Serving as a hub for cultural enrichment, experiential learning, and stewardship of collections, manuscripts, photographs, and other invaluable archival materials, Chester County History Center (CCHC) preserves and shares Chester County’s diverse, noteworthy, and captivating stories with a wide range of audiences. Our establishment aims to enhance community vitality and build historical literacy — the pillars of robust civic culture — through curated programming and resources that span hundreds of years.
Inspired by the spirit of Chester County citizens and distinguished by the integral legacy of the area, CCHC develops signature programs of learning and discovery to bridge lessons from the past to issues that inform our future. Leveraging historic sites and collections, we aim to teach visitors from all walks of life — including researchers, students, families, group trips, and beyond — the influence of our locale and establish a haven of celebration, connection, and growth that spreads beyond county lines.
We invite you to join the community dialogue by visiting our museum and library, participating in our programs, and becoming a member!
From educational seminars and conferences to birthday gatherings and seasonal soirées, our growing roster of engaging events and special programs fosters historical knowledge and communal celebration. We welcome all to attend, reserve, and contribute!
As our History Center knows, Chester County has a rich backstory — and we’re here to help share it with rotating exhibits of artifacts, collections, and works of art that showcase life in our region from the 1600s to the present day.
Clothing reveals a great deal about who we are — not just individually, but on a societal level. With Chester County being only one day’s horse ride from Philadelphia, local people had access to global trends. Both high fashion and everyday adaptations appeared throughout the 19th century.
Explore this comprehensive timeline of the significant events and pivotal occurrences — arranged chronologically — that shaped eras of our locale as well as the nation. The exhibit incorporates encounters with key contributors and explores themes prevalent in the county’s enthralling history, including everything from inventions and cultural contributions to the Underground Railroad and social justice movements.
A leader in social movements for civil and gay rights, socialism, and nonviolence, Bayard Rustin is undoubtedly woven into the very fabric of Chester County. In 2012, community advisors helped CCHC commemorate Rustin’s centennial. Learn about Rustin’s life and legacy in this digital recreation.
"Amazing Place! A beautiful museum with permanent & changing exhibits, a fabulous library & rich archives with extraordinary unique collections & an education center. It helps that the staff is helpful & Dedicated."
"If you have a family that lived in the Chester County area, wait until you see the news items that have been clipped and filed. I found the 11 Oct 1860 news item of the marriage of my Great-Great Grandparents!"
"Such an amazing place. Chocked full of historical and interesting items and facts. Truly amazing. Items from more than 250 years ago to the present. Had a great time. Really enjoyed myself."
Our insightful events, exhibitions, and archive materials enable visitors to use Chester County’s dynamic history as a gateway to not only learn about the past but achieve a greater understanding of changing the future on a regional and global level. Our exciting suite of hands-on interactions and programs includes everything from walking tours and recreational activities to workshops and lectures geared toward creating an entertaining yet highly educative environment for field trips, outreach programs, as well as curriculum and personal development.
There are numerous documented chapters to Chester County’s history — and we encourage all who are interested in being a part of the area’s subsequent ones by exploring and discovering with us.
History, Culture, Heritage, Pillars of Our Society By Mian A. Jan, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I, and Maria Khan “The three quotes