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Material Culture in the Archives

MATERIAL CULTURE Opens in new windowDid you know the Chester County Archives has a shark's head in our collection!? Well, not exactly...but using estate inventories we do know that Representative John Hickman of West Chester did, in fact, own a shark's head when he died in 1875. We might not have many physical artifacts in our collections, but you can still learn so much about objects and material culture by viewing archival government records like estate inventories, insolvent debtors' petitions, assigned estates, and taxes. Check out this video in which we highlight how you can use our records to study some of the objects your ancestors or other historical subjects owned. Click the image to the left. 

March 2021

The Anderson Family in Chester County


On October 16th, 1859, twenty-nine-year-old Osborne Perry Anderson was one of twenty-two men who captured the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia)—an event that has become known as "John Brown's Raid." But did you know Osborne Perry Anderson was born in Chester County? In this month's blog post, we poke around the archives to learn more about the Anderson family. Click the image to the left to read.

February 2021

Our LEAST Favorite Records

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We get asked all the time about our favorite records to work with. So we wrote about them last year in a blog post which you can access by clicking here. But what about our LEAST favorite records? What are some of the records that are just a pain to handle and work with? We take a look at some of those in our latest blog post. Click the image to the left. 

January 2021