Faith Charlton

Faith Charlton is a Project Surveyor for the Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories project. Faith joined HSP as Project Assistant for the Greenfield Digital Project in November 2010, and was previously the Reference and Technical Services Archivist at the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center. She holds an MSLIS degree with a concentration in Archival Studies from Drexel University as well as an M.A. in History from Villanova University and a B.A. in History from The College of New Jersey.

This Author's Posts

Many artists often seek bucolic and natural landscapes for inspiration. For this reason, the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)-- whose main campus is located in the center of Philadelphia-- decided to open a rural campus at Yellow Springs out in Chester Springs, Chester County, Pa. The Academy, which inhabited the village from 1916 to 1952, was one of many organizations that occupied Yellow Springs throughout the village's storied history that spans 300 years.

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"Welkinweir," an old English word that translates to "where sky meets water," is the name of an old farm estate in East Nantmeal Township, Chester County, Pa. that was purchased and completely transformed by the property's last owners, Everett and Grace Rodebaugh.


This past Friday, HCI-PSAR staff, including me, Celia, and project director Jack McCarthy, held a session about our project at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference that was held here in Philadelphia. We were among many HSP staff who presented at the conference.


It's not every day that archivists get to work in a uniquely-designed home with an interior covered in multiple types of artwork from floor to ceiling. It is the case, though, if you're working at the Wharton Esherick Museum--one of the coolest places I've ever visited! (I'm so glad that the museum decided to participate in our project!)


Up until the end of the 20th century, Chester County, Pa. could have been referred to as the "land of iron and steel" due to the large number of metal-producing forges, mills, and factories that towered over the landscape.

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According to local legend, Lewis Wernwag, owner of a Phoenixville nail works mill, named the mill Phoenix Iron Company because the fiery red hot iron reminded him of the Phoenix (the mythical bird that dies and then rises from its own ashes). Shortly thereafter, what was once the small village of Manavon in Chester County, Pa., began to be referred to as Phoenixville.


Within the past few months, Celia and I created two resources that we hope will assist researchers in locating archival collections that may be of use to them.


If you were to travel through Lower Makefield Township in Bucks County during the first half of the 20th century, your olfactory senses would have likely been consumed by the sweet aroma of roses, and perhaps the not-so-sweet smell of what fertilized the internationally-renowned flowers grown on Joseph Heackock's 40 acre farm.


Celia and I recently finished processing one on the highlights of the Historical Society of Tacony's collection: the Thomas W. South papers, 1861-1919. South was a prominent and influential figure in the Tacony section of Philadelphia as well as the city at large around the turn of the 20th century through his involvement in real estate, transportation, and local politics.

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The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) of Yardley (Bucks County, Pa.), an auxiliary of the WCTU of Pennsylvania, was founded in 1885. The group's stated objective, as outlined in its first minute book, was to "educate public sentiment up to the standard of total abstinence, train the young, save the inebriate, and secure the legal prohibition and complete banishment of the liquor traffic."