Archival Adventures in Small Repositories
Oh, the Places You'll Go with HCI-PSAR!
HCI-PSAR staff visited 47 repositories and surveyed about 4,600 linear feet of archival holdings during the 14-month pilot phase of the project! We created a new interactive map on the HSP website so you can see where we've been.
Of the 47 repositories, 21 were in Philadelphia County and 26 were in Montgomery County.
Although many of the institutions served several functions--such as historical societies with museum displays, or historic sites that also hosted historical societies--we slotted each into one of four categories based on its primary mission. These categories are color-coded on the map. The most common type was "historical society" (22 institutions, indicated by the color yellow), followed by "historic site" (14, red), and "museum" (6, blue). The remaining institutions, including a public library, an LGBT community organization, and an artists' group, we called "other" (5, green).
We also kept track of the staffing situations at each of the repositories we visited. Only 6 organizations employed an archivist on a part-time or consulting basis. (Organizations with full-time archivists were excluded from the project, but part-time was okay.) Nearly half of the places we went--20 organizations--were all-volunteer. A large number employed someone with a background in history, museums, or allied fields, but not specifically an archivist: 14 organizations. The remaining 6 organizations had some staff, but not a history professional.
To see all 47 repositories included in HCI-PSAR Phase I, check out the map below! (Or go to Google Maps for a full-size version that is easier to navigate and includes website links.)
View HCI-PSAR Phase I in a larger map
About the Author
Unless otherwise noted, all images in this blog post are property of the organization profiled, not the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. To reproduce any image or obtain a higher quality version, please contact the organization directly.