This collection is comprised of a range of materials relating to the prominent Philadelphians who are associated with the estates of Belfield, Little Wakefield, Wakefield and Wister in the Germantown area of Philadelphia. The bulk of this collection relates to Owen Wister (1860-1938), author of The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains (1902), and to members of the Wister family.
In addition to an excellent selection of works about Germantown history, this collection includes books by and about Wister family members; as well as archival material such as photographs, scrapbooks, and correspondence. The collection includes ephemeral material, family-owned Bibles and genealogical information. Spanning five generations, this collection reflects the experiences of the family from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and both World Wars.
The Wister Family Collection is curated by Dr. James A. Butler, Professor Emeritus of the La Salle University English Department.
Researchers are encouraged to explore our Local History Guide to find out more about the Wister family.
The Wister Family Collection includes four sets of personal papers, which provide first hand records of the family's history. The contents of these papers are listed in detailed inventories below:
Records for all archival material in the Collection can be discovered in the Connelly Library Catalog.
The notable former residents associated with the estates of Belfield, Little Wakefield, Wakefield and Wister, and the lives of the Wister Family are elaborated through a series of articles, papers, photographs and other research online:
This collection provides reference for the local history of Germantown, Pennsylvania, with particular respect for subjects relating to historic features of the La Salle University campus grounds. A significant portion of this collection relates to Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), American Colonial Era portrait painter and Revolutionary War Captain who resided on Belfield Estate from 1810 to 1826.
Researchers are encouraged to explore our Local History Guide to discover more about the historic character of the Germantown region.
Pictured above: Working Sketch of the Mastodon by Rembrandt Peale, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.