Individual Collections

Archives Use:  Researchers requesting use of archival records should make an appointment at least 2 weeks ahead by calling the office at (814) 234–4779.  Our volunteer researchers will do a preliminary search, and pull records to assist you.

Research Requests:  Requests for research can be made by contacting the office at (814) 234–4779.  The research is conducted by volunteers, so please allow at least 2 weeks for processing.  Photocopy and digitization fees may apply.

Thompson and Related Families Collection

Thompson Finding Aid

This collection houses a wide variety of materials relating to the Thompson family of Centre County. While some pieces in this collection date as far back as the late 1700s, most of the collection is from the mid 1800s onward. Included in the collection are numerous photographs of Thompson family members and Centre Furnace lands, financial documents, letters, diaries, and newspaper clippings. The collection has been assembled by the Centre County Historical Society through donations of Thompson family descendants. The collection is housed in 22 boxes.

Barnard/Dickson Collection

Barnard & Dickson Finding Aid

The collection consists of personal letters and record books of Centre County sculptor George Grey Barnard (1863-1938), as collected by and together with the original notes, manuscripts, and assorted articles and other writings of his principal biographer, Penn State Professor of Art History Harold E. Dickson. The collection’s Barnard materials date primarily from 1883-1938, while the Dickson material dates from 1950s to Dickson’s death in 1987. The collection occupies 16 manuscript boxes for a total volume of 7 linear feet of shelf space.

This was made possible through a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Cannon Postcard Collection

Cannon Collection Finding Aid

This collection includes sixty-nine folders, in five photograph boxes, from the collection of Elizabeth Cannon of State College. Her original scrapbooks organized the collection alphabetically by town or community, with Penn State as a separate section; the boxes are arranged in the same way. The collection contains 844 postcards, ranging in postmark dates from 1900-1965.

State College Centennial Collection of Historic Photographs

Finding Aid

The collection contains 788 prints from before 1880 to 1996, collected by Carolyn Clinefelter Smith as part of the State College Centennial Celebration from August 1995 to August 1996. Many of the images are original photographs, and 101 are matted photographic copies, with copy negatives, used in exhibits during the Centennial Celebration. A number of the images have been copied as part of the Centre County Historical Society’s Places and Spaces slide collection; those slide numbers, when applicable, are in brackets at the end of each folder entry.

Koch Images Collection

Koch Finding Aid

This collection includes fifty-two folders, in six photograph boxes, from the collection of Charlotte Koch Schefter of Virginia. It was Charlotte’s father who, having lived in State College for many years, created this insightful record of the emerging and evolving State College/Penn State.

Franco Collection

Franco Finding Aid

Donor Sarah (Johnson) Franco was born and raised in Centre County, where her family had lived for several generations. The images in this collection document a place and time in Centre County. The collection also includes a variety of financial documents, account books, records, agreements and other archival resources.

Sherm Lutz Collection

Lutz Finding Aid

The collection includes papers and correspondence of Sherman Lutz and the State College Air Depot donated by Lutz’s niece, Phyllis Barr. This collection documents the development of aviation in Centre County. Lutz taught 477 students to fly between the years 1933 and 1985. Lutz and his students and colleagues, many of whom went on to work for the military or in the private sector, maintained life-long friendships.

Centre County Bar Association Collection

Bar Association Finding Aid

The collection includes twenty eight oral histories, a copy of A History of the Centre County Bench and Bar by J. Thomas Mitchell, The Centre County Bar Association History: 1950-2000, compiled and edited by Eugene W. Lederer, Esquire and the Centre County Bar Association’s Centre Bar News issues from 1997-1999, featuring profiles of Centre County attorneys.


Genealogy Resources in Centre County

The Centre County Historical Society has some genealogical records in its archives and library, but it is not a primary focus in our collections. Click HERE for a listing of surnames for whom some information may be found in the CCHS archives.