of files with information and research on residents of Malvern, organized alphabetically by surname. There are files for families as well as individuals. The files consist primarily of obituaries, newspaper clippings, and photocopies of original documents relating to the individual or family. Some files include primary-source documents. Of special interest are handwritten and typewritten transcripts of the journals of David Evans, a major developer of the Malvern Borough. The originals are held at the Chester County Historical Society.

Series III. Borough files is organized into two sub-series: A. Borough publications, and B. Borough files. Sub-series A. Borough publications consists of printed matter and publications printed by or relating to the Borough of Malvern. Publications include Malvern Treasures, A Century in Malvern, walking tour brochures, newsletters, and Malvern coloring books. Sub-series B. Borough files consists of newspaper articles, bound studies and other publications relating to Borough operations. Subjects include: streets, Malvern descriptions, mural projects, plans and studies, utilities, and Borough Citizen Committees.

Series IV. Malvern files is organized into two sub-series: A. Malvern Celebrations and B. Malvern files. Sub-series A. Malvern Celebrations contains materials about events held in Malvern, such as celebrations or anniversaries that relate to the Borough, Chester County, or United States. Materials include guest books, photographs, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings. A large amount of materials relates to the 75th Anniversary of the Borough. Subseries B. Malvern files consists of subject files under the headings of Civic and Community Organizations, Churches, Demographics, Malvern History, Malvern Walking Tours, and Politics. The files contain secondary-resource materials and ephemera relating to these topics.

Series V. General History consists of subject files organized partially by date and partially by topic. File headings include decades organized chronologically from 1890 to the 20th century and general subject headings are organized alphabetically and include headings such as: Automobiles, Christmas, Cooking, Crime, Genealogy, the Lusitania, and Prohibition. The files include newspaper clippings, photocopies of newspaper clippings, magazine articles (originals and photocopies), pamphlets and other printed matter.

Series VI. Malvern Area and Chester County consists of subject files relating to the Malvern area and Chester County, organized partially by geographic location and partially by subject. Locations and subjects include Berwyn, DuPonts, Phoenixville, Crime, the Devon Horse Show, and several other topics and place names. Materials in these files include newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and other printed matter.

Materials collected by Malvern Historical Commission 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 Malvern Historical Commission directly for more information.

Malvern Historical Commission
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
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 Malvern Historical Commission for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

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