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The Library holds a broad range of manuscripts spanning more than three centuries of Chester County history.  These include letters, diaries, business and organization records, land and legal documents, Bible records and family charts, records of burials and marriages, genealogies, etc.

Our manuscripts have been arranged in many different ways. Some have been organized by us based on their physical format (Diary Collection), others were organized by the person who gave them to us (Marwood Darlington Genealogical Research Collection), and still others are arranged by a topic or subject (Church & Cemetery Collection, Family Surname Collections).

Many of our collections are made up of the papers or records of a family or local organization. These manuscript collections can vary in size from one box to thirty boxes or more. Included in these collections are materials that document the history of local families, businesses and organizations, as well as the history of women, African Americans, Civil War soldiers, immigrants, Quakers and the many others who have called Chester County home.