@Styles.Render("~/Content/css2") Document Preservation Project
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Horsham Preservation & Historical Association

...the Future of Horsham's Past

Document Preservation Project

Internship Opportunity

HPHA has an internship opportunity working on our Document Preservation Project. More details here.

Historic Document Preservation Project

HPHA has an extensive collection of local documents, maps, books, photos that we are working to restore, catalog, preserve, and share. These include a 1718 Indenture from Samuel Carpenter in which most of present day Horsham Township is left to his heirs, maps of the area, local family histories, photos, property records dating back to the 1680's and much more.

detail of 1718 Indenture

Many of these are records of transactions of the Strawbridge family from the 17th-19th centuries for properties in and around Philadelphia. These were rescued by HPHA when we began the restoration work on the Penrose Strawbridge House. We also have a collection of other documents: maps, indentures, coorespondence, family histories; that were donated to us by folks such as Mr. Joseph H (Buck). Penrose Jr., Carol DiJoseph, Mary Day, and others.

Our goal is to catalog, restore and preserve the objects that we have and hopefully digitize most of the collection so that the content is readily available and accessible to those interested in studying our past.

Michael Gubicza, wrote a blog article about HPHA's collection for the Historical Society of Philadelphia as part of HSP's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories.

We have done some preliminary work such as restoring the 1718 Carpenter Indenture but the first significant step in addressing the entire collection was a meeting with Susan Duhl from Art Conservator's Alliance in early September, 2013. Ms Duhl has given us the basics in organizing and protecting the pieces in our collection so we now have a pretty good foundation to get started. Horsham Township Manager Bill Walker sat in our meeting to see where the Township can help.

Volunteers are always needed so if you have an interest in this project or especially if you have some expertise, please contact us.

Internships for qualified students (post-graduate) may be available.


We estimate that the 1st phase of this project will cost about $25,000. The objective of this initial part of the project is to develop a strategy to meet our overall goal and acquire the skills and tools needed to do this. Funding from sources such as the National Endowment for the Arts and others may be available for later stages of the project but it is necessary to define the collection and a strategy before even applying for funding from these sources.

We have made great progress toward this goal in a very short time thanks to the donations listed below. Please contact us if you would like to donate to this project.

HPHA received a donation of $10,000 towards this project from an anonymous relative of Welsh Strawbridge. Thank You!
HPHA was recently awarded a $5,000 grant by the Horsham Industrial and Commercial Development Authority to assist with our Document Preservation project. Thank you!
HPHA received 2 steel flat file cabinets as a donation from Chambers Associates, Inc., Worcester, PA. Thank you! .

Brief Overview

The following is an approximation. There are still boxes and files donated to HPHA that we have not cataloged.(12/2013).

1Documents and maps Est. # Items
Strawbridge, Marshal and West families properties owned in Philadelphia 1683 until 1920 76
Strawbridge property in Horsham 1920 + 25
private Marshal and Strawbridge correspondence and records 250
Penrose Family Property records (indentures) 1718 until 1920 30+
Other Horsham area families and buildings 100+
2Artifacts (books, furniture, clothing, photographs)
Strawbridge and Marshal items 150
Penrose Items 65
Horsham Items 35
Library books on general historical subjects 125

One of our key historic documents - 1718 Samuel Carpenter Indenture - hangs in the Penrose-Strawbridge House. It has also been exhibited at the Horsham Library.

February 3, 1718 From Samuel Carpenter 5500 acres with a Quit rent of one English Shilling for every 100 acres. Shows the meets and bounds of the 5500 acres. Signed and sealed by Hannah Fishbourne, (daughter) William Fishbourne (son-in-law), Samuel Carpenter, John Carpenter (sons) and Hannah Carpenter (wife).

photo of Indenture on display at Horsham Library

This document shows the original owner of over 75% of Horsham. Samuel Carpenter purchased this land from William Penn.

The Horsham Preservation and Historical Association found this and similar documents in the papers donated to them by Joseph Hollowell Penrose, Jr. Conservation and framing cost $1200 and was done by a professional, Elizabeth Wendelin of Warrington.

Donating to our Collection

We said above that we have an extensive collection but we're also always looking for more. Please Contact Us if you have any items that relate to the history of our area that you might be interested in donating to HPHA. If they meet the criteria for inclusion in our collection then we will be happy to accept them.


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Samuel Carpenter Indenture - Detail
detail of indenture dated 3 Feb 1718 transferring Samuel Carpenter's land holdings in Horsham to his wife and children
detail of 1718 Indenture
Samuel Carpenter Indenture on Display
restored original indenture date 3 feb 1718 transferring Samuel Carpenter's land holdings in Horsham to his wife and children. Donated to HPHA by Joseph H (Buck) Penrose Jr
photo of Indenture on display at Horsham Library
Horsham Preservation and Historical Association
The Future of Horsham's Past
900 Governors Rd | Horsham, PA USA 19044
Email | 215-343-0659
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