Collecting and Collections


Collecting involves a mission and purpose - as basic as gathering and compiling food or amassing articles for pure amusement or the recall of childhood. 

The Union County Historical Society's mission statement is to collect items made in Union County and items associated with Union County businesses for the purpose of preserving the county’s heritage.  Some of the ten thousand or so items collected by the Society since 1963 focus on area blacksmiths and tinsmiths, quilt makers and milliners, politicians, and businesses like Pennsylvania House and Bechtels. 

Most of the items in the UCHS collection have been donated over the past fifty years.  Old business ledgers and photographs such as those in the courthouse office are used by people doing research.  Other items, like those in the 1793 hearth and 1804 Dale Library, aid in the interpretation of the Dale/Engle/Walker house and wagon shed which are open Sunday afternoons, June through October. 

The items in this display are from the collection of the UCHS.  More items owned by the Society can be seen year-round at the County Courthouse, South 2nd Street, Lewisburg or may be out on temporary loan to other museums like a mid-nineteenth century court room chair to the New Berlin Heritage Association and an old Mifflinburg Band cupboard at the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum. 

What do you collect and why?  Would you be interested in sharing that collection so that others could enjoy seeing it?  Call the Union County Historical Society at 570-524-8666, e-mail to; visit by going to our Facebook page or to or the Society at its first floor office in the Union County Courthouse.

Items in Collection

 1919 LHS Pennant donated by Owen Mahon

LHS1919 Pennant




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Gift of silver spoons c. 1821, owned by Margaret Dale Simonton, daughter of Samuel Dale.

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Purchase on E-Bay of worker identification badge from during the construction of the Ordinance in Gregg Township, c. 1944

Digital Policy of Union County Historical Society

Identifying Data Pertaining to the Individual Digital Photos in a Collection:
The Society will accept collections of digital photographs of relevance to its mission, but, will normally require that each photo be accompanied by identifying information, typically (1) date of photo, (2) photographer, (3) location, (4) identities of persons depicted, and (5) description of what the photo depicts.  Where a digitized image is known to have been modified and manipulated using software, that should be noted.  

Identifying Data Pertaining to Whole Collections of Photos:
Additional information that should be added if available includes (1) how the photos came to be collected, (2) how to contact the donor for further information, and (3) data on the camera settings used for particular pictures.   Digitized photos and images should be on CDs, DVDs, or a digital storage device provided with UBS connectors.

The Archives Committee may waive any or all of the above data items when they are unobtainable and the historic value of the photos warrant.

Transfer of digital photos and photo collections to the Society will be accompanied by its usual agreements regarding rights of use, etc.


To assist the Office staff and volunteers with decision making relative to donations, the Archives and Museum Committee (Committee) is providing guidance to avoid acceptance of items that do not fit into the mission of the Committee and Society as a whole.  The following list of do's and don’t is meant to help us all say “thanks” or “no thanks” both nicely and firmly; sometimes providing direction for the potential donor to pursue.  Many gifts come through the office; others directly to the Committee.

When one is comfortable that the item(s) being offered do not have any of the issues mentioned below and fit within our collecting mission, a deed of gift (attached) should be executed with as much information as possible, signed by donor and representative of the UCHS, and put with the gift into the back office for transfer to the D/E/W archives.

Thanks for helping us in accepting those objects we should accept according to our mission statement and declining when not within it.  We continue to grow the collection carefully.

  • We do not accept items that have mold, evidence of insect infestation (moth holes), are torn or showing water-damage. 
  • In general we do not collect clothing including military uniforms.  Families might consider contacting the following museum which does collect military uniforms: 

Wreaths Across America  PO Box 249 4 Point Road) Columbia Falls, ME, 04623   Phone: 877-385-9504 or 207-470-0967

  • We do not accept items made outside present Union County except early items made in Snyder County prior to 1855 (when it was part of Union County) and similarly pre-1813 Northumberland County items from townships west of the Susquehanna. 
  • We do not accept family Bibles into the collection but do like to Xerox family trees that are often inside them.  We can do that in the office

Collecting involves a mission and purpose. Our collection is focused on items made in the County or promoting businesses and other historically significant events in the County.  Most of the items in the UCHS collection have been donated.  Old school ledgers and some of our photographs are in the courthouse office and used by people doing research.  Other items are in the 1793 hearth, 1804 Dale Library, and the farm’s wagon shed to aid in the interpretation of the Dale/Engle/Walker house.  Items from the collection are lent periodically to other museums and sites and put in rotating exhibits at the UNION COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER and the UNION COUNTY COURTHOUSE.