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Martin P. and June Avery Snyder Papers, 1958-1986


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

Martin Pullinger Snyder (June 16, 1913 - November 14, 2004) was born in Philadelphia and was a lifelong Pennsylvanian. After graduating from Haverford College, he attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1938 and then served as a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve in World War II. In 1958, Martin became the third trustee of the Naomi Wood Collection and Trust at Woodford Mansion following the tenures of Daniel T. V. Huntoon, Jr. and John P.B. Sinkler. He remained trustee until 1986. In addition to his role as Trustee, Snyder was also an accomplished attorney, President of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution, and Commissioner of Valley Forge National Park. Along with his co-authorship of The Story of The Naomi Wood Collection and Woodford Mansion with his wife June, Martin also authored City of Independence: Views of Philadelphia before 1800 (1975).

Horatia June Burroughs Avery Snyder (February 14, 1919 – November 26, 1983), known by most as June Avery Snyder, was born in Detroit, Michigan. June attended Bryn Mawr College and afterwards became a magazine writer during World War II. June was credited as the Volunteer Administrative Director of Woodford Mansion, but also contributed greatly to general operations, organization, selecting/training guides, and cataloging the collection. In addition to her work at Woodford, June also served on the Strawberry Mansion Board, the Colonial Dames of America Chapter 2, as a Winterthur Museum volunteer guide, and as a founding member of the Philadelphia Committee of the American Museum in England. Along with her co-authorship of The Story of The Naomi Wood Collection and Woodford Mansion with her husband Martin, she also authored Show Me the Way to Make Home (1981).

Martin and June were married June 8, 1940 in Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Records in this collection span the entirety of Martin P. Snyder’s tenure as Trustee from 1958-1984. The bulk of correspondence is to/from Martin P. Snyder and gives a good idea of the monthly and annual activities of the museum and trust. The volume of correspondence leading up to the U.S. Bicentennial grows considerably due to the increase of events planned for 1976.

This collection is arranged into 7 series: Correspondence, Financial Records, Acquisitions, Appraisals/Inventories, Orphan Court Records, The Story of the Naomi Wood Collection, and Woodford Book Research. The Woodford Book Research series is further arranged into 12 subseries that reflect the different research folders created by the Snyders for the creation of their book on Woodford. Two of these subseries are further arranged into subsubseries as necessary to reflect the original order created by the Snyders. Collection mediums include paper, bound, and photographic records. Series: Correspondence This series contains correspondence from the entirety of Martin P. Snyder’s tenure as Woodford trustee from 1958-1986. The bulk of the collection are file copies created by Snyder of seemingly all of the correspondence he exchanged on behalf of the Naomi Wood Trust and Woodford Mansion. The file copies range from 1959-1983 and were originally bound in two binders. This series also holds loose correspondence discovered during archival processing that also includes correspondence to/from June A. Snyder, Martin’s wife and de facto volunteer museum manager. The 1975 correspondence is of particular note to those interested in Woodford’s preparations for the U.S. Bicentennial. In addition to general correspondence, there are also two folders with correspondence directly related to insurance. The insurance correspondence ranges from 1976-1984.

Series: Financial Records: This series contains various financial records created during the trusteeship of Martin P. Snyder. This includes object receipts and records related to admission and gift shop sales at Woodford. There is also a file concerning Woodford’s lease with the Fairmount Park Commission. Records in this series range from 1967-1984. Series: Appraisals/Inventories: This series contains a number of appraisals conducted by Martin P. and June Avery Snyder from 1959-1984. Appraisals of note include a 1955 Sinkler appraisal annotated by Martin in 1959 and the 1973, 1977, and 1982 annotated master copies created by June. In addition to general appraisals of Woodford’s collections, there are also appraisals and inventories of individual pieces and specific collections (rugs, books, and chairs). Records in this series range from 1955-1985. Series: Acquisitions This series contains records related to acquisitions of books and objects as well as tangential acquisition records like deaccessions, upholstery restoration of objects, and donor lists. Records in this series range from 1959-1983. Series: Administration This series contains Woodford meeting minutes from 1984.

Series: Admissions This series offers monthly visitation records from 1957-1982. They contain data concerning daily visitation of Woodford mansion. Series: Facilities/Grounds This series holds records generally related to the mansion, it’s outbuildings, and grounds and the maintenance thereof. This includes records concerning security and landscape improvements, such as the 1960-61 driveway improvement conducted by Snyder and Woodford caretaker William Barber. There are blueprints from this driveway project in the Oversized Collection. Also included in this series is research on the Woodford Cottage House and general commentary on the grounds and neighborhood. Records in this series range from 1960-1984. Series: Orphan Court Records This series contains orphan court records related to the transfer of trusteeships, general collection audits and accounting, and compensation for Woodford trustees. Records in this collection range from 1959-1984. Series: Organizations This series contains 1986 meeting minutes from the Fairmount Council for Historic Sites of which Woodford Mansion was a part.

Series: Events/Programs This series contains a 1977 record from June A. Snyder regarding Woodford’s preparations for the U.S. Bicentennial the previous year. Also included in this series are records related to the 1985 Fairmount Park Mansions Christmas tours. Series: Volunteers/Guides This series contains meeting minutes and contact information of guides/volunteers at Woodford from 1984-1985. From 1984-86 the guides and volunteers held their own regular meetings to discuss their work at the mansion. This was perhaps done to fill the leadership void following the death of June A. Snyder. Series: Conservation/Preservation This series contains a 1982 record regarding the repair of an object and a 1986 document from the National Trust of Historic preservation concerning general conservation/preservation. Series: The Story of the Naomi Wood Collection This series holds records related to the creation and release of book written by the Snyder’s “The Story of the Naomi Wood Collection and Woodford Mansion” published in 1982. This includes a copyright registration, correspondence concerning the book release, and records related to the book release reception in 1982. Records in this collection range from 1981-1984. Series: Woodford Book Research This expansive series includes a number of subseries and subsubseries. It contains all of the records compiled by the Snyders for the research on their Woodford book. These records were originally organized in a large accordion file folder. The original order of the file arrangement was maintained through processing as well as the file naming conventions provided by the Snyders. These original files each became a subseries or subsubseries within this series. The records within each file were arranged to provide some logic and order. There are a few general subseries, but the bulk of the subseries/subsubseries are dedicated to individual chapters (subseries) and individual subjects within chapters (subsubseries). Records of note include a number of copies of original 18th century documents associated with Woodford’s various occupants. For those interested in primary resources related to the history of Woodford, this series offers the most compared to any other in the Woodford archives. Records from this series range from 1749-1981.

Records in this collection were left to Woodford Mansion by 3rd Woodford Trustee Martin P. Snyder (1913-2004) and Volunteer Administrative Director June Avery Snyder (1919-1983). 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. Information regarding the provenance of the "Correspondence" and "Woodford Book Research" series is found in the scope and content note of this finding aid.

Woodford Mansion
Finding Aid Author
Tom Kuipers
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