Speakers Bureau Lectures

Chester County History Center offers a selection of lecture and special interest programs highlighting our museum, archival collections, and Chester County history. These programs draw upon the expertise of its professional staff and their research on various Chester County topics, and are available at your location or at CCHC. See our current lecture and presentation offerings below. To book a lecture, contact the presenter listed with each topic.


At your meeting place, or virtually: $100 for nonprofits, $150 for for-profits. Travel fees may apply.

At CCHC as part of a special interest program: $16 per non-member, free for members.

Includes all day admission to our library and museum exhibits.

*Pricing on new or special lecture topics may differ.



Chester County History  Explore the complex relationships between people and the land where they live and work. Learn about people from many heritages and walks of life who came to live in Chester County, the area’s rich agricultural heritage, social and reform movements and the wheels of industry. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, eendslow@mycchc.org

Breadbasket of the World The workings of the Mill at Anselma in Chester Springs are a valuable window into how a colonial era grist mill was built and functioned. Learn also about the history and context of farming, milling, and shipping PA flour around the globe. Contact: Jennifer Green, Director of Education, jgreen@mycchc.org

Life on a Colonial Pennsylvania Farm  Based on the history of the Pratt Farm in Edgmont, Delaware County, this program covers the trials, tribulations and everyday life of farm families in the 1700s. Learn about animal husbandry, crops, buildings, gardens, crafts and more. Contact: Jennifer Green, Director of Education, jgreen@mycchc.org

Many Nations | Chester County Celebrate 300 years of diversity through the lens of migration. From contact between the Lenape and the first European settlers in the 1600s, people from around the world have called Chester County home. Learn about the ways national and international events have led to such a diverse local population that continues to make a significant impact on our community. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, eendslow@mycchc.org

The Formative Years: Childhood 1830-1910  Work and leisure defined childhood in the 1800s. Toys and games contrasted with work on the farm or in the factory. Some children had an education, others did not. All contended with diseases yet to be conquered. This talk illustrates how children, and their welfare, were the foundation of Chester County and its people today. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, or eendslow@mycchc.org

Chester County Property Research  Learn how to research the history of your property through the records at the Chester County Archives. Interpreting historic deeds and old handwriting may seem daunting at first, but these legal documents can be simplified into standard templates and their information easily extracted. This talk shows how to locate and interpret historic records and build a chain of title from the most-recent deed back to the original patent. It includes research strategies to work with unrecorded deeds and highlights examples tailored to your specific township or geographic area. Contact: John E. Smith III, Assistant Archivist, Chester County Archives, at 610-344-6760, ccarchives@chesco.org

Chester County Ceramics The soil of Chester County has nurtured a number of pottery traditions from slip- or sgrafitto-decorated redware to fine Tucker porcelain. This PowerPoint-illustrated lecture traces the styles, methods of manufacture and uses of ceramics made in Chester County from the 18th to late 19th centuries. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, eendslow@mycchc.org

Chilling Reality: Chester County’s Arctic Explorers   Frostbite…polar bears…perpetual darkness…ship-crushing ice…death-defying journeys…These may sound like the makings of a Hollywood feature thriller. But this is the Chilling Reality of Chester County’s Arctic explorers. Explore the stories of four Chester Countians in their quest for northern achievements over an 80-year time span. You may discover that, hidden within their stories of endurance and bravado, are many lessons we can learn about our own 21st-century views of the Arctic. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, eendslow@mycchc.org

Meeting for Equality: The 1852 Pennsylvania Woman’s Rights Convention The first Pennsylvania women’s rights convention was held in West Chester’s Horticultural Hall on June 23, 1852. Among the rights the Pennsylvania meeting claimed for women were the right to vote, the right to receive equal pay for performing the same work as men and the right to study the sciences. This slide-illustrated program discusses the men and women who played a major role in the convention and provides an overview of the issues that they raised. The program also highlights the connections between the early women’s rights movement and other social movements such as abolitionism and temperance.  Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, eendslow@mycchc.org

Pieces and Patterns: Quilt History and Chester County How are 19th century quilts made in Chester County similar to or different from quilts made elsewhere or at different times in history? This illustrated slide lecture explores materials, construction and styles of Chester County quilts and their place in the history of quilted handiwork. It also describes a 2003-2004 county-wide quilt documentation initiative. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, eendslow@mycchc.org

Samplers and Schoolgirl Art From darning samplers to mourning pictures, needlework sheds light on the lives of 19th century women and girls from Chester County. Learn about the distinctive styles associated with the Westtown School and other female academies. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator, at 610-692-4800 ext. 257, eendslow@mycchc.org

It’s About Time!  Time never ends but the ways we measure it have changed dramatically.  Learn about how people have used sundials, clocks, almanacs and calendars to organize their daily, seasonal and annual schedules. Find out when time skipped a beat. Contact: Ellen Endslow, Curator at 610-692-4800 ext. 257,  eendslow@mycchc.org

If you would like a custom lecture program, or are interested in seasonal or holiday related programs, email education@mycchc.org and we may be able to develop a program for your group!