Adopt-a-Book Program

The Hagley Adopt-a-Book program allows you to support our efforts to acquire and preserve essential historical sources related to the history of business, technology, and innovation.

We will commemorate your tax-deductible donation with a bookplate affixed to your selected item and an acknowledgement of your gift in the item's online entry. As the donor, you may also choose to remain anonymous or honor a loved one or colleague in the public record.

This is your opportunity to directly support Hagley collections' growth and help us maintain our status as a leading library and archive for American business and industry history. Please see below for a list of materials currently available for adoption.

Questions may be directed to Hannah Spring Pfeifer, Library Coordinator, by email at or by phone at 302.658.2400, ext. 239.

William Rau studio photographs for the Pennsylvania Railroad for the 1893 Chicago’s World’s Fair


An incredible set of over 60 photographs documenting business and industry along the Pennsylvania Railroad lines attributed to the William Rau studios. The content of the photographs matches those displayed at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The photographs show evidence of being framed. Were these the actual photographs hung at the World’s Fair? While that question may never be known, we do know they are a unique set of photographs from one of the most prominent industrial photo studios of its day.

Diary of working-class Philadelphia man, 1918-1925


A set of diaries that offer a rare look into a worker's day-to-day life during Philadelphia’s industrial heyday. The unidentified chronicler worked in a variety of jobs during a period of inconsistent employment that included stints at the Midvale Steel Works. These diaries are a real gem!

Resources for Women’s Training from 1975-1976


Resources for Women was a consulting company founded by Sarah W. Risher that provided training programs to government agencies through the Federal Women's Program (FWP) and clients in the private sector. The archive bolsters Hagley’s growing collection of women in business resources.

William Rittase photographs of the Pitcairn Autogiro, c. 1930


A stunning set of photographs by the accomplished industrial photographer William Rittase for Pitcairn Aircraft Inc. of Willow Grove, PA. The photographs show detailed interiors and exteriors of the autogiro Pitcairn PCA-2. This set of oversized prints is an excellent addition to Hagley’s collection from William Rittase.

Portfolio of industrial properties along the Burlington Lines, 1955


A portfolio of properties for sale by the Burlington Northern Line train company. The properties zoned for commercial and industrial purposes were owned by Burlington and situated along the Burlington freight lines. This portfolio provides insight into property investments of large rail companies in the 20th century.

An account of an automobile trip across America in 1908


A published account of a family auto trip across the country in 1908. The trip took the family of four 25 days and is considered one of the first ‘amateur’ cross country automobile trips ever recorded. An important and entertaining account of traveling by car in the early days of the automobile.


Not seeing anything of interest? Let us know your preferences and we will offer customized giving options. Contact Hannah Spring Pfeifer, Library Coordinator, at or at 302.658.2400, ext. 239 with any inquiries.