About the Institute
The Delaware County Institute of Science (DCIS) was founded in 1833 by five Quaker men: Dr. George Smith, John Cassin, Minshall Painter, George Miller, Jr., and John Miller. The mission of this organization was to diffuse knowledge to the general public, by establishing a natural history museum and a lending library. For almost 200 years DCIS has been managed and maintained by volunteers. Its permanent home is located in the 1867 building located at the corners of Jasper Street and Veterans Square in Media, PA.
The museum exhibits mounted birds and animals, an herbarium of Delaware County plants and other areas; fossils, shells, and corals from around the world; animal skulls, bird nests and eggs, butterflies, insects, and miscellaneous other collections such as maps as old as 1810, Native American tools and pottery, glass bottles, late 1800’s radios and radio vacuum tubes and microscopes.
The displays and research collections of minerals include many from famous localities in the area. The museum also houses the original plate blocks used to print Samuel Gordon’s 1922 Mineralogy of Pennsylvania. Additionally, specimens brought from the mineral prospects of the West by members of the Delaware County Institute of Science during the 1800′s can be viewed and studied.
The Library of the Institute houses several thousand books and other publications on the Natural Sciences. Many of these are period classics by authors who have been subsequently recognized widely for their scientific contributions. The Library includes numerous volumes of local significance and highlights a large 19th century series relating to Pennsylvania. The Library is a non-circulating reference collection that is accessible to the public upon request during operating hours.
A monthly lecture program is prepared for each winter season, October through May. Subject-matter experts are invited to present topics of scientific, technological or ecological interest. Lectures are FREE and presented upstairs in the Lecture Hall or through Zoom. Doors open by 7:00 p.m. Lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. Events may be cancelled in case of inclement weather. Call (610) 566-5126 to confirm. Please Note – there is no elevator to get to the second and third levels, only a chair lift that will give assistance to the Lecture Hall on the second floor.