Browse Collections (5 total)

Francis F. Zimmerman Photograph Collection

This collection focuses mainly on the Media Centennial Celebration, which ran from June 3-10, 1950 and included thousands of participants and attracted tens of thousands of spectators. Besides covering the centennial activities for local newspapers, Zimmerman took many photographs of local business, churches, and community organizations for inclusion in a souvenir book sold during the events. (The page number of these photographs, in this publication, are noted in each item’s description). To view a selection of Centennial photos by Zimmerman, click here. For an overview of the Centennial activities, click here.

A smaller but fascinating group of aerial photographs of Media and other nearby Delaware County, Pennsylvania communities, taken in 1950, show how much open space existed in the area at the time, and how quickly that land was being bought up and built up as part of the post-World War II housing boom.

Thanks to

Adeline Cianella, for scanning most of the 750+ negatives and choosing appropriate subjects for each image; also to Matt Lake, for kicking off the project with a few dozen scans of his own. Most of the ppotographer's captions were minimal, so thanks also to Adam Levine, who edited each image and fleshed out the descriptions by perusing the Centennial souvenir book along with captions of published photos and newspaper articles describing the events, from both online databases and MHAC’s own scrapbooks and newspaper collection.

View the items in Francis F. Zimmerman Photograph Collection

I. Frank Lees Photograph Collection

The I. Frank Lees Collection forms the backbone of the collections of the Media Historic Archives Commission, and is its reason for being. MHAC--an official arm of the Media, Pennsylvania government--was created to administer a collection of photographs and other material which I. Frank Lees (1919-1999), a lifelong resident, donated to the borough in 1981. The collection contains roughly 15,000 items, including the more than 1,800 photographs which are presented here. More photographs from this collection, and from other collections donated after Lees' death in 1999, will be added to this site in the future.


  • Chris Welc, for scanning more than 1,000 photographs in the photograph folders that Frank Lees had created. and for creating the first version of the Excel spreadsheet that became the basis of the catalog records on this site. 
  • Adam Levine scanned hundreds more photographs, fleshed out the photograph descriptions, and created the final metadata now attached to each image.
  • Media Borough Council approved the purchase of a new computer and scanners for MHAC, and funded the creation and upkeep of this website.

View the items in I. Frank Lees Photograph Collection

Lemon Family Collection

This collection of 42 family photographs and documents focuses on Media resident Sam Lemon’s great-great-grandparents, who escaped slavery in Virginia during the Civil War and made their separate ways to Media. They likely had the assistance of the Underground Railroad and different Friends groups along the way. This collection was given to Mr. Lemon by his grandmother, Maud Ray Ridley, who also shared the stories behind the photographs in the oral history tradition. He retains the original images but has allowed the MHAC to post scans on this website.

A longer document at this link, by Dr. Lemon, shares a more detailed family history. Thanks to volunteers Karen Glynn and Adeline Ciannella for helping scan and catalog this collection

View the items in Lemon Family Collection

Mary M. Edwards Collection

This collection honors the legacy of Mary Matthews Edwards (1919-2014), a longtime Media resident and one of the borough's best known social activists. Born in Baltimore, she was the daughter of Rev. Elizabeth Bland Oveide and William E. Oveide. After moving with her family to Media when a child, Mary became a member of the Campbell A.M.E. Church and attended Media High School. She worked as a teacher's assistant at Media-Providence Friends School, and later as an administrator at Glen Mills School and the Media Fellowship House. At age 60 she began studies at the Delaware County Community College.

Throughout her life she was involved in local, national, and international projects and groups promoting social justice and improved human relations, including the American Friends Service Committee, Pendle Hill Quaker Study Center, the NAACP, and the National Association of Negro Women. As a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, she traveled to India and Scandinavia working to unite women worldwide to oppose oppression and exploitation.

The collection includes photographs, letters, family records, and newspaper articles from Mary's scrapbooks. Besides her family life, these items cover Mary's political activities (including a stint as chair of the Media Democratic Committee) and, more generally, a series of racist incidents in Media and Delaware County in the late 1990s and the response of Mary and others to these crimes. In 1996, the highlight of Mary Edwards social justice activities was her founding of the Citizens-Community Task Force to combat hate activities and racial disparity in Media and surrounding communities.

She was married to John J. Edwards, Sr., and they had two children, Juanita and John Jr.

Thanks to Mary's daughter, Juanita Edwards, for allowing MHAC to scan and post this collection of digital images and documents, which reflect a long commitment by Mary Edwards to better the lives of all Media residents. Juanita Edwards retains the original items and any rights to reproduce them.

View the items in Mary M. Edwards Collection

Stephen H. Appleton Photograph Collection

The Appleton Collection includes more than 2,000 glass photographic negatives, taken in Media, Pennsylvania and vicinity from 1888 to 1909. Media Historic Archives received the collection in 1988, but until 2018 most of these pictures had never been seen by the public. For a fuller description of the Appleton photographs, click here.

View the items in Stephen H. Appleton Photograph Collection