Summary Information
Title: Monongahela Navigation Company Copybook
Collection Number: DAR.1937.41
Creator: Monongahela Navigation Company.

Collection Dates: 1840-1897
Extent: 0.25 linear feet (1 oversize box)

Language: English

This collection consists of summaries from annual reports from the Monongahela Navigation Company from 1840 to 1897 detailing damage to locks and dams on the Monongahela River due to floods and ice. The reports are in a single volume that was produced in 1907 and do not cover every year due to omissions by the author. Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
Date Published:

June 2008

Finding aid prepared by Shaun Hayes.
Revision Description:
April 2012:
Added links within finding aid to access content selected for digitization.


In 1817, the Monongahela Navigation Company was incorporated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to "make a lock navigation on the river Monongahela." After overcoming numerous financial and engineering difficulties, the company succeeded in building four locks and dams by 1844, opening the Monongahela from Pittsburgh to Brownsville for slackwater navigation.

Collection Scope and Content Notes

The collection consists of a single volume detailing the affects floods and ice had on locks and dams on the Monongahela River built by the Monongahela Navigation Company. Most of the entries were written in January, except where noted in the collection, and record the damage to the locks and dams, as well as other obstacles to river navigation on the Monongahela River. The entries are divided by each lock and dam and are in chronological order. There are gaps in the years summarized because they were not included by the author of the volume. Many of the early records of the Monongahela Navigation Company were destroyed in two fires, and all that could be found were transferred to the U.S. Engineer's Office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1897.

Subject Terms

  • Dams -- Monongahela River (W. Va. and Pa.)
  • Inland water transportation -- Monongahela River (W. Va. and Pa.)
  • Locks (Hydraulic engineering) -- Monongahela River (W. Va. and Pa.)

Corporate Names
  • Monongahela Navigation Company.

  • Monongahela River (W. Va. and Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)

  • Letterpress copybooks

  • Transportation

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information:

Gift to the Darlington Memorial Library in 1937.

Alternate Format:

Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

Custodial History:

This collection was located in the Darlington Memorial Library in the University’s Cathedral of Learning until 2007 when it was moved to the ULS Archives Service Center for processing, storage, preservation and service. However, it remains in the custodianship of the ULS Special Collections Department.

Preferred Citation:

Monongahela Navigation Company Copybook, 1840-1897, DAR.1937.41, Darlington Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Shaun Hayes in June 2008.


No copyright restrictions.


  • Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Acts of Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Relating to the Monongahela Navigation Company: Together with Decisions of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. (Pittsburgh: Smith Brothers, 1888.)Library of Virginia. Monongahela Navigation Company Records. (1847)Monongahela Navigation Company. Memorial of the President and Managers of the Monongahela Navigation Company. (Pittsburgh: Kennedy Bank Note Review, 1851).
  • Veech, James. A History of the Monongahela Navigation Company. (Pittsburgh: Bakewell and Marthens, 1873).

Collection Inventory

Box 1
Volume 1 Monongahela Navigation Company Copybook, 1840-1897