View Collections

Drake Well Museum preserves and makes accessible the largest collection of artifacts and archival materials documenting the petroleum industry in Pennsylvania, its birth, development, and growth into a global enterprise.

The museum’s collection includes over 4,000 objects of which the most significant is the Drake Well—a national historic landmark.

The collection also contains 10,839 still images, over 1,200 cubic feet of manuscript material, newspapers, and maps dating from the 19th to the 21st centuries. As well as, 1,500 petroleum company periodicals and over 3,500 books, catalogues, directories, surveys, bibliographies, and more. Together, these rich materials chronicle the technological, scientific, economic, and social history of Pennsylvania’s oil and natural gas industries.

Drake Well Museum showcases over 600 objects in its various exhibits. Artifacts in storage and archival materials are available for research upon request.

Collecting Scope

The museum’s collecting scope currently emphasizes the following areas:

  • The Pennsylvania petroleum industry (oil and natural gas) from 1850 to the present
  • Drake Well and the broader Oil Creek Valley as the birthplace of the world's modern petroleum industry
  • The social, cultural, educational, and occupational aspects of people (both ordinary and famous) associated with the Pennsylvania petroleum industry
  • Artifacts as well as records and papers documenting events, places, and scientific/technological advancements related to petroleum production, transport, refining, and marketing in Pennsylvania from 1850 to the present
  • Artifacts as well as records and papers that document the positive and negative impacts that the petroleum industry and our consumption of petroleum products have had on the environment and culture

Explore PHMC's Museum Collection

PHMC preserves Pennsylvania's most treasured objects at its historic sites and museums, including Drake Well Museum and Park. These artifacts celebrate the commonwealth's social, cultural, natural, and economic diversity. An online collection tells the story of Pennsylvania by highlighting the history of the commonwealth's diverse objects.