Newspaper articles of bygone era easily accessible at Delaware County Historical Society

Submitted photo — Delaware County Historical Society

It’s a world of information literally at your fingertips.

Hundreds and hundreds of clips from the Delaware County Daily Times are stored in the research center of the Delaware County Historical Society and offer a plethora of reports on a variety of topics from Chester City to Upper Darby to Middletown and everything in between.

In 2016, the Daily Times moved its offices from Mildred Avenue in the Primos section of Upper Darby to the current location on South Chester Road in Swarthmore. It was a move to a smaller location, and it did not have room for the voluminous files.

So, it made arrangements to have them stored at DCHS.

The 39 cabinets of files date from the mid-1900s through the 1990s and are categorized in three sections. The largest section of cabinets presents the files in alphabetical order based on persons and things. Two smaller groupings include the B file, which earmark the clippings based by topic, and then a negative file, which includes photo negatives by date.

The files are popular at DCHS and have been used in various research projects.

One of those was by the Yes We Can Achievement & Cultural Center in Chester. Now dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all, the Yes Center had previously been the YWCA Chester that served the community for 98 years.

Twyla Simpkins, Yes Center founder and board president, said the center relied on the DCHS’s clip file as well as other resources when they were completing a documentary on the building’s history for the Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Project.

At one point, the YWCA had the only operating pool in the city, accommodating as many as 9,000 swimmers a month, as reported in a clipped story written by Patti Mengers in 1992.

In a September 1993 article, a reader learns that the YWCA at Seventh and Sproul streets was built in 1914.

A 1988 article notes that the Young Women’s Christian Association in the United States was founded in 1858 as an organization exclusively for women, partly to address the problems of housing, poverty-level wages and educational opportunities for young women who came to the cities during the Industrial Revolution.

These stories are only a sliver of the multitude of articles on many, many topics stored at the home of the Delaware County Historical Society, located at 408 Avenue of the States in Chester. It is open to the public Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday from 1 to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parking is free in lot behind the building or across the street in the city’s municipal lot.

For more information or for ways to get involved, call 610-359-0832.

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