Collections

The Collections at LancasterHistory.org

Archives

Manuscript groups in archival boxes and historic ledgers line shelves in the archives.The Archives has over 600 manuscript groups that contain the records of individuals, families, businesses, social organizations, and City and County Government. These records range in date from the incorporation of the county in 1729 to the present. Letters, diaries, estate papers, business records, trade cards, Civil War muster rolls, love letters, and court records combine to tell the stories of families and communities in Lancaster County.

Search This Collection: LancasterHistory.org’s Archival Collections are available online to the public.

Search The Manuscript Group Finding Aids: Finding aids for the Manuscript Groups, collections of materials which have a common theme or origin, are available by keyword searching LancasterHistory.org’s main website. This can also achieved by clicking the magnifying glass in the top, right corner of your screen. To search just the titles of the Finding Aids, you can also visit their main landing page.

To order photocopies or PDFs of documents, please visit Services & Orders.

Need additional assistance? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to LancasterHistory.org’s Archives staff at archives@lancasterhistory.org.


Library

Sanborn Maps show the streets of the city as well as the building materials of insured buildings.Search This Collection: A listing of the library’s holdings is available online. The library catalog is also available and searchable.

To order photocopies or PDFs of documents, please visit Services & Orders.

Need additional assistance? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to LancasterHistory.org’s Research Library staff at research@lancasterhistory.org. Patrons can also view a selection of research guides to assist with their research progress.


Photographs

Photograph of men in period costume acting out a scene from a play.The photographic collections of LancasterHistory.org contain more than 90,000 historic images around the County. Included are early tintypes, daguerreotypes, stereographs, cartes de visite, and cabinet cards taken by local nineteenth century photographers.

Search This Collection: Over 78,000 photos from the LancasterHistory.org Historic Photograph Collection are available online to the public. Patrons can also view a list of Lancaster County photographers whose photographs are in the collections.

To order photo reproductions or digital copies, please visit Services & Orders.

Need additional assistance? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to LancasterHistory.org Research Library staff at photos@lancasterhistory.org.


Objects

Harriet Lane Johnston's House of Worth gown.Since 1886, LancasterHistory.org has been collecting objects for research and exhibition. Today there are thousands of items that pertain to the history of Lancaster County, the life of President James Buchanan, First Lady Harriet Lane Johnston, Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, Lydia Hamilton Smith and so many more.

Search This Collection: LancasterHistory.org’s Object Collections are available online to the public.

To order digital images of an object, please visit Services & Orders.

To schedule a White Gloves Tour (including Quilt Turnings) with a LancasterHistory.org curator, please visit Services & Orders (White Glove Tours).

Need additional assistance? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to LancasterHistory.org Curatorial staff, Wendell Zercher or Victoria Pyle.