In the course of daily life, individuals and organizations create and keep information about their personal and business activities. Archivists identify and preserve portions of this recorded information that have lasting value.
These records — and the places they are kept — are called “archives.” Archival records take many forms, including correspondence, diaries, financial and legal documents, photographs, books, artwork, artifacts, sound recordings, film and video.
Who uses the Archives?
Archives provide firsthand information about the past. They are valuable to museum researchers, scholars, students, genealogists, journalists, lawyers and others who want to know about people, places and events in the past.
Archives at Historic Yellow Springs supply information to staff and other researchers about the artifacts the museum collects and the historical themes that it studies and interprets. This information reaches broader audiences through exhibitions and publications.
Research for Historic Yellow Springs can be located in many other sources. All state governments, and many local governments, universities, businesses, libraries, and historical societies, maintain archives. The Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. constitute the country’s largest concentration of archival records. Our Pennsylvania archives can be found at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the State Archives in Harrisburg. In addition, there are many archives and manuscript repositories in the Delaware Valley including the Chester County History Center.
Local archives may be your most convenient source of answers to these frequently asked questions:
- Where can I find information on the history of my family? My community? My business or organization?
- Are the older documents in my possession valuable for historical purposes?
- What should I do with them?
Archivists identify, organize and preserve archival records. We invite you to allow our archivist to assist you to locate needed information.