Esther Duke Archives

What do financial journals listing the purchases of roasting pigs and pewter plates; letters describing conversations with paroled Civil War soldiers; early 19th century hand drawn watercolor maps; embroidered silk globes and the coil that inspired the invention of the Slinky® have in common? All these items - and more – are part of the Westtown School Archives.


The archives collects, organizes and makes available items relating to the history of Westtown School - the program and people – from the 1790s to the present. School records, manuscripts, photographs, publications, rare books, maps, plans, and artifacts (including textiles) are housed in the archives, adjacent to the library in the Main Building. The school’s collections of artwork and antique furniture are also under the care of the archives.

Using the Collection

The collection is used by students in all 3 divisions (Lower, Middle and Upper Schools), and faculty in several different disciplines have incorporated use of these primary source materials into the curriculum.

Visiting scholars and interested members of the general public are also welcome to use the collection.

The archives is open each day when school is in session and other times by appointment. Please contact the archives staff or read more about conducting research using the collection – in person or long distance.

In 2005 the archives was formally named the Esther Duke Archives in honor of Esther Duke (1920-2005), Westtown class of 1938, whose time, talent and treasure contributed greatly to the preservation of Westtown’s history.


We welcome donations to the archives. Learn more about our collection policy.

Want to know more? Contact us! 610-399-7834

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