PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records




Manuscript Group 447
[ca. 1749-1982]

In 1790, Pennsylvania Germans made up forty percent of the population of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The immigrants and their descendants established a distinct culture with folk traditions, decorative arts, and a language (Pennsylvania German) based upon their German heritage. Over ninety percent of the German immigrants were farmers and Henry and George Landis grew up with this strong Pennsylvania farming heritage. Their ancestors had settled in Lancaster County during the early 1700s and the brothers recognized that the material culture of the rural Germans was eroding. This inspired them to start collecting objects used by 18th and 19th century farm families and craftsman. Eventually the collection came to encompass over 75,000 artifacts including furniture, guns, pottery, textiles, and farm equipment. In 1925 the Landis brothers opened a museum on the grounds of their Landis Valley homestead in order to share their collection with the public. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the museum as a gift in 1953 and it is now administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Among the documents included in the collection is a school attendance record titled, "Philip Krantz's School List at Rabbit Hill School House in Warwick Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania from August 31, 1846, [and from] December 1, 1846." It is on a single sheet of paper 12.5" x 16", and lists about sixty children and the frequency of their attendance. The attendance record is significant because it sketches a picture of a local Pennsylvania German schoolhouse during the mid-nineteenth century.

The collections are located at the Landis Valley Museum, 2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster, 17601. The records are currently unprocessed and inquiries should be direct to the Site Administrator or the Curator at (717) 569-0401.

A few records are maintained at the State Archives. Additionally, various unrelated records of county, school district, and municipal governments were contained in Manuscript Group 447. In 2014 these records were placed in record groups according to their type. County records were placed into RG-47 Records of the County Governments. Municipal records were placed into RG-48 Records of the Municipal Governments. School records were placed into RG-55 Records of the School Districts. The series description in each of the record groups identifies any records transferred from Manuscript Group 447.

PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records