Founded in 1852, Elwyn, then known as the the Pennsylvania Training School for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Children, was one of the first schools for individuals with disability in the world. The school moved from Germantown, Pennsylvania to its current location outside of Media Pennsylvania in 1857. Ground-breaking in its influence and scope, Elwyn is now a human services organization serving individuals with intellectual, physical, developmental, and behavioral disabilities. For more information about Elwyn, please visit their website.

The PHCHPD spent 2 years organizing and preserving the papers of Elwyn to form a functioning research office located in the Administration Building on the Main Campus. The Archive is also home to a small museum telling the history of the institution. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collectives Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archives partnered with Elwyn and Coalition interns to produce the early stages of finding aids for the Elwyn and Philadelphia Orphan Society archival collections. These finding aids, and completed aids with box and folder listings are available below.

If you are interested in researching at Elwyn, or visiting their Historical Museum, please contact us or Dr. Elliott Simon, elliott_simon@elwyn.org