Honoring Chester County's Legacy

heritage map As one of three original counties founded by William Penn, Chester County enjoys a rich and vitally important role in the development of this country. The interpretation and preservation of historic structures, landscapes and other resources at the County level is a collaborative partnership of the County Archives & Records Services Department, the Chester County Planning Commission and Chester County Facilities & Parks.

We are here to answer questions about the history of Chester County and to provide technical assistance to the County's 73 municipalities, for profit and non-profit organizations representing historic resources, and history minded residents who are ultimately responsible for the wealth of historic resources that we all enjoy.

Chester County Archives and Records Services

Focus: Preserve and make available the historic records of Chester County.

The Chester County Archives was established in 1982 to preserve and make available the historic records of Chester County. The archives currently holds over 2,655 volumes and 1,779 cubic feet of original public records of enduring historic and cultural value. Serving over 3,200 researchers a year, the archives is a primary destination for genealogists, property researchers, local historians and academics researching all facets of Chester County history.

In 1985 the archives expanded to include micrographics and records management sections. To help facilitate the disposal, access, preservation and management of current public records, records management ensures that county departments follow the guidelines established by the State of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Courts.

The Chester County Archives is administered by the Chester County Historical Society in cooperation with the County of Chester.

The Chester County Archives is currently developing a research guide to historic house or property research. Upon its completion in spring 2010, the guide will be available on the Archives website. The Archives, along with Chester County Historical Society and the Department of Parks and Recreation, will also hold workshops in 2010 on historic property research that will be held at the Historical Society. The guide and workshops are funded by the grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The purpose of the Chester County Archives and Record Services is to:

Contact: Chester County Archives & Records Services
Laurie Rofini, Director
Government Services Center
601 Westtown Road, Suite
West Chester, PA 19380

Heritage Education Services

Focus: Heritage interpretation at Chester County's parks to further knowledge about Chester County's role in American history.

Heritage Interpretation and Education for County - managed Parks & Trails

Contact: Chester County Facilities and Parks
Jessica Cirilo, Program Coordinator
313 W. Market Street, Suite 5402
West Chester, PA 19380
Phone: 610-344-5929

Heritage Preservation Services

Focus: Provide information and registration on historic resources in the county to help preserve Chester County's cultural landscape and history and meet the goals of Landscapes2 for Historic Preservation.

The Chester County Historic Preservation Officer was created by the Chester County Board of Commissioners and approved by the federal government in 1981 to provide necessary coordination between the county, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, state and federal agencies and the general public when identifying and addressing the county's individual historic resources and their history based upon the National Preservation Act of 1966 as amended.

Technical Expertise and Educational Assistance to the Public

Heritage Tourism & Marketing

Contact: Chester County Planning Commission
Karen Marshall, Heritage Preservation Coordinator
601 Westtown Road, Suite 270
West Chester, PA 19380

Local Historic Resource Planning Assistance

Focus: Provide technical assistance in the development of local historic resources planning policy and regulations.

Support historic resources planning through Chester County Policy:

Provide planning consulting assistance for municipal historic resource planning:

Provide municipal historic resources planning grant funding:

Prepare educational historic resources planning publications for municipal planning:

Coordinate with other agencies on local historic resource planning:

Contact: Chester County Planning Commission
Jeannine Speirs, Senior Community Planner
Government Services Center
601 Westtown Road, Suite
West Chester, PA 19380