The Chestnut Hill Historical Society maintains a rapidly growing, professionally managed collection of more than 20,000 items documenting the community’s architectural and social history from the 1680s to the present. The collection contains architectural drawings and other building records; more than 8,200 photographic images; maps including real estate atlases from the 1870s through the 1930s; prints, drawings, deeds, diaries, genealogical materials, books, taped and transcribed oral histories, and selected objects. The collection is available to the public for research purposes.

Acquisition: CHHS is interested in a broad range of Chestnut Hill related items, covering the period from the 1680s until the present. A variety of media are collected, including photographs, documents, prints, maps, and all other archival material. Subjects generally illustrate social, economic and cultural aspects of life and can include architecture, landscape, individuals, genealogy, businesses, organizations, places, or events. These items are acquired by means of donation, purchase, or exchange.

Hours: Tuesday through Friday 9:30am until 2:30pm and most Saturdays 11:00am until 4:00pm. Appointments are preferred.

Fees: Admission and research fee is $15 (free for members). Inquiries about our holdings and ready-reference questions will be answered without charge on the telephone. Photocopies are available for 25¢ per page.

Research by Mail or Email: For researchers who live at too great a distance to visit our archives, there is a $35 fee, payable in advance, for research conducted by staff, up to a maximum of two hours ($15 per hour for each additional hour of staff research). This includes up to $2 postage and 10 photocopies; additional photocopies and postage will carry an additional charge. Research fees apply whether or not any relevant information is found. Please include your telephone number, street address, and e-mail address in any correspondence.

Photographic Services: Copies of images from the collection can be reproduced for publications, web sites, framing, or other uses. The staff will scan images, or as needed, an outside photographer will be retained to make prints. Please contact Alex Bartlett, Assistant Archivist (215 247-0417 x206 or for help with photograph selection, permissions, and fees.

For more information about the CHHS Collection, either for research purposes, or if you are interested in donating an item to the Historical Society, please contact Liz Jarvis, CHHS Curator/Archivist, at (215)247-0417 x205, or by email at

Search our Photo Archive. Click here.

Finding aids for our collections. Click here.

Naylor Collection

Between 1903 and 1910, John Naylor, from Chestnut Hill, created 125 black and white photographs of 80 properties. All his views were of houses in Chestnut Hill and Wyndmoor with the exception of two sites in downtown Philadelphia. Fifty-seven of these properties remain, and sadly, 23 have been demolished.

These 125 photographs may be viewed, along with descriptions of the properties, the architect and original owner when known, and an accompanying map. Click here to view the collection.

Chestnut Hill Historical Society - 8708 Germantown Ave. - Philadelphia PA 19118 - 215 247-0417 -
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