Main content

Lawrence H. Berger Papers, 1986-2018


Held at: Woodford Mansion [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Woodford Mansion. 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

Lawrence "Larry" H. Berger became the fourth Trustee of the Woodford Mansion and Naomi Wood Collection in 1986 following the 28-year tenure of Martin P. Snyder. Berger was a lawyer by trade. After graduating from the University of Virginia Law School in 1972, he began his career in the then regional Morgan Lewis law firm where he remained for 40 years, working his way from Associate to Senior Counsel. Additionally, Berger became the General Counsel for the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 2006 to 2016.

In 1991, Berger hired Martha Moffat as Site Manager of Woodford Mansion, a position she held throughout Berger's remainder as Trustee. As Site Manager, Moffat was responsible for much of the on-site activities and managament of guides/volunteers. As a result, much of this collection is a combination of Berger and Moffat's files. During the Berger-Moffat era, Woodford experienced a number of changes that helped modernize the institution. They also oversaw the recovery of Woodford and the Naomi Wood Collection following the July 2003 fire.

The Lawrence H. Berger Papers include records from Berger's entire tenure as trustee (1986-2018) as well as the records created by Martha Moffat during her tenure as Site Manager (1991-2018) of Woodford Mansion. This collection is organized into 11 series: Correspondence, Financial Records, Appraisals/Inventories, Acquisitions, Admissions, Orphan Court Records, Grants, Conservation/Preservation, Volunteers/Guides, Events/Programs, Facilities/Grounds. The Conservation/Preservation, Events/Programs, and Facilites/Grounds series are further divided into subseries and subsubseries as necessary. Collection mediums include paper, bound materials, and photographic records. Series: Correspondence This series contains a variety of different correspondence from the era of the Larry H. Berger trusteeship. This includes general correspondence from 1986-2017, sporadic Martha Moffat (Woodford Site Manager) correspondence from 2007-2014,, accounting/finance (2000-2006), and conservation/preservation (1987-1997). Series: Financial Records: This series also contains visitor receipts, monthly financial reports, and monthly accounts/reports from 1986-2015. These records contain data related to visitation to Woodford mansion through this period as well as information regarding gift shop sales.

Series: Appraisals/Inventories: This series offers general appraisals/inventories of Woodford’s collections as well as appraisals/inventories of individual pieces and specific collections (Delftware). Appraisals were conducted by Pook & Pook in 1992, 1995, 2005, 2012. Inventories were taken in 1990, 2000, 2002, 2009, and 2012. The 2009 and 2012 inventories are Past Perfect object reports. Series: Acquisitions Acquisition records include incoming objects and deaccessioned objects. Deaccession records range from 1987-2017 with gap years. Acquisition records include a 2016 book donation and objects acquired following the 2012 Pook & Pook appraisal. Also included are loan records from 1987-2017. Series: Admissions This series contains visitor counts for the year 1990 and month of February, 2008. Series: Administrative This series holds meeting minutes of the Fairmount Park Council for Historic Sites (1988-1992) and the 2005 Woodford Advisory Committee. Also included are the application materials for former Woodford employees Martha Moffat (1990) and Deborah Rebuck (2003).

Series: Orphan Court Records This series contains correspondence related to the Philadelphia Orphan Court from 1987 and 2004. Also included are records related to Woodford’s furniture (1987, 2004) and general accounts (2004). Series: Grants This series holds a number of completed grant applications of which the Naomi Wood Collection and Woodford Mansion were a recipient. Records in this series range from 1992-2013 Series Conservation/Preservation This series holds records related to general conservation/preservation as well as the conservation/preservation of individual objects. Also included are risk assessments and records related to disaster preparedness. These aforementioned records range from 1987-2017. This series also contains a large subseries dedicated to the 2014-2016 Piazza restoration project and a subsubseries specifically related to the paints used in this project (1992-2018). The subseries has a range of 1778-2018. It includes historic research regarding the piazza and documentation created during the 21st century restoration like grant agreements, quarterly reports, proposals, and project outlines.

Series: Volunteers/Guides This series contains information for guides, contact lists, and other records related to the duties and responsibilities of volunteers and guides during the Berger trusteeship. Also included are records related to individual guides and their work at Woodford. Records in this series range from 1995-2008. Series: Events/Programs This series holds records related to general events at Woodford as well as more extensive records related to holiday events/tours at Woodford and other Fairmount Park houses. The general events include events held at Woodford, collaborations with other museums, and general city-wide history events of which Woodford participated. These records range from 1987-2013. The Holiday Events subseries holds records related holiday tours at Woodford and the Fairmount Houses such as event calendars, promotional materials, admissions data, meeting minutes, correspondence and more. Records in this subseries range from 1991-2017. The bulk of these materials range from 2008-2017.

Series: Facilities/Grounds This series includes records related to Woodford security, building maintenance/repair, museum infrastructure (lighting, traffic carpeting), the outbuildings, and the Woodford caretaker. These records range from 1987-2018. This series also includes three subseries: Paint, Signage, and Orchard Project. The Paint subseries (1992-2009) contains different paint analyses and information regarding interior and exterior paints used at Woodford. The Signage subseries (2009-2011) holds records related to the creation of interpretative exterior signage about the history of Woodford placed near the entry gate. Finally, the Orchard Project subseries (2008-2009) contains records about a major project undertaken at Woodford starting in 2008 to clean and update the Woodford orchard. This subseries includes a project outline, correspondence, contracts, plant lists, and more related to the orchard project.

Records in this collection were left to Woodford Mansion by 4th Woodford Trustee Lawrence H. Berger (1984-2018) and Site Manager Martha Moffat (1992-2018). It is unknown whether records are in original order. Many files were refoldered through previous processing attempts through the house museum's history. Previous file names were maintained in an attempt to keeep original order. Some files were also discovered in loose piles of unprocessed materials and integrated into the collection.

Woodford Mansion
Finding Aid Author
Tom Kuipers
Access Restrictions

Contact Woodford Mansion for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

Print, Suggest