Research Library

REOPENING UPDATE!

We thank you in advance for your patience and adherence to the following re-opening guidelines:

 

Scheduling:

  • All research visitors must book an appointment one week in advance of their visit and provide details and focus of their research using the research form

  • Available resources will be pulled ahead of time and placed in the designated guest research area (the records room)

  • Visitors can schedule by phone 610-359-0832 or by email to info@padelcohistory.org to make a reservation and must complete the research form prior to visit.

  • Research appointments are available Wednesday (10:30AM-3:30PM), Thursday (10:30AM-5:30PM) and Friday (10:30AM-3:30PM). DCHS is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to the public. 

  • Only 2 visitors will be booked at a single time. Research time is limited to three hours per session

Visitor Guidelines:

  • All visitors must wear a mask and gloves (both are available on-site for those who do not have their own)

  • Guests are welcome to bring their own laptop and use the free Wifi available in the building

  • Visitors must ask a staff member for assistance if photocopies are needed
     

In order to do research, visitors must be an active member or join as a Friend of DCHS for $30, which includes unlimited access to our research library and museum for a year.

Remote Research Requests

  • Until further notice online remote requests are unavailable to process due to lack of research staff.

Any questions or inquiries should contact the Research Library at info@padelcohistory.org or 610-359-0832.

OVERVIEW OF LIBRARY & RESEARCH RESOURCES​ AT DCHS

*please note we are in the process of digitizing our inventory and making our resource lists available online. 

In the meantime, please contact us if you are looking for something specific

or would like to make a research appointment. 

  • Books & Bound Publications- over 4,500 books and documents

    • Chester history

    • Township, Borough and Municipality history & documents

      • Organized by township

      • Darby Borough Historical and Preservation Society Collection

    • Personal historical accounts

    • Local Authors

    • Rare Books section

    • Black History & Civil Rights

    • Native American Collection

    • Business Directories

    • Yearbooks

    • Genealogy Books & Records

    • Pennsylvania Records

 

  • Government & Public Documents

    • School Boards

    • Planning Commission

    • Tax & Assessment Records

    • Borough Township files

    • Birth & Death Records

    • Naturalization and Immigration Records

    • Census Information

    • Investigatory Hearings

    • Wills & Estate Papers

    • Military Records

    • Land Records (limited selection, please contact the DC Deeds Department for information specific to existing homes)

    • Deeds/Indentures

      • The most historic documents in the collection are the original Deeds and Indentures from the earliest years of colonial rule in PA, including original signed deeds by William Penn, the oldest of which is dated 1681, William Penn to Richard Crosby. 

 

  • Manuscripts & Scrapbooks

    • Small & Large Manuscript Collection

    • Dr. Anna Broomall Scrapbook and Photo Collection

      • Anna Broomall was a pioneer in the field of women’s medicine and later a devoted historian and archivist. She was chief resident physician at the Woman's Hospital of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania from 1875 to 1883 and instructor of obstetrics from 1875 to 1879. She became chair of obstetrics in 1879, and served as a professor in the department from 1880 to 1903. After retiring in 1903, Dr. Broomall volunteered as a librarian and curator at the Delaware County Historical Society, where she donated her collection of scrapbooks that included letters, film negatives and items of personal interest to her from 1900 through 1922. The collection also includes glass slides of different exposures.

      • Series of binders with news clippings and photos documenting different areas of DelCo and events

    • Chester F. Baker Scrapbook Collection

      • Chester F. Baker was born July 22, 1891, educated in Chester and the Drexel Institute, and had been a land surveyor and engineer for many municipalities and the City of Chester. History was his foremost interest and avid hobby. He gifted his extensive collection to DCHS.

      • Consisting of two atlases, seven photo albums, six scrapbooks and 120 notebooks covering nearly every aspect of local history that Mr. Baker could affix to a page. Every volume is titled with a topical index used for research.​

  • Community/Miscellaneous

    • Church Records

    • Religious Institutions

    • Family Bible Collections

    • Marriage Announcements & Death Notices

    • School & College History

    • Obituaries

    • Railroad Collection

    • Graveyards & Cemeteries

 

  • Journals & Scholarly Publications

    • Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

    • Pennsylvania History Journal

 

  • Box Collection

    • Perhaps one of the most curious aspects of our collection, the Box collection in our basement vault encompasses a wide-variety of specific events, subjects, civic groups, places and businesses that have been donated to DCHS over the years. 

 

  • Maps & Atlases

    • Historic Maps

      • Markham Map

      • Original Surveys, Colonial Maps,

      • City and Street Planning

    • Collection of Maps by City, Township & Borough

    • Original Blueprints

    • County Maps & Atlases

    • Recreation Guides

    • Surveyor & Architect Plans

 

  • Photography Collection

    • 45,000 photographs from around the County, organized by township or municipality. Extensive collection of historic Chester photographs.

    • People photographs- organized by last name

    • Negatives

    • Photo Albums

    • Muscella negatives, local photographer

    • Postcard Collection

  • Art Collection​

  • Artifacts

    • The artifacts collection is quite extensive and is inventoried in our Past Perfect database that is currently only available for search on-site at DCHS. This database will be made available for online research in the near future. If you have inquiries regarding a specific artifact, please contact info@padelcohistory.org.

  • Audio Recordings- Cassette Collection

  • Video Tape Collection 

  • Newspaper Collection (bound, microfilm, digital format, clippings)​

    • Newspapers Archive

      • Chester/Del. Co. Advocate (Chester)1868-1869* Bound

      • Delaware County Advertiser (Chester) Bound

      • Delaware County Prohibitionist (Chester)1891-1894 Bound

      • Interboro News1981-1992 Bound

      • The Issue (Chester)1895* Bound

      • Morton Chronicle (indexed) (Morton)1880-89, 1893-1911 Bound

      • Public Press (Chester)1933-1935 Bound

      • Upland Union1825-26; 1886-1889 Bound

      • The Weekly Reporter (Chester)1881-1883; 1886-1889 Bound

      • Chester/Delaware County Times1877-1974 Microfilm

      • Delaware County Advocate (Chester)1869-1938 Microfilm

      • Delaware County American (Media)1855-1873, 1890-1911 Microfilm

      • Delaware County Democrat (Chester)1889-1912 Microfilm

      • Delaware County Republican (Chester)1846-1850; 1859-1885 & other dates Microfilm

      • Ridley Park News (Ridley Park)1913-15 Microfilm

      • Rockdale Herald (Aston)1898-1973 Microfilm

      • Yeadon Times (Yeadon)1946-1995 Microfilm

      • Delaware County Newspaper Record1819-1870 - CD

      • Chester County Genealogical Catalogue1809-1870- CD

      • The Morton Chronicle 1880-1883- CD

      • The Upland Union1826-1851- CD

    • Extensive collection of Delco Times clippings from 1950-2000 organized by subject/title donated to DCHS