The Bryn Athyn Historic District Archives
at Glencairn Museum

The Archives is located on the lower level of the Museum and houses approximately 1,500 linear feet of records and manuscripts related to the history of the Bryn Athyn Historic District and the men and women that made its creation possible as well as material of local and national importance.

The Bryn Athyn Historic District Archives contains three major collections, described below, as well as personal memorabilia, Museum records and a large photographic archive that includes a collection of over 4,000 glass plate negatives from the early twentieth century.

The John & Gertrude Pitcairn Papers contains written materials, photographs and memorabilia from the lives of John and Gertrude Pitcairn. John Pitcairn was a railroad man turned businessman and, most notably, the co-founder of Pittsburgh Plate Glass (now PPG). He and his wife, Gertrude Starkey Pitcairn, planned Cairnwood Estate and were the patrons of the Bryn Athyn Cathedral, both also parts of the Bryn Athyn Historic District.

The Raymond & Mildred Pitcairn Papers contains papers, photographs and other material related to the life and activities of Raymond Pitcairn and his wife Mildred Glenn Pitcairn. In addition to family photographs, films and correspondence, there is a very large collection of United States political material from the 1920s through the 1960s. Raymond Pitcairn was very involved with political causes and candidates. The Pitcairns came to know Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower through their political activities, and there is a collection of correspondence between the two couples. Raymond and Mildred built Glencairn between 1928 to 1939, and lived in it as their home for the remainder of their lives. A gallery on the fifth floor, beside the Chapel, is devoted to Pitcairn family memorabilia.

The Bryn Athyn Cathedral Collection includes a large collection of photographs, correspondence and architectural drawings related to the planning and construction of Bryn Athyn Cathedral. There are many business papers, employee records, correspondence and other written documentation.

Searching the Archives Catalogs

The Archives catalog can be accessed by using one of the links below, which will take you to either ArchivesSpace, our collection finding aid, or Omeka, our online repository of digital material. Both catalogs are a constant work-in-progress, so feel free to inquire about our holdings via email or telephone.


The collections are searchable by using the following terms:

  • Accessions (papers or collections that have been received by the Archives)
  • Resources (various collections of personal papers or records cataloged by the Archives)
  • Archival Object (an individual item or set of items in a collection)
  • Person (a record describing an individual)
  • Digital Object (a link to an object that exists in digital form or has a digital copy)

In ArchivesSpace, clicking on any item in the list will take you to that record. You can filter the results by using the menu on the left margin.


You can browse by item, collection or tag as well as using the search box in the upper right corner.