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Union Library of Hatboro records


Held at: Union Library of Hatboro [Contact Us]243 South York Road, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 19040

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Union Library of Hatboro. 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 August of 1755, Joshua Potts, Charles Beatty, John Lukens, and Joseph Hart met with other interested citizens at the Crooked Billet Tavern. Thirty-eight men signed an "Instrument of Partnership", thus bringing into existence the "Union Library of Hatborough." Each member paid an annual donation of ten shillings for the purchase of books, and by August, 1756, the first shipment of books arrived from England. Some of these original books are still in the library's possession.

"In 1848, Nathan Holt, a member of the library Company, bequeathed $5,000 to the library; $2,000 to be invested and the interest to be used to buy books; and $3,000 to buy a lot and build a permanent library building. The Greek Revival style building was completed in 1850 at what is now 243 South York Road.

"On May 8, 1978, the building was placed on the State Registry of Historical Buildings. Later, on November 27, 1979, it was granted a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

"In December, 1991, ground was broken and construction began on a new additional room. This was made possible by grants and private donations. On April 26, 1992, there was a Dedication and Open House for this new addition. On September 10, 2000, a new Children's Wing was dedicated.

"The Library continues to operate under its original charter (the second oldest Library in Pennsylvania to do so) with a board of Directors elected by shareholders."


Union Library of Hatboro. "Library History." Accessed January 13, 2012.

This collection contains records pertaining to the history and administration of the Union Library of Hatboro. These include financial records, administrative records, and materials relating to the use of the library and its interactions with the community. Of special interest are loan books dating from 1790 to 1923, and the second minute book of the Union Library. A rough item-level inventory created by Union Library staff is provided below:

Special Items

Committee's report for printing cat. of books, 1873-74

Copies of Charter

Subscribers list 1807

List of contributors who discharged the debt of library-1832

1834 Fire Insurance policy

Morton's taxes 1834-50

Morton's agreement with library board - 1850

Bills paid in construction of present building (1846/49?)

Memoranda of money rec'd from C. Jarrett - 1849 (re: N. Holt estate)

Readers - 1891

Negatives & copies of Eliz. Ferguson's letter & donations

200th and 250th anniversary books

Copy of Catalogue of the Library Company of Phila. - 1741

Copy of Geo. Washington's bill at Crooked Billet Inn

1892 Hatboro Now! Booklet

Draft Club Note book 1865

Guest Registry 1910-1983 (signatures from 175th & 200th anniversaries)

Book with some shareholders' signatures: 1857, 1881, 1907, 1933, 1948, 1954, 1983, 1985, 1987

Typed list of Founders & signers of Instrument of Partnership

Catalogues of Books

Hand-written listing of books - 1847, 1850, 1855, 1868, 1870, 1907-14, 1914-23

Photostat of books - 1788

Printed "Catalogue of Books" - 1813, 1831, 1858, 1874, 1888

Hand- written Accession list - 1725; 1769; circa1811; 1874-1894, 1879, 1917- 83; 1925

Loan Books

Loan Books - 1790-1798; 1804-1815; circa 1846; 1885-1889; 1913-1923

Book Sellers

Hand-written & typed lists of books purchased in Phila. starting about 1818

Usual files, minutes, correspondence, etc. - also 200th anniversary memorabilia

Papers from Stradling estate

Box noting books that were displayed at 200th anniversary.

1955 anniversary scrapbook


Scrapbook and correspondence

Treasurer's reports 1960-69

Subscriber lists 1968

Notes on bazaar & 1968 cotillion

List cataloging books

1955-1969 minutes


Usual files (treas. & lib. reports, minutes, correspondence, etc.)

Dues book

Map "Walking tour of Historical Hatboro"

Info on bazaars & sketches of booths


"Know Your Hometown History"

Nomination form for Loller Academy & Union Lib.

(Nat'l Register of Historic Places Inventory)

Newspaper Clippings


Box 1 - minutes(82-84 discussion of going public & bylaws revision); financials & library reports; access PA.; seal contest

Box 2 - info. on library going public; volunteers in the 80's; 1982 members register; picture album; list of shareholders; details on bazaars; scrapbooks 1980-89

Box 3 - State reports (public library state funding reports) from 1983-1998


Box 1 -Building of Community Room; Minutes; Raymark report(EPA); picture album: scrapbook; letter re: retention basin; red loose-leaf with librarian's copies of minutes, financials, etc.

Box 2 - financial & librarian's reports; correspondence; letter from Michele Ridge; science. in summer, 97,99; Pen Connect Grant; Retrospect Conversion; 2 990's(1990, 1996);100th anniversary of Fire Company booklet

Box 3 - Construction of Children's Room


250th Anniversary info.


library financial reports

construction of children's room


photograph album

Union Library of Hatboro
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.
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