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

Alexander Lowy Papers

Consists of 14 of 16 patents that Dr. Lowy secured for his research, some memorabilia from his college years, and materials related to the dedication of the Alexander Lowy Memorial Seminar Room in Langley Hall on May 25, 1959.

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

Andrew Carnegie Correspondence Collection

Correspondence from Andrew Carnegie between the 1890s and 1920s that include letters and telegrams pertaining to Andrew Carnegie, his philanthropy, and the founding of his Pittsburgh institutions.

Contributor: Carnegie Library 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

Bob Nelkin Collection of ACC-PARC Records

The Bob Nelkin Collection of ACC-PARC Records contain administrative records, state school and hospital and interim care committee records, scrapbooks and photographs.

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

Children's Aid Society of Western Pennsylvania Records

Founded in 1885, the Children's Aid Society of Western Pennsylvania was the first organization to provide services for underprivileged children in Western Pennsylvania; they starting the area's first foster care program. From 1893-1948 it operated as a coordinating agency for local chapters, helping them fundraise and holding an annual conference. These records consist of ten annual reports from 1936-1947.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Children's Service Bureau Records

The Children's Service Bureau provided adoption and foster care services, and in-home counselling for underprivileged children in Pittsburgh from 1908-1948. These records contain annual reports from 1931-1944.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

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.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

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

Crafton Public Library Collection

The Crafton Public Library collection contains photographs and documents pertaining to people, places, and businesses in Crafton; Crafton’s original land deeds dating back to the late 1800s; print records of the Crafton Borough Council from the late 1800s onwards; maps and estate plans of Crafton and contiguous boroughs; and three dimensional objects such as street signs and clothing

Contributor: Crafton Public Library

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 Autograph Files

Consists of documents created or signed by various historical figures between 1610-1914 collected by the Darlington family. Many of the items are from such notable individuals as Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon Bonaparte, William Penn, Robert Fulton, Robert R. Livingston, King George III, and Patrick Henry as well as prominent citizens of the Pittsburgh area, such as Mary Croghan Schenley, James O'Hara, William Wilkins, and Richard Butler.

Contributor: University of Pittsburgh

Darlington Digital Library

The Darlington Digital Library was created from the first major collection of books, manuscripts, atlases, maps and artwork donated to the University of Pittsburgh. Most of the credit for assembling the Darlington Collection rightly goes to William M. Darlington, an attorney by profession who was born in Pittsburgh in 1815.

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