The Moore Archives preserves and provides access to documentary evidence of the history of the village of Yellow Springs.

Collections are available for scholarly research, exhibitions, journalism, documentary productions, school programs and other research and educational activities and for those who want to know about people, places, and events in the past.

The collections represent the eight record groups that interpret the history here. They include:

  • Record Group 1 — Revolutionary War and before (1721 to 1781)
  • Record Group 2 — Spa Periods (1782-1861)
  • Record Group 3 — Civil War and PA Soldiers’ Orphans School (1862-1912)
  • Record Group 4 — Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Country School (1916-1952)
  • Record Group 5 — Good News Productions (1952-1974)
  • Record Group 6 — Historic Yellow Springs (1974-present)
  • Record Group 7 – Chester Springs Studio
  • Record Group 8 – Native American Habitation

In addition to paper-based textual records, many collections contain photographs, sound recordings, artwork, artifacts such as furnishings, archaeological finds, and limited motion picture films and videotapes. A small reference library is available.

A written finding aid is available for most collections consisting of a scope and content note describing the content of the collection and a container list that details the contents of a collection by box and folder. Collections are currently being entered into the PastPerfect Museum program and will be electronically available when completed.

The Moore Archives acquires its collections by donation, often in conjunction with the acquisition of related artifacts and in collaboration with the archival staff. Documentation projects — including oral and video histories — actively create new research collections. Much research was conducted in the early years of the Historic Yellow Springs organization and new research is added when available. Much of this early research consists of secondary source material. Of course, we continue to collect data on our present history.

To arrange your visit or donate materials, please contact the Archives at archives@yellowsprings.org or (610) 827-7414 x19.

Can staff do your research?

If it does not involve a large expenditure of time for the Archivist, small amounts of photocopying or quick searches through the collections for very specific items can be done within a few weeks of the request. However, for larger jobs, you must come into the Archives or hire an independent researcher.

Archive activities sponsored in part by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Happenings in the Moore Archives –

Many wonderful and varied activities occur within each of these Record Groups.  Here we list a sample of some of them.  We will update this list as additions happen.

  • We work with the PastPerfect Museum software to record and store data on our collection.  We are online with all our photographs and Record Groups 1, 2 and 3.  Our online archives get the most hits of the Historic Yellow Springs web site.
  • Most importantly we work together with John Shaw, Volunteer Coordinator, on developing, planning and implementing tours for visitors to our site.  Our Tour Guides are:  John Shaw, Tom Lutz, Meg Randall, Phil Rossomando, George Sheneman, Karen Steenhoff, Sandy Momyer and Steve Grenz.  We have hosted Quester groups, school groups, senior citizen communities, Scout groups, garden clubs, historical societies and many other historic and special interest groups.  If you are interested in joining our Guide program, we would welcome you.  Please contact Sandy Momyer at archives@yellowsprings.org.
  • We have participated in the Chester County program Town Tours and Village Walks for 18 years.  We develop a theme based on our history and then plan a tour for up to 200 visitors.  We have a walking tour with stations manned by HYS characters interpreted by volunteers.  Sandy Momyer writes the scripts for these volunteers based on archival records.
  • We support the wider educational community by working with interns from various colleges.  Our recent intern was Sarah Coblenz from Penn State University.  Sandy works with the college liaison and the intern to determine the scope of the internship project and then oversees the student and completes an evaluation at the end of the project.  We have worked extensively with West Chester University as well as Millersville University, Lehigh University, Kutztown University, Smith College, Temple University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Lock Haven University of PA.
  • We also partner with local schools to assist students.  We have supported the Phoenixville Area School District Middle School with its eighth grade local history project, the Shipley School, the Montgomery School and the Collegium Charter School of Exton re careers in history.
  • Worked with the Freedom Valley Quester group to stabilization the coat of Civil War Col. Oakford.  The coat was given to the Moore Archives by James Moore descendant of Col. Oakford.  The Questers gave us a grant to support the professional work done on the coat which now is a proud piece of our collection.
  • Work on the committee for the Battle of the Clouds, a part of the Revolutionary War, when General George Washington retreated to the Yellow Springs and set up his temporary headquarters on his march to the Reading Furnace to replenish cannon and ammunition.  We assisted West Pikeland Township with the historical data for the historic properties in our township.
  • Work with the Chester Springs Library on its 2013 summer reading program Dig into Reading.  Secured an intern for them and a doctoral candidate in archaeology to manage a site dig for the program.  I also worked with these two people providing records on past digs here.
  • Provided information to the Philadelphia Art Museum (American Collection) on James Bailey and Bailey silver.
  • Work with the Chester County Historical Society.  Provided Rob Lukens with research on artists of the PAFA era, appeared on his radio program with an interview on HYS and met with Ellen Endslow re history of Northern Chester County for a new exhibition.  Ellen and Sandy worked extensively together along with other Chester County sites on the Pennsylvania Civil War Roadshow.
  • Work with other historical organizations:  American Revolution Center, Valley Forge Historical Park, Colonial Theatre, Pennsylvania Historical Society History Affiliates, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg, American-Jewish Museum in Philadelphia, West Pikeland Township.
  • Research and write the feature story in the annual Yellow Springs Art Show catalogue.
  • Work with families researching their ancestors:  Otto family, Kennedy family, Holman family, Rice and Hartman families,  Moore family, many orphans who attended school here, artists who attended the PAFA Country School here and others who have had some interaction with the village at some point in time.
  • Work with the Yeaworth family re Good News Productions.
  • Record new records and artifacts including orphan shoes found in The Washington, new art work by Albert Van Nesse Greene, orphan buttons,  chards of pottery found on the property, a small sculpture done by a PAFA student,  and new books published that include reference to HYS.
  •  Authors writing books; artists painting pictures – needed research and images.
  • Work with setting up exhibitions:  Lure of the Springs, Civil War Orphans.