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Isaac Clarence Kulp photo collection


This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Mennonite Heritage Center. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Mennonite Heritage Center
Kulp, Isaac Clarence, 1938-2007
Isaac Clarence Kulp photo collection
Date [bulk]:
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
5 Linear feet ((8 boxes))
Isaac Clarence Kulp (1938-2007) was an historian, antiquarian, and folk artist of Vernfield, Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania. In the 1960s he was one of the pioneers of Pennsylvania German folk culture research in the Goschenhoppen region of Montgomery County and surrounding areas. His collection of folklore notes, tape recordings, books, paintings, photographs and other manuscripts has been preserved at the Mennonite Heritage Center. The I. C. Kulp Photo Collection: Mr. Kulp amassed an important collection of over 3,200 photographic images (an item-level inventory is available at Many of the photos are local, including groups from the Kulp, Gottshall, Cassel, Foutz, Harley, Custer, Kriebel, and Metzger families. The most notable part of the collection is a unique group of 35 glass negatives from young photographer Jonas H. Nyce in the years 1900-1910. These are original images that give a rare view into life on the Indian Creek in central Montgomery County, Pennsylvania at the turn of the twentieth century.
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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Mennonite Heritage Center,  2008

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Forrest L. Moyer


Processing of the Isaac Clarence Kulp Collection was supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Controlled Access Headings

Family Name(s)
  • Cassel
  • Custer
  • Foutz
  • Gottshall
  • Harley
  • Kulp
  • Glass negatives
  • Photographs
Personal Name(s)
  • Cassel, Abraham Harley, 1820-1908
  • Metzger, Allen G., 1865-1946
  • Nyce, Jonas H., 1884-1948

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Collection Inventory

Series A. Personal and family photos.

Subseries A1. Personal interest photos.

Box Folder

Apple Butter Frolic, Harleysville, PA--4 photos, 1985-2002.

39 1

Artifacts--89 photos.

39 2

Delp's Meetinghouse (Herrehaus), Harleysville--49 photos, 1900-2000 (Bulk, 1957-2000) .

39 3

Donald Shelley--5 photos, 1997.

39 4

Frick's Meetinghouse, Hatfield, PA--3 photos, 1985-1990.

39 5

Gemeinschaft 1723 (play)--8 photos, 1973.

39 6

Goschenhoppen Historians--35 photos, 1964-1993 (Bulk, 1964-1975) .

39 7

Goschenhoppen Sing-Gemeinde/Sing-Schieler--4 photos, 1977-1997.

39 8

Heckler Plains, Harleysville--16 photos, 1976-1980.

39 9

Isaac Clarence Kulp artwork--24 photos, 1972-1998 (Bulk, 1992-1995) .

39 10

Klein's Meetinghouse and Harley Burial Ground, Harleysville--37 photos, 1956-2006.

39 11

Kolb-Kulp-Culp Reunion--24 photos, 1919-1982 (Bulk, 1966-1973) .

39 12

Kutztown (PA) Pennsylvania German Festival--14 photos, 1959-1970.

39 13

Methacton Cemetery, Fairview Village, PA--5 photos, 1992-1995.

39 14

Rudy's Country Kitchen Restaurant, Harleysville--11 photos, circa 1995.

39 15

Schaefferstown, PA--60 photos, 1963-1982.

39 16

William Kulp (1811-1880) clock--3 photos, 1979.

39 17

The "Wisdom Table", Energy Station Restaurant, Vernfield, PA--15 photos, 1992-1999.

39 18

Subseries A2. Family photos, 1890-2003.

Scope and Contents note

Over 600 photos from I. C. Kulp's immediate and extended Kulp and Gottshall families, including the photo collection of his grandmother Elizabeth Garges Gottshall (numerous cabinet cards, circa 1890).

Box Folder

Family photos.

39 19-22

Family photos.

40 1-6

Series B. Acquired photo collections.

Subseries B1. Benner, Joseph D. and Sallie Landis--69 photos, 1890-1970.

Biographical/Historical note

Joseph D. (1882-1946) and Sallie Landis Benner (1883-1974) lived in Souderton, PA and are buried in Souderton Mennonite Cemetery. These photos are mostly identified, and include a collection from Sallie's mother, Elizabeth Price Landis.


Subseries B2. Cassel, Abraham H. and Elizabeth Rhoads--52 photos, 1870-1932.

Biographical/Historical note

Abraham H. Cassel (1820-1908) was a well-known Brethren antiquarian and book collector. He and his wife Elizabeth Rhoads Cassel (1823-1898) lived near the Indian Creek Church of the Brethren, Vernfield, PA, where they were members. This album contains photos of their family.

Subseries B3. Foutz, Rebecca--294 photos, 1880-1955.

Biographical/Historical note

Rebecca Foutz (1885-1955) was a Brethren woman, originally of Waynesboro, PA and later of Philadephia, PA. She never married, and her extensive collection of photographs came to I. C. Kulp through Lincoln G. Nyce. These are photos of Ms. Foutz's family and friends, and are nearly all identified.


Subseries B4. Grater, Elias T. and Sarah Bergey--4 photos, 1900-1910.

Biographical/Historical note

Elias T. (1858-1939) and Sarah Bergey Grater (1861-1955) lived in Perkiomen Township, Montgomery County, PA and are buried in Lower Skippack Mennonite Cemetery.


Subseries B5. Harley, Elizabeth--86 photos, 1865-1930.

Biographical/Historical note

Elizabeth Harley was historian of the Harley Family Association. She gave these photos to I. C. Kulp. Most are of descendants of Jacob S. (1801-1882) and Sarah Price Harley (1804-1882), including a multi-generational collection from the family of national Women's Rights leader Flora Harley Britten (b. 1864).


Subseries B6. Johnson, Ralph W. and Ella Custer--34 photos, 1885-1935.

Biographical/Historical note

Ralph W. (1898-1981) and Ella Custer Johnson (1902-1977) lived in Creamery, Montgomery County, PA and are buried in Lower Skippack Mennonite Cemetery. These are mostly photos from the Custer family, and most are identified.


Subseries B7. Metzger, Howard K.--186 photos, 1890-1925.

Scope and Contents note

Most of these photos are from the studio of Howard Metzger's father, photographer Allen G. Metzger (1865-1946) of Harleysville, PA. Many tintypes, including an album from the Kriebel-Metzger family.


Subseries B8. Nyce, William G. photos, 1890-1955.

Biographical/Historical note

William G. Nyce (1888-1958) was founder of Nyce Printing Company and a member of Hatfield (PA) Church of the Brethren. This collection includes many glass negatives and prints of local photography by Jonas H. Nyce of Vernfield and Souderton, circa 1900-1910. For additional Jonas Nyce photography, see folders 41-14 and 46-3.

Box Folder

William G. Nyce photos--44 photos, 1890-1955.

41 1

Jonas H. Nyce photograpy (prints)--89 photos, 1900-1910.

41 2-3

Jonas H. Nyce photography (glass negatives)--35 negatives, 1900-1910.


Subseries B9. Shup, John and Sarah Bealer--8 photos, 1865-1900.

Biographical/Historical note

John (1832-1907) and Sarah Bealer Shup (1838-1924) lived in Milford Township, Bucks County, PA. These are unidentified photos from their family Bible.


Subseries B10. Sundry local photos.

Box Folder

Local photos--646 photos, 1880-1995.

41 7-14
Local glass negatives--37 negatives.
Scope and Contents note

Images of Sumneytown, Green Lane and Ridge Valley, circa 1900, photographer unknown.


Subseries B11. Unidentified photos (481 photos).


Subseries B12. Copy prints.

Box Folder

Published in Heckler Plains (1977)--16 photos, circa 1976.

46 1

Published in Pennsylvania Folklife 12:2 (1961)--8 photos of local meetinghouses by Peter Macinskas, circa 1961.

46 2

Reprints of historic Brethren images--58 photos.

46 3

Subseries B13. Oversize and framed photos (38 photos), 1880-2005 (Bulk, 1880-1930) .