Archival Adventures in Small Repositories

The goal of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's "Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories" (HCI-PSAR) is to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections at small archival repositories in the five-county Philadelphia region. These include volunteer-run historical institutions, museums, fraternal and ethnic organizations, community groups, churches, clubs, and other non-profit organizations with important archival collections. The project is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This blog will document the adventures and experiences of Project Surveyors as they visit historical societies, museums, historic sites, and other small archival repositories in the five-county Philadelphia area.

 

 

11/10/15
Author: Anastasia Matijkiw

Southampton Baptist Church, also known as the Old School Baptist Meetinghouse, is the oldest Baptist Church in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Located in Southampton, the Church can trace its origins to a dispute in 1691 between George Keith, a prominent Quaker, and the Society of Friends. Keith was of the opinion that the Friends should adopt a profession of Faith, while many members of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting opposed. This dispute eventually led to Keith and his followers, known as "Keithians," to worship separate from the Friends.

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11/4/15
Author: Anastasia Matijkiw

Have you been looking for a new cinnamon buns recipe? Or perhaps catsup? Or, even better, pickle for hams?

If so, you’re in luck. A handwritten recipe book at the Northampton Township Archives in Richboro, Bucks County, Pennsylvania has this, and more!

 

 

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10/29/15
Author: Anastasia Matijkiw

Looking for some inspiration for a last-minute Halloween costume? So are we!

Here at HCI-PSAR, we decided to take a look back at some of our small repositoried for inspiration. Perhaps they'll also help you!

A cat is always a classic choice! This kitty, from the Tri-County Heritage Society, looks particularly fluffy.

 

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10/13/15
Author: Sarah Leu

National History Day (NHD) is a great program to help students in grades 6-12 practice research and critical thinking skills, elements important to their future in the workplace and school. For students and teachers particularly interested in local history, or who live far from HSP and want to find primary-source documents close to home, a small repository may be a good place to do research. Below, see a couple of small repository collections we highlighted that relate to the NHD 2016 theme of "Exploration, Encounter, Exchange."

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10/6/15
Author: Anastasia Matijkiw

What is that which goes from Boston to New York without moving?

 

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9/29/15
Author: Anastasia Matijkiw

New London Township is a quaint little township nestled close to the Maryland border in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  The township grew from a large tract of land that was purchased by members of the London Company from William Penn in 1699. The Township, chartered in 1723, originally included areas that are now a part of the adjacent Franklin Township and nearby London Britain Township.

Topics: 18th century
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9/23/15
Author: Anastasia Matijkiw

Like the rest of the city, the staff of HCI-PSAR is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Pope Francis in Philadelphia this weekend. In preparation for His Holiness, we decided to take a look back at some of the more spiritual collections we’ve encountered through the project. From Episcopal research centers to Jewish synagogues to Christian missionaries, HCI-PSAR has surveyed a slew of small repositories with religious collections the Pope might be interested in paying a visit to. Check out a few of them below!

 

Topics: Religion
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9/21/15
Author: Anastasia Matijkiw

The School in Rose Valley can be found at the end of a winding, woody road in Delaware County on a farm-like campus, full of nature and life,where the school has been located since 1933. The campus includes not only classrooms, but a chicken coop, a wood shop, and gardens. As a progressive school for children in preschool through sixth grade, The School in Rose Valley places on emphasis on leaning through experience in their classrooms and throughout their wooded campus.

Topics: Education
Comments: 1
9/9/15
Author: Anastasia Matijkiw

Located in the northwest section of Chester County, West Nantmeal Township is a small, rural community with an interesting history. The area was originally populated by settlers from Radnorshire, Wales between 1700 and 1710. The settlers named the area Nantmell, or Natmel, meaning “sweet water” or “land of the sweet stream” in Welsh. In 1739, the area was divided into East and West Nantmeal. Yet again, in 1789, West Nantmeal was once more divided, with Welsh settlers remaining in West Nantmeal and Scotch-Irish community in the area that became Honey Brook Township.

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9/1/15
Author: Anastasia Matijkiw

Over the past few years, mustaches and beards have made a comeback as the must-have facial hair accessory. Handlebar, English, Walrus, and Imperial mustaches, to name a few, grace the faces of men young and old on today’s streets and screens. However, many of these facial accessories pale in comparison to the hirsute men of the Historical Society of Frankford. Within their collections, one can find some truly inspiring mustachioed and bearded men. Organized in 1905 and chartered in 1920, The Historical Society of Frankford is located in the Frankford neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia.

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