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A library can be a bewildering place. For many middle and high school students, libraries are a labyrinth of stacks, databases, and jargon. Those with homework or projects requiring research often ask: Where do I start?

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), one of the largest special collection libraries in the country, has the answer: Here.


To mark the World Meeting of Families and papal visit, HSP is making freely available the newest issue of its illustrated history magazine, Pennsylvania Legacies.

The issue explores the history of Pennsylvania’s Catholics, with articles examining the diversity—and sometimes conflict—within the early Catholic Church, the essential work of Catholic women religious in the 19th century, the organization and activism of African American Catholics at the turn of the 20th century, the important role of Catholic parishes in supporting immigrant communities, and much more.


As part of the city-wide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Annual Reminder Demonstrations for gay rights, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the William Way LGBT Center are collaborating on Fighting Back: Defending the LGBT Mind and Body in Pennsylvania, an LGBT health history conference on October 18th & 19th.


In support of this year's National History Day (NHD) theme of "Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History," HSP's Alicia Parks and Sarah Duda take a look at five individuals and stories from our collections - including a captive of the Barbary pirates, Arctic explorers, suffragettes, and much more. 


With the nation’s attention focused on Philadelphia this September for the convening of the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis’ visit, HSP explores the history of Pennsylvania’s Catholics in the fall 2015 issue of Pennsylvania Legacies.