The John A. McAllister Collection: Manuscripts

Manuscripts are an important part of the McAllister Collection, and contain the earliest material in the collection. The papers and documents here range in date over two centuries (1683-1872), and primarily relate to the history of Philadelphia and the region: the records of three banks, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia, several merchants and manufacturers, and a variety of family and personal papers.

Generally speaking, there is little provenance information for the collections, but it is known from John A. McAllister’s own correspondence that he was acquiring business records and personal papers during his lifetime, most likely for the value of the autograph letters and documents found within them: his pencil annotations (generally name recognition notes) are on many of the pieces, principally the manuscript letters.

After arriving at the Library Company, all of McAllister’s manuscript collections were combined into one large chronologically ordered file. In 2005-2007, the discrete groups were reformed, and the result was twenty-nine separate collections of papers, including the personal papers of John A. McAllister himself.

Readers are encouraged to explore the finding aids for these collections, which can be found at the following locations:

McA MSS 001 – John A. McAllister Papers (1820-1885, bulk 1860-1866); collector, with some family material

McA MSS 002 – McAllister Small Manuscript Collections (1781-1857); small groups of related items

McA MSS 003 – Albert Newsam Papers (1833-1864); artist

McA MSS 004 – Watson & Paul Business Records (1792-1807); merchants

McA MSS 005 – John B. Budd Business Records (1820-1846); merchant

McA MSS 006 – Binny & Ronaldson Papers (1805-1822); type founders, pottery

McA MSS 007 – Young and Woodward Business Papers (1789-1826); printers and booksellers

McA MSS 008 – Lapsley Family Business Records (1805-1817); textile merchants and importers

McA MSS 009 – Oswald Family Papers (1792-1816); merchants, French military service

McA MSS 010 – Charles Bird Papers (1800-1837); hardware importer and merchant

McA MSS 011 – Gratz-Franks-Simon Papers (1752-1831); merchants

McA MSS 012 – Bank of the United States Records (1790-1842)

McA MSS 013 – Bank of Columbia Records (1794-1828)

McA MSS 014 – State Bank of Camden Records (1812-1837)

McA MSS 015 – David Lewis Papers (1793-1839); insurance company; partner with merchant Isaac Wharton

McA MSS 016 – William Trent Papers (1763-1789); primarily related to his land holdings

McA MSS 017 – Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, General Assembly Records (1783-1859, bulk 1790-1838))

McA MSS 018 – Philadelphia Court Records (1802-1862)

McA MSS 019 – Peter S. Du Ponceau Papers (1787-1844); primarily letters from the Marquis de Lafayette

McA MSS 020 – Thomas FitzSimons Papers (1784-1811); primarily related to Robert Morris’s debts

McA MSS 021 – William Whelan Papers (1811-1841); merchant, prominent in the Irish-American community

McA MSS 022 – McAllister Autograph Collection (primarily 19th century); primarily clipped autographs

McA MSS 023 – Barker Family Papers (1785-1832); public servants

McA MSS 024 – Civil War Manuscripts (1854-1868); letters and documents from officers and servicemen

McA MSS 025 – McAllister Miscellaneous Manuscripts (1683-1872); remainder of the McAllister Collection

McA MSS 026 – John Smith Papers (1802-1819); United States marshal

McA MSS 027 – Greenway Family Papers (1772-1802); merchant

McA MSS 028 – Godfrey Weber Papers (1802-1844); merchant

McA MSS 029
– Episcopal Clergy Manuscripts Collection (1765-1867); letters and sermons

Additionally all McAllister Collection finding aids are available and searchable in the Library Company’s Islandora digital asset repository.