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Nether Providence Historical Society local history collection


Held at: Nether Providence Historical Society [Contact Us]214 Sykes Lane, Wallingford, PA, 19086

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

Before Swedish, Dutch, and English settlers arrived in the area now known as Nether Providence Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania in the mid 1600s, it was inhabited by Lenape indigenous people. Providence Township (Chester County, PA) was established in 1684, and three years later was divided into Upper Providence and Nether Providence townships, which both became part of Delaware County when it separated from Chester County in 1789. Over time, Nether Providence would progress from a farming economy, to a manufacturing center with over a dozen mills, to a resort destination for wealthy Philadelphians, to a residential community. Part of the region's success was due to its location along transportation routes: Crum Creek and Ridley Creek, a train line established in 1854, and trolley lines constructed in the late 19th century.


Harris, J. Mervyn. "Nether Providence Through the Years." Accessed July 1, 2014.

This collection consists of primary- and secondary-source materials relating to the residents, events, organizations, and structures, of Nether Providence Township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

The bulk of the collection is organized into Subject files, which are arranged in three series: A. People; B. Events, groups and locations; and C. Houses and buildings. The People file is organized alphabetically by family name and contains obituaries as well as photocopies of primary and secondary source materials, such as family manuscripts, articles, newspaper clippings, and narrative family histories. A very small amount of family photographs and other original family documents are present. The Events, groups, and locations file is organized alphabetically within the subseries (events, groups, and locations). It contains mostly newspaper clippings and other secondary source materials such as pamphlets, printed materials, and research materials, mixed with a few photographs and a small amount of other primary source materials. The Houses and buildings file contains some copied Historic Resource Survey forms, newspaper clippings, photocopies of photographs, research materials, and a few manuscripts.

This collection includes a variety of other materials that are not organized into the subject files, including: photographs; maps; blueprints; deeds, certificates, high school diplomas, and other family papers; two volumes of plumbers' registers, 1930-1981, from the plumbing inspector; 11 VHS tapes largely of Nether Providence High School faculty interviews (VHS have been copied to discs); about a dozen audiocassettes labeled with names of individuals (likely oral histories); and photographs, research notebooks, and pamphlets on the Moylan house.

A sizeable accumulation of Byre family materials dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries may be of special interest: diplomas; certificates; photographs (including tintypes); World War I journals (transcripts available on-site); Jacob Byre (1816-1885) business ledgers, 1833-1860, 1841-1846; and 19th century wills and estate documents.

Materials collected or acquired by the Nether Providence Historical Society over time from various sources.

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 Nether Providence Historical Society directly for more information.

Nether Providence Historical Society
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 Nether Providence Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

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