The archival, or paper-based, collections in Founder's Hall include:
The Personal and Business Papers of Stephen Girard
This category includes his incoming and outgoing correspondence, year-by-year receipt books, and records of his bank, some ship log books, maps and charts, and his personal library (1780-1831). This nationally significant collection is available on microfilm to scholars at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. Pictured above, former Director of Historic Resources Elizabeth Laurent displays a letter from President James Madison asking Girard for a loan.
Read the September 2012 Philadelphia Inquirer article about the Girard Collection letters, written by Alfred Lubrano.
The Architectural Drawings Collection
This group includes most of the 1832 competition drawings for Girard College and many of T.U. Walter's construction drawings for the original campus.
Most of the images are published in the book "Monument to Philanthropy: The Design and Building of Girard Collect 1832-47 (Girard College, 1998)." This book can be used as a reference volume by appointment at Founder's Hall. It can also be purchased for $35.00 and shipped to interested individuals.
The Girardiana Archives
This collection includes items relating to the history of the school (1848-present), including photographs, publications, newsprint, etc. The items primarily focus on student life at Girard College rather than the adult accomplishments of the school's graduates. This collection is non-circulating but available to researchers by appointment at Founder's Hall.
Search the Girard College Historical Collections Database
Find out more about our objects! The Historical Collections Database contains searchable catalog records for Stephen Girard's personal library and the Stephen Girard Collection of furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts. (Allow a few moments for the database to open.) Additional segments of the historical collections will be added to the catalog as they are completed.