Archival Adventures in Small Repositories
Fairmount Park Historic Resource Archives
The Fairmount Park Historic Resource Archives documents the historic resources of Fairmount Park, a division of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR) Department. The Parks and Recreation Department was established in 2010 through the merger of two city agencies: the Fairmount Park Commission, which was created in 1867 to oversee the city's parks, and the Department of Recreation. They document Fairmount Park land, parks, recreational sites, buildings, historic sites, and artifacts, as well as programs and projects related to those resources. The collection includes materials in a variety of formats largely dating from the mid 19th century to the present. Most of the collections consist of maps, blueprints, drawings, and plans that document the Fairmount Park System's architectural and landscape history, in particular, its five watershed parks: Fairmount Park, Wissahickon Valley Park, Cobbs Creek Park, Tacony Creek Park, and Pennypack Park. Notably, the collection also contains hundreds of original architectural and landscape drawings from the 1876 Centennial Exposition that was held in Fairmount Park, as well as a significant amount of photographs, prints, and negatives that document the history of the park system. Reference files, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and annual reports offer supporting documentation.