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Resources for the Study of Religious History

Since the time of William Penn, Pennsylvania has been recognized for its religious diversity and toleration.  Religion affects all areas of a society’s culture and heritage, and the vast holdings of the Pennsylvania State Archives reflect this influence on the Commonwealth’s government and citizens throughout history.  Provided below is an introductory listing of the Archives collections that contain documentation of the state’s religious heritage.  This list is not exhaustive, for many of the record and manuscript groups noted include much more material related to religion, which can be uncovered by further study of the sources identified.   

Record Groups

Record Group 2, Records of the Department of the Auditor General – the Chambersburg War Damage Claim Applications (Submitted Under Act of Feb. 15, 1866), 1866-1868 (4 boxes) {#2.67} include the inventory of at least one minister’s books taken by the Confederates.
Record Group 4, Records of the Office of the Comptroller General – the Revolutionary War Associators, Line, Militia, and Navy Accounts, and Miscellaneous Records Relating to Military Service, 1775-1809 (99 boxes) {#4.51} contain militia appeal books that note requests for exemption from militia duty on grounds of “conscientious scruples.”
Record Group 5, Records of the Constitutional Conventions and the Council of Censors – Pennsylvania’s constitutions have always guaranteed the right of religious freedom to citizens of the Commonwealth.
Record Group 7, Records of the General Assembly – over the centuries, the legislature has considered various issues with religious implications such as whether to permit the Sunday opening of commercial, retail and dining establishments.  Of particular value are the House File, 1790-1903. (66 boxes, 1 carton) {#7.11} and the Senate File, 1823-1972 (312 cartons) {#7.78} which contain letters, petitions, memorials and remonstrances on a broad range of subjects including religious matters.
Record Group 10, Records of the Office of the Governor – of particular note are the files of Governor Robert P. Casey, in office from 1987 to 1995, who strongly opposed legalized abortion.  His Issues File, 1987-1994 (213 cartons, 36 boxes) {#10.3} alone contains fifteen cartons of letters, petitions, postcards and related documents on the subject.  The General File, 1940-1946 (8 boxes) {#10.56} of Pennsylvania’s World War II Selective Service headquarters contains folders labeled “Communist and Nazi Propaganda” with anti-Semitic literature.
Record Group 11, Records of the Department of Health – the Patient Registers, 1929-1977 (2 volumes) {#11.7} of the Elizabethtown Hospital for Crippled Children list the religious affiliation of each patient.  The files of the State Health Data Center include Quarterly Reports of Abortions Performed, 1974-1985. (13 cartons, 1 box) {#11.58} under the Abortion Control Act of 1974.
Record Group 13, Records of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission – as the Commonwealth’s statewide history agency, the Commission and it predecessor, the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, have long had an interest in the religious heritage of the state and in its religious structures.  At least three of the Commission’s historic sites are religious in nature:  Ephrata Cloister, Old Economy Village and the Joseph Priestly House.  Of particular note in the Working Files of the Works Progress Administration's Pennsylvania Historical Survey, [ca. 1935-1950] (133 cartons, 5 boxes, 79 digitized rolls, 40 folders, 7 volumes, 1 bundle) {#13.108} are  Job 67: Jews in Philadelphia, 1936-1939, and undated (3 folders) {#13.108.40},  Job 112: Mennonites in Pennsylvania, 1939-1940, and undated (1 folder) {#13.108.43}, and an Inventory of Church Archives of Pennsylvania, including Records of Pennsylvania Jewish Congregations, 1937-1940, and undated (27 cartons) {#13.108.116}.
Record Group 15, Records of the Department of Justice – various records of the state penitentiaries identify the religious affiliation of the prisoners.  Also found in this group is the Ephrata Cloister File, Including Minutes of the Cloister Board of Trustees, 1814-1956 (3 boxes) {#15.1} which documents the controversy that accompanied the Commonwealth’s acquisition of this defunct religious community’s property in Ephrata.  The Legal Case File Relating to Bible Reading in Public Schools, 1959-1965 (1 carton) {#15.3} concerns the implementation in Pennsylvania of banning the practice of requiring or permitting organize Bible reading in public schools. 
Record Group 17, Records of the Land Office – the land warrants and patents document the sale of public land to congregations and religious organizations.  Charters of some churches and religious societies may be found in the Commission Books, 1733-1809 (6 volumes) {#17.143}.
Record Group 19, Records of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs – the Civil War Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1861-1866 (135 cartons) {#19.11} and the Commissions File, 1861-1929 (57 boxes) {#19.14} identify Civil War chaplains.  The Records of Drafted Men and Substitutes, Including County and Township Draft Lists, Muster and Descriptive Rolls, and Lists of Deserters and Conscientious Objectors, [ca. 1862, 1864-1865] (7 boxes) {#19.59} and Draft Board Records, Consisting Primarily of Lists of Persons Whose Registration Cards Were In the Possession of Their Local Board, [ca. 1917-1918] (77 cartons) {#19.24} contain references to men who sought exemption from military service for reasons of conscience in the Civil War and in World War I, continuing the Commonwealth’s long peace tradition.  Especially important are the Civil War Conscientious Objector Depositions, 1862 (2 boxes) {#19.15}, for Pennsylvania is the only Northern state to have such documents.
Record Group 20, Records of the Department of General Services – the
Construction Plans and Specifications for Public Buildings and Bridges, 1893-1975 (7 drawers, 150 folders) {#20.35} include blueprints for chapel buildings at Clarion and West Chester Universities.
Record Group 21, Records of the Proprietary Government – the colonial government dealt with all aspects citizens’ lives including religion.
Record Group 22, Records of the Department of Education – the records of this department relate to both public and private education institutions, some of which are religious in nature.  The files of the State Board of Censors, which regulated motion picture viewing in the state between 1915 and 1956, contain information about films of an anti-Semitic nature.
Record Group 23, Records of the Department of Public Welfare – some patient records of the various state hospitals mention the patient’s religious affiliation.  Among the Secretary’s records is Correspondence Relating to Birth Control and Planned Parenthood, 1958-1959 (1 box) {#23.2}, consisting of letters from constituents for and against a policy to offer birth control advice to welfare clients. 
Record Group 25, Records of the Special Commissions – the records of three commissions—Presentation to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of William Penn’s First Charter, 250th Anniversary of the First Landing of William Penn, and the William Penn Tercentenary Committee—refer to Penn’s religious beliefs.
Record Group 26, Records of the Department of State – many series of this group pertain to a range of religious matters in the Commonwealth.  Of special note are:
Basic Documents of Pennsylvania Including Proprietary Charters and Deeds, Indian Deeds, and State Constitutions, 1681-1873 (48 items) {#26.2} – the Great Law of 1682 (Document #26.2.7) provided for religious toleration in the colony.
Executive Correspondence, 1790-1969 (108 boxes) {#26.8} – letters and petitions to the Governor.
Charitable Solicitations Registration File, 1924-1961, 1963-1987 (234 cartons) {#26.106}
Charter Books, 1812-1875 (8 volumes) {#26.108} – contain charters of many religious organizations.
Record Group 27, Records of Pennsylvania’s Revolutionary Governments – the Commonwealth’s governing bodies of the Revolutionary period dealt with all aspects of civil and military life, including religious concerns.  Records of Mennonites and others who hosted escaping British prisoners may be found in this group.
Record Group 30, Records of the Pennsylvania State Police – the State Police confiscated administrative files and publications from the Ku Klux Klan in the Commonwealth.
Record Group 31, Records of the Department of Commerce – the various photograph files of this group contain pictures of churches.
Record Group 33, Records of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania – some of the cases before the Court involved religious matters or had religious undertones.
Record Group 46, Records of the Valley Forge Park Commission – include some references to the “Washington at Prayer” image and materials relating to the Washington Memorial Chapel.
Record Group 47, Records of the County Governments – the Lehigh County Probation Office Annual Reports, 1961-1966, 1969-1974 (12 volumes) {#47.350} contain detailed statistics on juveniles served by the County Probation Department, including aggregate numbers by religious preference.
Record Group 57, Records of the State System of Higher Education – yearbooks and catalogs mention the religious activities and classes offered to students at institutions with the System.
Record Group 68, Records of the Pennsylvania Heritage Affairs Commission – Act 156 of 16 December 1992 that established the Commission as an independent entity defined heritage affairs so as to include religious groups.

Manuscript Groups

Manuscript Group 3, Church and Cemetery Records Collection – administrative, financial and congregational records from a few scattered churches in eleven counties, and historical and congregational materials, including oral history tapes, from Chisuk Emuna Synagogue in Harrisburg.
Manuscript Group 6, Diaries and Journals Collection – some items contain religious references or observations.
Manuscript Group 7, Military Manuscripts Collection – some letters contain religious references, and the collection includes a Hymn Book for the Army and Navy (New York:  American Tract Society, n.d.) and at least one New Testament.
Manuscript Group 8, Pennsylvania Collection (Miscellaneous) – see item index to identify materials with religious implications.
Manuscript Group 9, Pennsylvania Writers Collection – a number of the authors and composers included religious matters in their work, and the books of Grace Livingston Hill are known for their religious nature.
Manuscript Group 11, Map Collection – many of the late-nineteenth-century maps note the locations of churches and other religious structures.
Manuscript Group 17, Samuel Penniman Bates Papers – several of Bates’s sermons appear in this collection.
Manuscript Group 43, Dock Family Papers –the postcards include images of religious structures such as St. David’s Church in Radnor.
Manuscript Group 69, Harris-Silverthorn Family Papers – contains Circuit Book, Rev. Levi
Harris, 1935-1941 (1 volume) {#69m.3}
Manuscript Group 72, Hiester Family Papers – includes one folder of lottery tickets and a “Scheme for Building a Church in Harrisburg” (the English Presbyterian Church, later Market Square Presbyterian Church).
Manuscript Group 88, Merkel Family Papers – includes notes on religion.
Manuscript Group 98, Orbison Family Papers – some letters touch on religious subjects, and the collection includes correspondence of James Henry Orbison who was a missionary to India.
Manuscript Group 101, Pennsylvania State Temperance Union Papers
Manuscript Group 123, Mrs. Elisha D. Swift Papers – born Eliza D. Beach in 1870, Mrs. Swift was the wife of the Rev. Elisha Swift, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Allegheny, PA.  The family letters mention a variety of religious subjects and the progress of missionary activity.
Manuscript Group 132, Weiser Family Collection – includes an undated fragment, printed in German, of Martin Luther’s famous hymn, “Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott” (“A Mighty Fortress is Our God”).
Manuscript Group 143, Sarah R. Meseroll Collection – some materials relate to the history of the Society of Friends, particularly Buckingham Monthly Meeting.
Manuscript Group 146, Ross A. Hickok Papers – some correspondence touches on religious subjects such as the Knights of Columbus War Camp Fund.
Manuscript Group 156, Edward Martin Papers – as Pennsylvania’s mid-twentieth century Governor and Senator, Martin corresponded with some of the century’s leading American religious figures including Norman Vincent Peale and Billy Graham.
Manuscript Group 165, Lloyd Mifflin Collection – the Photographic Prints and Glass Plate Negatives, [undated] (1 carton and 8 boxes) {#165.13} include images of a religious scene depicting Mary and an angel.
Manuscript Group 169, Herman Blum Collection – avid collector of historical books and manuscripts, Blum acquired an 1819 German Bible belonging to Governor Samuel Pennypacker.
Manuscript Group 170, Pennsylvania Historical Association – articles on various aspects of the religious history of the Commonwealth appeared in the Association’s journal, Pennsylvania History.
Manuscript Group 171, Samuel W. Pennypacker Papers – a Governor of Pennsylvania and a president of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Pennypacker had a great interest in the history and culture of the state, collecting folklore, information and photographs of churches and sites with religious connotations.
Manuscript Group 182, Lebanon County Historical Society Deposit of Manuscript Collections – primarily focused on the industrial activities of the Coleman family, this group includes volumes related to the Cornwall Methodist Episcopal Church, 1877-78, and to the Saint Patrick’s R. C. B. Association, 1906-7.
Manuscript Group 185, Harmony Society Papers – founded by Johann Georg Rapp, the Harmony Society practiced celibacy and believed in refashioning life around its vision of early Christian communalism during the beginning centuries of the Christian era.  The Society’s first community, called “Harmony,” was established in the Connoquenessing Valley of Butler County in 1805.  After removing to Indiana for a few years, the Harmonists returned to Pennsylvania in 1824, settling in Beaver County and founding the village of Economy, now the site of Ambridge, PA.
Manuscript Group 188, Woods Family Collection – some correspondence contains comments on religion.
Manuscript Group 190, James H. Duff Papers – Governor of Pennsylvania from 1947 to 1951, James Duff’s files touched on many subjects including religion.
Manuscript Group 191, David L. Lawrence Papers – Governor Lawrence’s papers relate to a variety of topics including the “Amish School Situation, 1959-62” folder found in his gubernatorial subject file.
Manuscript Group 192, Paul A. W. Wallace Papers – anthropologist, historian and folklorist, Dr. Paul A. W. Wallace, professor at Lebanon Valley College, collected information about the religions of Pennsylvania’s Native Americans and of the Pennsylvania Dutch.
Manuscript Group 204, State YMCA of Pennsylvania Records
Manuscript Group 206, John S. Fine Papers – Governor Fine’s public relations specialist William W. Wheaton created a religion file among his research materials for the years 1951-53.
Manuscript Group 207, George M. Leader Papers – known as a religious and moral man, George Leader was elected Governor in 1954, and some of his papers reflect his personal beliefs.
Manuscript Group 208, William W. Scranton Papers – among other subjects, Governor Scranton’s files include material about Bible reading in schools.
Manuscript Group 209, Raymond P. Shafer Papers – Governor from 1967-71, Shafer maintained files on the YMCA and the YWCA.
Manuscript Group 210, Raymond W. Albright Collection – includes “Kirchen-Ordnung der Evangelisch Luterischen Gemeine, in Amity Taunschip, Berks County,” 1802.
Manuscript Group 213, Postcard Collection – some postcards show churches and other religious structures.
Manuscript Group 214, Warren J. Harder Collection – photographer Harder’s collections includes pictures of churches.
Manuscript Group 215, Ethnic Studies Collection – includes numerous church anniversary booklets, c.1840s-1970s, and materials from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1836-1972.
Manuscript Group 217, Harrisburg Home Star Collection – this group of photographs contains depictions of local churches and church groups.
Manuscript Group 218, Photograph Collections – among the hundreds of photographs are images of houses of worship.
Manuscript Group 219, Philadelphia Commercial Museum Photographic Collection – some photographs show places of worship.
Manuscript Group 220, Merle H. Deardorff Collection – Deardorff’s Research Notes, 1939-1970. (9 boxes) {#220m.3} report on Native American religious ceremonies and practices.
Manuscript Group 240, William W. Stoey Collection – Harrisburg taxidermist and naturalist, Stoey photographed many buildings including churches.
Manuscript Group 245, Drake Well Museum Collections – some collections contain materials relating to churches in Pennsylvania’s oil-producing region.
Manuscript Group 249, Brady Family Papers – the collection includes a Bible and a Book of Common Prayer.
Manuscript Group 262, Special Microfilm Collections – among the digitized microfilms collected by the State Archives are copies of original church records and transcripts held by other institutions.  Of special note is a group of films representing primarily Lutheran churches in Adams County.
Manuscript Group 263, George A. Richardson Papers – Richardson’s photographs include scenes of the Moravian buildings at Bethlehem.
Manuscript Group 269, State Museum of Pennsylvania Collection – originally called the Decorative Arts Collection, some almanacs and cards have religious themes.
Manuscript Group 271, Mrs. Frances Toby Schwartz Collection – accompanying artifacts donated to the State Museum of Pennsylvania in 1976, this collection includes religious lesson picture cards from the first half of the twentieth century.
Manuscript Group 272, Pennsylvania Military Museum Collection – the Herbert R. Blouch Collection contains Material Used by Chaplain Howell in Lessons, 1952-1958, undated (1 box) {#272.42}.
Manuscript Group 281, Samuel W. Kuhnert Papers – Kuhnert photographed church and Sunday school scenes.
Manuscript Group 283, Genevieve Blatt Papers – a devout Roman Catholic, Judge Blatt was instrumental in the canonization of the two saints from the United States:  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. John Newman.  Her efforts are reflected in the Religious File, 1947-1993. (18 cartons, 1 box) {#283m.12}.
Manuscript Group 284, Leroy Horlacher Papers - World War I Socialist conscientious objector, Horlacher collected religious items such as the poem “Christians at War.”
Manuscript Group 292, Salem United Church of Christ Deposit of German Reformed Salem Church of Harrisburg Records – mostly nineteenth-century records and miscellany of the church and its Sunday school.
Manuscript Group 297, Mary Sachs Collection – owner of retail stores in Harrisburg and Lancaster and active in Jewish organizations in the first half of the twentieth century, Sachs’s papers reflect these interests.
Manuscript Group 298, Lucille Wilson Collection – among the photographs and images are depictions of the Moravian structures in Lititz and pictures of students at Linden Hall Seminary for Young Ladies.
Manuscript Group 301, John Crain Kunkel Collection – Kunkel represented his Harrisburg district in the 76th-81st and 88th-89th Congresses.  His Congressional Subject File, 1938-1950 (9 cartons) {#301m.7} includes a folder labeled “Churches, 1946-58.”
Manuscript Group 303, R. Brognard Okie Architectural Papers – architect Okie did work for some churches in southeastern Pennsylvania in the first half of the twentieth century.
Manuscript Group 309, Milton J. Shapp Papers – Governor of the Commonwealth from 1971-1979, Shapp dealt with a number of religious subjects and leaders.
Manuscript Group 310, John Duss Papers – Duss was the last trustee—serving until 1903—of the Harmony Society, a religious communal organization located in Beaver County during his tenure.
Manuscript Group 312, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Deposit – primarily nineteenth-century vestry minutes, registers, publications and related materials of this church located in Lebanon.
Manuscript Group 320, Edward Stover Papers – a Middletown lumber merchant who built the Memorial United Brethren Church in Hummelstown in 1872, Stover collected early twentieth-century programs of the Stoverdale Memorial Camp Meeting.
Manuscript Group 323, Leon Karpel Photographs – among the mounted photographs of eighteenth-century Pennsylvania structures are pictures of churches located in the southeastern part of the state, including an image of Peace Church in Shiremanstown.
Manuscript Group 325, Pine Street Presbyterian Church Photograph Collection – primarily views of Harrisburg in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, these lantern slides include images of churches in the area.
Manuscript Group 326, Bowers-Rawson Family Photographs – one postcard shows the ruins of a Catholic Church in Austin, PA.
Manuscript Group 327, Ira J. Stouffer Postcards – a professional photographer who was active around 1910, Stouffer’s images include churches in Dauphin and Huntingdon Counties.
Manuscript Group 329, Ivan L. Carter Collection – a Carlisle druggist, Carter photographed scenes of small-town life in the Carlisle area during the 1920s and 1930s, including church activities.
Manuscript Group 330, Knoedler Family Collection – John Frederick Knoedler served as the caretaker of the Harmony Society, c.1905-1916, and as treasurer of the Harmony Associates.
Manuscript Group 332, Henry Mohn Family Collection – includes an 1871 Bible printed in German.
Manuscript Group 334, Lowengard Family Papers – Harry Lowengard served as treasurer of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Harrisburg;  he kept accounts for the organization for the period 1915-1918.
Manuscript Group 348, Martin G. Brumbaugh Papers – the only member of the Church of the Brethren (formerly the German Baptist Brethren) to hold the gubernatorial office in Pennsylvania, Brumbaugh served as Governor from 1915-1919.  He published A History of the German Baptist Brethren in Europe and America in 1899.
Manuscript Group 351, Julius F. Sachse Deposit of Ephrata Cloister Materials - primarily a premier collection of eighteenth-century manuscript materials and imprints of religious music and texts prepared by the Seventh Day German Baptists at the Ephrata Cloister in Lancaster County as well as similar nineteenth-century items from the Snow Hill “Nunnery” in Franklin County.
Manuscript Group 354, Old Economy Village Collection – Old Economy Village is the restored nineteenth-century Beaver County home of the Harmonists, a Christian communal society known for its piety and industrial prosperity.
Manuscript Group 356, Daniel B. Strickler Collection – a major general in the Pennsylvania National Guard in the middle of the twentieth century, Strickler’s photograph albums contain at least one 1946 image of a chaplain in prayer.
Manuscript Group 364, William A. Hunter Collection – historian for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission from 1945-1961 and chief of the Commission’s Division of History from 1961-1976, Hunter lectured and published widely on eighteenth-century Pennsylvania history subjects, including some religious aspects.
Manuscript Group 367, Lawrie and Green Collection – in the middle decades of the twentieth century, Harrisburg architect M. Edwin Green and Pittsburgh engineer Ritchie Lawrie designed public, institutional, educational and religious buildings primarily for central and western Pennsylvania.
Manuscript Group 371, McCalmont Family Papers – dated 1925-1947, personal correspondence from David McCalmont, Sr. of Franklin, PA to his sons covering family matters, business, local events, personal advice, and opinions on politics, religion, temperance, prohibition and ethnic groups.
Manuscript Group 373, Richard A. Snyder Papers – Snyder represented parts of Lancaster and Chester Counties in the Senate of Pennsylvania from 1962-1984, maintaining files on such subjects as abortion, birth control, capital punishment and religion.
Manuscript Group 376, Irene Bressler Photographs – these photographic prints collected by Bressler, an employee of the State Library and Harrisburg resident, primarily consist of images of individuals and families as well as a c.1888 picture of the graduating class of Williamsport Dickinson Seminary and a c.1888 photograph of a Lutheran Sunday school class in Lykens.
Manuscript Group 382, Bucher-Hummel Papers – a minister of the German Reformed Church in Harrisburg, John Conrad Bucher’s sermon notes date from 1734-1753.
Manuscript Group 385, Walter Benson Photographs – Benson was chief of the photographic section at Olmsted Air Force Base, Middletown, PA.  Living in the Harrisburg area in the 1950s, his photographs depict historical architectural sites in Dauphin, Lebanon and Lancaster Counties, including churches.
Manuscript Group 389, James A. Beaver Papers – Beaver was Governor of the Commonwealth from 1887-1891; his files contain texts of speeches (1889-1899) with religious themes.  Several of his Civil War letters to his mother expressed his spiritual motivations:  January 11, 1861, he described his faith in God as the primary reason to join the fighting if war erupts; December 1, 1862, he invoked the name of the “Heavenly Father” when lamenting his brother’s death at Antietam; February 27 1863, he attributed his lack of fear of death in battle to his trust in God. 
Manuscript Group 392, Jack Bowling Papers – Bowling became a silversmith in Philadelphia in 1958, crafting some items for use in churches or other religious purposes.
Manuscript Group 395, Donald H. Kent Collection – beginning as a historian with the Frontier Forts and Trails Survey in 1937 and culminating in his position as director of the Bureau of Archives and History of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission from which he retired in 1975, much of Kent’s career focused on the history and culture of the state’s Native Americans, including their spirituality.
Manuscript Group 396, Milford H. Patterson Architectural Designs – Patterson worked primarily in the second half of the twentieth century on churches, synagogues, commercial structures and public and residential buildings.
Manuscript Group 400, Works Progress Administration Records – a set of color plates prepared for the Museum Extension Project depicts Quaker and Puritan costumes.
Manuscript Group 404, Dick Thornburgh Papers – while Governor Thornburgh was in office, 1979-1986, his administration issued proclamations regarding religious groups and subjects, and it dealt with topics such as abortion.
Manuscript Group 406, Robert P. Casey Collection – primarily dating from 1987-1995, these papers reflect Governor Casey’s opposition to legalized abortion.
Manuscript Group 409, Oral History Collection – interviews with members of a variety of communities throughout Pennsylvania including Harrisburg Jews and Rabbi David Silver.
Manuscript Group 414, Dr. Joseph Priestly Collection – recognized as the discoverer of oxygen, Priestly was an eminent English Unitarian minister, theologian and chemist who settled along in Northumberland County in the last decade of the eighteenth century.
Manuscript Group 417, Ignatius Garner Papers – a settler of Saint Mary’s, PA, Garner was a land agent for Benzinger and Eshbach of Baltimore as well as an organist, organ builder, church designer, postmaster, surveyor, and mayor of the town.  His papers contain information on the nineteenth-century American German Catholic community.
Manuscript Group 420, John W. Harper Collection – a descendant of Germans who came to Pennsylvania from Schoharie, New York, genealogist Harper collected documents relating to his ancestry as well as broadsides with religious texts.
Manuscript Group 435, American Peace Test Records – The American Peace Test was an organization founded in January 1986 to bring about an end to nuclear warhead testing by nonviolent means, engaging religious groups in its efforts.
Manuscript Group 437, Karl Arndt Collection of Harmony Society Materials – Professor Arndt of Clark University collected these materials during the course of his research and publication of documentary histories of the Harmony Society (1805-1905), a religious community whose final location was Ambridge in Beaver County.
Manuscript Group 445, Donald R. Brown Postcard Collection – Brown’s postcards include views of churches and other religious subjects.
Manuscript Group 464, Francis Cooper Photographs – amateur photographer Cooper documented life in Juniata and Mifflin Counties in the early twentieth century, and among his subjects were churches.
Manuscript Group 465, Capitol Area Music Association Records – organized in 1974, the Association is an interdenominational choral organization whose membership includes individuals living in the south central Pennsylvania who have a church affiliation and an interest in music.
Manuscript Group 473, Gospel Music Workshop of America Harrisburg Chapter Collection – the Workshop provides exposure, opportunity, and information to musicians, songwriters, directors and singers who desire to develop their skills and passion for gospel music, and it promotes gospel music as an original American art form.
Manuscript Group 487, Vincent Carocci Papers – political journalist Carocci served as Governor Robert Casey’s press secretary from 1987 to 1995; his files include press releases, news articles and related materials pertaining to the Abortion Control Act.
Manuscript Group 490, Peter C. Wambach Papers – the voice of his radio program “This is Pennsylvania,” Wambach covered a wide range of historical and cultural subjects such as the Ephrata Cloister and Christ Church.
Manuscript Group 493, Pennsylvania State Grange Records – the Chester County #3 Chester-Delaware Pomona Grange sponsored traveling Bible programs in 1947.

Manuscript Group 503, Reverend Leroy Patrick Papers – pastor of the Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Homewood for thirty-five years, Dr. Patrick was a central figure in the fight against racism in the Pittsburgh area during the height of the civil rights struggle in the United States.