Past Exhibits

Letters and Postcards

Before social media and telephones, handwritten letters were one of the very few ways to communicate across town, across the country, and around the world.

Guest curator Bill Schultz shared hundreds of examples from his remarkable collection of covers (envelopes) and colorful post cards that illustrate U.S. postal delivery from and to West Chester from 1820 to 1920.  

In a rare opportunity, visitors will also be able to view “Domestic Rates – U.S.P.O. Acts of 1792 to 1863,” Schultz’s nationally award-winning postal history exhibit.

Bayard Rustin's Local Roots

On August 28, 1963 the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom shown a spotlight on racial inequity. West Chester native Bayard Rustin organized the peaceful demonstration that filled the Mall, numbering the largest demonstration to date. This exhibited commemorated this milestone and celebrated the Netflix film Rustin.

The 7 biographical panels and photographic reproductions are available to borrow for short-term loan. Please contact CCHC for more information.

Recent Quilt Acquisitions

A small part of Chester County quilting heritage was on view in late 2022. This installation of vibrant colors featured quilts donated between 2015 and 2022. Cotton and silk predominated this array of traditional examples from the 1800s and creative group projects in the later 1900s.

Profiles: Chester County Clothing in the 1800s


In the early 1800s the United States was a new nation. Economic and political opportunity varied across the country.
Chester County was the same, with residents ranging from poor to wealthy.

The clothing people wore revealed individual identity, personal choice and place within the community. With Chester County being only one day’s horse ride from Philadelphia, local people had access to global trends. They accepted or rejected fashion styles based on what they could afford, their personal preferences and, in some cases, what they believed. Both high fashion and everyday adaptations appeared throughout the century.

View By Era

Greek and Roman Design


Before The Civil War


Fashion Plates


Ready-Made & Handmade