Collections

Historic Pittsburgh comprises a variety of primary and secondary sources from multiple partners about the greater Pittsburgh region, including a wide range of publications, maps, manuscripts, visual images, and audio-video materials, that support personal and scholarly research.

Aerial Photographs of Pittsburgh

Visual images from the 1923-1937 document aerial views of Downtown Pittsburgh, Mount Washington, the North Side, the Point, Oakland, and Homestead.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh Oral History Project Records and Recordings

This oral history collection consists of transcripts, cassette tapes, project working files and background organizational records of the interviews conducted during the African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh (AAJPSP) Oral History Project (1995-1999). The project documents individual African American Jazz Musicians in Pittsburgh as well as their efforts to organize. The content of the interviews span from 1904 to 1999.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

African American Construction Workers of Pittsburgh Photographs

Visual images depict African American construction workers in Pittsburgh in 1957-1960, and from efforts by African American leaders like Ellis R. McGruder, Jr. and Nate Smith in the 1960s and 1970s to bring about greater employment opportunities for African Americans in the building trades in Pittsburgh.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Alexander Addison Papers

Contains correspondence to Alexander Addison, the president judge of the Fifth District Court of Pennsylvania (1791-1802), from Hugh Henry Brackenridge, William Findley and Charles Nisbet regarding political events in the U. S. and Europe, particularly the Constitutional Convention, Jay and Pinckney Treaties, Indian wars, and the Whiskey Rebellion.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Alexander Cumming Papers

Collection of correspondence and lecture notes written by Alexander Cumming from 1893-1896 that document his experiences as a student and editor during this time.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Allegheny Conference on Community Development Photographs

Visual images from the 1870s-1980s show the construction and destruction of many Pittsburgh structures and buildings during the post-World War II Renaissance period.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Allegheny County Photography Department Photographs

Photographic negatives documenting buildings, construction projects, and events in Allegheny County. The county fair, county parks, the construction of roads and bridges, and official county events are particularly well represented within the collection. The records also include aerial photographic prints, film, and video.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Allegheny Observatory Records

Visual images from the 1890s-1930s depict the construction and equipment, experiments, inventors and directors of the Allegheny Observatory located in Pittsburgh’s Northside neighborhood.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Aluminum Company of America Photographs

Images of Alcoa’s founders, employees, factories, and products dating from the 1870s through 1960s.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

American Left Ephemera Collection

A wide-range of primary source textual and visual material documents left-wing organizations in the U.S. during the 20th century.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Archives of Industrial Society Photograph Collection

Images visually document a wide range of topics relating to the history of Pittsburgh including neighborhoods, infrastructure, and landscape selected from the AIS vertical files.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Beazel Family Papers

Papers hold the accounting records and personal and business correspondence between 1809-1888 related to the Beazel family, who lived in Westmoreland County and Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Bedford County Township Tax Receipts

Contains tax receipts from various townships in Bedford County, Pa. (1763-1838); each tax receipt includes a list of names of taxpayers along with the amount paid to the township.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Bill Green Photographs

Contains selected images from c. 1930 to 1974 that document the operation of the Bill Green’s nightclub in Pleasant Hills, Pennsylvania. The collection includes images of Bill Green, his nightclub, musicians, radio broadcasts, and events.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Birmingham United Church of Christ Records

Collection contains a constitution and journal, history, minute books, lists of members, memorial publications, baptismal, marriage, burial, and financial records from 1843-1977 of the Birmingham United Church of Christ.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh

Contains images of blind men and women engaged in occupations such as making brooms, weaving, and caning chairs.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Breathe Pennsylvania Records

Contains images from ca. 1910 to 2000 that document Breathe Pennsylvania's work in promoting respiratory health in Western Pennsylvania. The collection includes images of the organization offering health services and promoting education initiatives.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Bruce Drisbach-American Steel & Wire Company Photographs

Visual images from 1915-1917 depict the construction of the American Steel & Wire Company building, equipment, and worker housing construction in Donora (Pa.).

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Bryce Brothers and Lenox Incorporated Glass Records

Visual images of depictions of glassware manufacturing as well as images of products, product displays, glass production facilities, and employees from Bryce Brothers Company and Lenox, Inc.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Bureau of Building Inspection, Department of Public Safety, Pittsburgh, Pa. Records

Contains yearly dockets of building permits and monthly reports of issued building permits by the Bureau of Building Inspection (City of Pittsburgh), including three volumes which span 1894-1908 of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, prior to annexation by the City of Pittsburgh.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

CONSOL Energy, Inc. Mine Maps and Records

Visual images from the 1930s-1940s depict the Consolidation Coal Company (the forerunner of CONSOL Energy Inc.) and its operations, including miners at work, mine construction, interiors of shafts, mine cars, barges carrying coal, and railroad cars filled with coal. Also includes hand-drawn above-ground maps and annual reports.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Camp Johnson Photographs

Contains images from c. 1939 to 1995 of camp activities and reunions for Camp James Weldon Johnson in Beaver County that depict campers, counselors, and staff participating in summer camp activities such as hiking, fishing, and swimming.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Carnegie Museum of Art Collection of Photographs

Visual images from the 1870s-1950s show scenes from mills and factories, street activity, portraits, and aerial shots of Downtown Pittsburgh by noted photographers Esther Bubley, Clyde Hare, Luke Swank, Harold Corsini and Hugh Torrance.

Contributor: Carnegie Museum of Art

Carnegie Museum of Natural History Archives

Visual images from the 1960s-1970s document bird-banding activities and various landscapes of Powdermill Nature Reserve.

Contributor: Carnegie Museum of Natural History Archives

Charles C. McGovern Papers

Contains speeches given by Charles C. McGovern between 1924-1948. They include Square Deal Party speeches made during the McGovern/Barr for County Commissioners re-election campaign and WJAS weekly broadcast speeches.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Charles M. Stotz Photographs

Visual images featured in Stotz's 1936 book, <i>The Early Architecture of Western Pennsylvania</i>.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Charles R. Martin Photographs

Visual images depict the march in Pittsburgh on the National Day of Mourning on April 7, 1968, three days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Charles Richardson Photographs

Visual images by Charles Richardson which depict life in Pittsburgh, including Downtown, steel mills, and neighborhoods between 1952-1954.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Chatham University Chronological Photograph Files

Images from the 1870s-2000s chronicle the students, faculty, and university community and the growth of Chatham University from a small women’s college to a thriving coeducational institution.

Contributor: Chatham University

Chatham University May Day Collection

Images from the 1905-1947 chronicle Chatham University’s May Day celebration, a semi-regular festival featuring elaborate theatrical and musical performances written, performed, and staged by students, faculty, and the college community for a public audience.

Contributor: Chatham University

Chatham University Shadyside Campus Lantern Slide Collection

Images of the Shadyside campus of Chatham University in the early 1900s depict campus facilities and highlight building interiors, athletic facilities, and student activities during the early years of the school.

Contributor: Chatham University

Christopher Gist's Journals by William M. Darlington

Contains manuscript drafts of William Darlington's book, Christopher Gist's Journals, published posthumously in 1893 by J.R. Weldin & Co. in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

City Directories

The City Directories contains directories published between 1815 and 1945 by J.F. Diffenbacher and R.L. Polk & Company. While most of the directories cover Pittsburgh and Allegheny City, a portion includes Homestead and nearby boroughs.

City of Pittsburgh Geodetic and Topographic Survey Maps

Maps prepared by the City of Pittsburgh Department of Planning staff beginning in 1923 and maintained into the 1960s. Relief shown by contours and spot heights. Includes grid index and legend.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Communist Collection of A.E. Forbes

Contains hand-rendered and mimeographed broadsides, newsletters, and flyers that present a local snapshot of Pittsburgh's radical politics during the 1930s and 1940s.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Conference between the Six Nations and the Quakers Minutes

Records partially document a conference in April of 1756 in Philadelphia between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Quakers in an attempt to create peace for innocent inhabitants during the French and Indian War.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Congregation B'nai Israel Photographs

Visual images document confirmation classes, Hebrew school classes, and bar and bat mitzvah students from 1920-1992. Other images include B'nai Israel's religious leaders, congregational events, and the exterior and interior of the synagogue.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Coroner's Office Records, Allegheny County, Pa.

Inquest files dating between 1887 and 1976, which reflect coroner’s verdicts for over ninety years.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

D. L. Clark Company Papers and Photographs

Includes depictions of D. L. Clark product displays, individual products and company branding, product shipment, Clark building exteriors and aerial views, as well as documentation of advertising campaigns and promotional events.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Daniel Brodhead Papers

Contains copies of orders sent by Colonel Daniel Brodhead, who commanded the Western Department from his headquarters at Fort Pitt from 1779-1781, to various military officers, including those stationed at Forts Armstrong, Wheeling, Tuscarora, and Laurens; they reveal the recurring difficulties posed by food shortages, lack of money, uncooperative officers, and raids conducted by hostile Indian tribes, which contributed to settlers abandoning their property.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Darlington Family Papers

Comprises financial, personal and legal papers, and documentation of collecting activities and ephemera related to William M. Darlington and his family, including ledger books, research notes, manuscripts, personal diaries, photographic prints and negatives, letters, and artwork.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Daughters of Erin Court #9 Records

Contains the minutes of the monthly meetings of the Daughters of Erin, Court #9, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1956-1976.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Donohoe Family Papers

Comprises correspondence to Thomas Donohoe, Blairsville, Indiana County (Pa.), from his family in Ballyellin, County Carlow, Ireland. Subjects include family events, economic conditions, social conditions, state of harvests, prices of crops and produce, rates for labor, and the Civil War in the United States.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Dorsey-Turfley Family Photographs

Visual images document several generations of the Dorsey and Turfley families as well as African-American sports teams (1890-1987).

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Dunning McNair and Dunning Robert McNair Papers

The papers of Dunning McNair (1786-1824) and his son Dunning Robert McNair (1805-1860) relate to their involvement in land development and trade in western Pennsylvania and include correspondence, ledgers, and land sales agreements, some of which pertain to the Pennsylvania Population Company.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Edward J. Shourek Photographs

Images taken by Edward J. Shourek that depict family and friends, home in Homewood, Central High School, George Westinghouse High School, Syria Mosque, and locations in Ohio, West Virginia, and New York locations (Buffalo and Niagara Falls).

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Eichleay Engineering Corporation Records and Photographs

Visual images from Eichleay Engineering Corporation documenting company's role in moving residences, businesses, and other large structures and objects between 1892-1970.

Contributor: Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Eliphalet Smith Account Book

Contains Eliphalet Smith's account book of his personal and professional transactions between 1807 and 1824.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Elsie H. Hillman Papers

Public speeches delivered by Elsie H. Hillman to a variety of audiences and gatherings.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Ephraim Douglass Ledgers

Consists of four ledgers that primarily document the stock and sale of supplies at Forts Pitt and Kittanning during the 1770s.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh