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Yardley Library Company records


Held at: Yardley Historical Association [Contact Us]46 West Afton Avenue, Yardley, PA, 19067

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

The Yardley Library Company, originally the Yardleyville Library Company, was established in 1845. Samuel G. Slack was appointed librarian with an annual salary of $1.00. The subscription library was housed in a room over Slack's store.

In 1877, the Library's stockholders and interested Yardleyville residents erected a library building on land near Lake Afton that was donated by the heirs of William Yeardley (who settled in the area in 1682 on land purchased from William Penn). The Yardleyville Library was incorporated in December 1877, and the building was completed in 1878. "The building's style, known as "carpenter" Gothic, features a steep gable roof, decorative slate work, and pointed arched windows. The design was possibly copied from an old volume of poetry." At the time of it's incorporation, shareholders paid $1.50 per year for the privilege of using the books.

The Library was endowed by noted Quaker philanthropist Isaiah Vansant Williamson and his niece Anna Mary Williamson of Langhorne (Pa.), who donated significant funds in 1879 and 1887, respectively. Though, by 1918 there were not enough shareholders to maintain the Library due to an increased cost of upkeep, so they decided to turn it over to the town as a Free Library. For the next few years, the Library was largely funded through pledged financial support from residents, and a tax of one mill that lasted for one year. The Library continued to be funded by the Yardley Borough Council, and the building was remodeled in 1926.

"In 1959, after the building was threatened by a proposed route for Interstate 95, several local residents donated funds for an addition in keeping with the original architectural style. The building was used as a community library until 1977, when a branch of the Bucks County Library was constructed outside of town in Lower Makefield Township."

"In 1977, the Yardley Historical Association assumed responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the "Old Library" by Lake Afton. The historic library is used as the Association's headquarters..."


Quoted text from: Yardley Historical Association. "Old Library by Lake Afton." Accessed July 22, 2013.

History of Yardley Library, 1845-1926, Yardley, Pennsylvania. Article found in collection.

This collection documents the Yardley Library Company over a 130-year period beginning with its founding in 1845. It consists of organizational and financial records as well as records relating to book inventory and circulation.

The organizational records include: minute books (including the first minute book) and minutes, 1845-1881, 1921-1922, 1933-1939, 1951-1956, and 1975-1977; stockholders, 1867-1913; financial records, 1921-1922, 1933-1939, and 1951-1956; pledges and donations, 1877; cash book covering Yardley Library Drive and other finances, 1940-1957; correspondence, 1921-1922 and 1933-1939; report of directors, 1882-1927; librarian's reports; blueprints for additions and improvements; and other miscellaneous records.

The library records include: three circulation registers, 1861-1868 (indexed), circa 1870s, and circa 1885; fines, 1858-1860; first library catalog, 1845; printed library catalog, 1893; appendix to catalog, circa 1908; volume of circulation statistics, 1949-1959; and library register, 1963-1966.

Also included in the collection are original and copies of reports, minutes, financial statements, and correspondence, 1922-1939, relating to William G. Hay, and Marshall G. Hay files on Yardley Library Company, 1954-1961.

Gift of Yardley Library.

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 Yardley Historical Association directly for more information.

Yardley Historical Association
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton 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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