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 important but often hidden archival collections held by the many small, primarily volunteer-run historical organizations in the Philadelphia area. 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.

 

 

11/29/12
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

Alice H. Ambler (1889-1981) was an independent, modern woman. Here she is pictured in her driver's license for 1923--the same year she entered a master's degree program at Columbia University. The Alice H. Ambler family papers at the Plymouth Meeting Historical Society tell Alice's story, plus the stories of other history-making Ambler women. 

Topics: Women
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11/21/12
Author: Faith Charlton

The Lansdale Historical Society, founded in 1972, works to preserve and share collections that document the history of the Borough of Lansdale and the greater North Penn area. Although some of the collections’ materials predate the Borough’s founding in 1872, the majority of collections span the late 19th century to the present. 

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11/14/12
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

Over the past few weeks, my new co-surveyor Faith Charlton and I have been surveying some collections here at HSP in order to get Faith up to speed with the HCI-PSAR Survey Method. Our methodology is nothing revolutionary--on the contrary, it is intentionally conventional because we would like our data to be comparable to similar projects. However, over the past year we found that a few adaptations and refinements were necessary when translating the basic archival survey tool into the small repository context.

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11/7/12
Author: Faith Charlton

After a delayed start due to the Hurricane Sandy, Celia and I are off and running as we begin Phase II of the Small Repositories project.

Before traveling to the Philadelphia-area hinterlands, our first stop was to a repository that’s very close to home: the Fairmount Park Historic Resource Archives, previously the Fairmount Park Commission Archives, at 16th and Arch Streets.

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10/31/12
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

We hope that everyone is safe, dry, and secure in the wake of "Frankenstorm" Sandy! With all the excitement of the past few days, now is a good time to write--or review--the disaster plan for your institution.

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10/24/12
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

Last week, Southeastern Pennsylvania's history and heritage community turned out en masse to celebrate the achivements of small history organizations in the region.

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10/3/12
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

We are delighted to announce that the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has been awarded funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for two more years of the Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories! Read the entire press release here.

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9/26/12
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

As the air outside chills (but stays steady indoors under the humming HVAC system), October is nearly here and American Archives Month will be upon us again. The scene is familiar, straight out of a Normal Rockwell painting: sleepy-eyed researchers rush through the archives doors, gather in the glow of UV-filtered light sources, and excitedly unwrap the treasures in their Hollinger boxes. Merry Archives Month to all!

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9/19/12
Author: Michael Gubicza

Well our one year pilot program is coming to an end. We have visited 47 repositories and surveyed 513 collections. That equals 4,666 linear feet of materials. That’s enough to fill 11,190 document boxes!  That’s the equivalent of 58 Blue Whales (the largest mammal on earth), or 175 school buses in length! 

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9/12/12
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

HSP's upcoming History in Pennsylvania Awards (HIP Awards) next month will honor several participants in the "Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories." We're very proud of them, and hope that you'll join us on October 19, 2012, to celebrate their accomplishments!

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