Collections

Welcome to our new online Collections Gallery. This will be an evolving collection of archives and information that will provide an outline of what is at your access at the Heritage Museum.

Archives & Library

The General Harry C. Trexler Collection Finding Aid provides an overview of our collection of materials related to General Harry C. Trexler (April 17, 1854-November 17, 1933).  Born in Easton, Pennsylvania, he was an American industrialist, conservationist, and major philanthropist.  In 1885, Trexler married Mary M. Mosser.  They were married for 48 years, until his death in 1933 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident.  Mary died one year later.  They had no children.  Through a charitable trust Trexler established in his Will, his wealth continues to provide a major benefit to the people and community of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. 

Our collection of Trexler materials described in the Finding Aid includes ledgers, land records, maps, scrapbooks, photographs, and ephemera related to Trexler’s life and the legacy he left behind.  Our Finding Aid is designed to guide “in-house” research.  This collection is not digitized for off-site viewing or research.  Questions should be directed to Jill Youngken, Director of the archives at 610-435-1074 or j_youngken@lehighvalleyheritagemuseum.org 

Thank you for your interest in the life of General Harry C. Trexler.

Other highlights of the archives and library collections, with their respective call numbers in parentheses, include the following:

Archives and Manuscripts (MSS and MSS/PF):
Personal, family, and business papers and records, including ledgers, correspondence, diaries, drawings, scrapbooks, social invitations and programs, passports and immigration materials, financial and business records, and legal papers. These materials are all cataloged and open to the public, although some restrictions may apply due to the fragile nature of such items.

Photographs (PHOB and PHOTO):

  • Allentown, Lehigh County, Lehigh Valley; industry, portraits, landscapes, buildings, streets, farms, events (circa 1860-present).
  • William R. Zwikl Collection: landscapes, events, buildings; Hess’s Department Store events and celebrities; political, theater, television, and sports figures; artists and their works; historic sites.
  • Dick Mantz, Morning Call newspaper photographer: press photos, including sporting, news, and holiday events.
  • Bernhard and Ralph Metzger portrait photography, 1923-1986.
  • Hess’s Department Store Collection, 1898-1994.

Architectural and Technical Drawings:
Drawings by the architectural firm of Ruhe and Lange, circa 1900-1920; drawings by miscellaneous firms; blueprints of public buildings and residences; railroad drawings; engineering drawings of roads, bridges, and railroads.

Church and Cemetery Records (284.1):
Over 1,000 volumes of baptismal, burial, pastoral and cemetery records for Lehigh and neighboring counties; approximately 460 volumes for Lehigh County. Over 400 birth/baptismal certificates (including fraktur), late 1700s through the early 1900s, indexed. For a list of our Lehigh County holdings, see the Church Records section of our website.

County Records:
The library serves as repository for many of the county’s early records. Of particular interest are the Orphans Court, tax, and prison records.

Orphans Court records, 1815-1915.

Mortgage Records 1864-1901.

Lehigh County tax records, 1813-1817, 1835, 1846-1890. Through the support of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the LCHS has been able to catalog our early county records holdings and microfilm the early tax records.

Prison records: 1875-1915.

European Church and Legal Records for Germanic Families (In German) (929.4):

  • Gerhard Hein: Church and legal records of Alsace (Hirschland, Diedendorf, Drulingen, Rauweiler, Sieweiler, Gorlingen, Hangweiler, Kirberg, Burbach, Lixheim, & Pisdorf).
  • Rudi Jung: Familienbuch der Evangelische Pfarrei Wolfersweiler und ihrer Filialen.
  • Rudi Jung: Familienbuch der Evangelisch und Katholisch Pfarrei Birkenfeld (1557-1798)
  • Rudi Jung: Familienbuch des Ev./Luth. Kirchspiels Achtelsbach (1572-1799)
  • Rudi Jung: Familienbuch Evangelisch und Katholisch Pfarrei Baumholder mit Filialen (1679-1798)
  • Rudi Jung: Familienbuch der Ev. Pfarreien Sotern und Bosen (1727-1816)
  • Ella Gieg: Auswanderungen aus dem Odenwaldkreis.


Compiled Family Histories (929.2):
Over 900 volumes.

Newspapers (microfilm):
Local German- and English-language newspapers, 1812-1919. Welt Bote, 1854-1916.

Vital Records (microfilm; card index):

  • Marriage records, 1885-1951, indexed (microfilm).
  • Marriage and death announcements of five newspapers (Allentown Democrat, Unabhaengiger Republikaner,
    Der Friedens Bote, Macungie Progress, Lecha Bote) 
    have been indexed in English for the years 1812 through early 1880s.
  • County Birth and Death Register, 1874-1914.
  • County Death Register, 1852-1854.
  • Birth Register, 1852.

City Directories (917.482): Allentown, 1860-current.

Wills (microfilm; 929.3):
Wills and estate records, 1815-1916, indexed (microfilm).
543 wills, 1812-1890, translated from the German Sitterlin script by Lewis W. Donat (929.3).

Land Records:
Approximately 1,550 deeds, surveys, and warrants, dating from the mid-1700s through the mid-1800s, partially indexed.

Military records (929.3):
Lehigh County Veterans Grave Registrations.

Immigration and Ship Lists:

  • (323.6 LEH) Lehigh County Naturalization Index, 1812-1881.
  • (929.4 F P) Passenger and immigration lists, ed. by P. William Filby, volumes 1-3 and supplements 1982-1987.

Census Records
(REF 929.2; microfilm; compact disc):

Federal records for Lehigh and Northampton Counties, 1790-1930; indexed for the years 1790-1870. Records for other neighboring counties, depending on the year.

Maps (912 and MPD):

  • Draft of the original surveys in Lehigh County, 1816 (drawn by Isaac Chapman from the draft and notes of James Scull, formerly deputy surveyor), indexed by name of property holder.
  • Map of Lehigh County from original surveys by G.A. Aschbach, 1862.
  • Atlas of Lehigh County, 1876.
  • Sanborn fire insurance maps for areas of Lehigh (Allentown, Catasauqua, Slatington, Egypt, and Cementon) and
    Northampton Counties (1885-1927).

Published Histories (974.827):

  • History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania and a genealogical and biographical record of its families by Charles Rhoads Roberts et al. (Allentown, 1914); surname index.
    History of the counties of Lehigh and Carbon in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Alfred Mathews and Austin Hungerford (1884).
  • History of the Lehigh Valley by M.S. Henry (1860).
  • More recent histories published for the Lehigh County townships of Lynn, Weisenberg, Lower Macungie, Upper Milford, Lower Milford, North Whitehall, South Whitehall, Upper Saucon, and Salisbury; as well as for Allentown, Coplay, Catasauqua, Alburtis, Emmaus, Coopersburg, and Slatington.
  • Edward W. Schlecter Collection of biographies (archival boxes in the shelf above the REF books).
  • Proceedings of the Lehigh County Historical Society,
    1906-2004, author/title and partial subject index (906 REF) .

Pennsylvania German Studies:

  • (974.8 PA) Pennsylvania Archives
  • (974.8 PGFS) Pennsylvania Folklife Society publications
  • (974.8 PG) Pennsylvania German Society publications
  • (929.4 PS T) Pennsylvania German pioneers by Ralph Beaver Strassburger and William John Hinke (1934)