Archival Adventures in Small Repositories
Connie Griffith Houchins
The Andalusia Foundation was established in 1980 by James Biddle (1929-2005) and other Biddle family members to ensure the preservation of the family's ancestral home, Andalusia. Overlooking the Delaware River in Bucks County, PA, Andalusia has been the home to generations of Philadelphia's Biddle family since 1814, when Nicholas Biddle and his wife, Jane Craig, inherited the property from her parents. Nicholas and other Biddle family members became prominent among their contemporaries in various fields such as banking, diplomacy, law, politics, military service, agriculture, and horticulture. In addition, the family was friendly with a number of historically important figures, including presidents and foreign dignitaries, and often hosted them at Andalusia. The Andalusia Foundation stewards approximately 70 linear feet of Biddle family papers, dating from 1747 to the present, which are stored at Andalusia. Various family members are represented in the collection through correspondence, diaries, financial records, legal records, scrapbooks, draft and published articles, pamphlets and ephemera, deeds, photographs, and numerous other materials. There is also some secondary-source material in the collection pertaining to the Biddle family and the administration of Andalusia, such as newspaper clippings, articles, photocopies of original documents held at other repositories, pamphlets and ephemera, floor plans and other building-related materials, and genealogical research and information on the Biddles and related families.