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.

 

 

1/9/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

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.

Comments: 2
1/2/13
Author: Faith Charlton

As I mentioned in my last blog post, History Affiliates is sponsoring a two-part workshop for establishing a maintenance program for historic museums, houses, and sites that begins January 17. Coincidentally, Celia and I recently visited an historic house that serves as an outstanding model and success story for other history and heritage organizations.

Comments: 4
12/26/12
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

Frankly, we've been merry-making all weekend and we're not in the mood to write a proper blog post this week. Instead, we're going to share with you some of our favorite Christmas- and New Year's-related finds from the archives of small repositories. 

Comments: 0
12/21/12
Author: Faith Charlton

Would you like to learn more about maintaining your historic house or museum? You know, the beast that eats up most your budget? Then you will be pleased to know that HSP's History Affiliates program is sponsoring a two-part workshop that will outline the components of a maintenance program and provide you with the basic tools for preparing such a plan.

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12/19/12
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

When the First Association of Spiritualists of Philadelphia established a summer compound in Parkland (Bucks County, Pa.) in 1890, they reputedly chose the spot based on a message from the spirit world: "Thar's gold in that thar hill of Parkland!" The location is not far from the present-day Historic Langhorne Association, a gold mine of archival information on Parkland.

Topics: Religion
Comments: 2
12/11/12
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

This week's blog post is over on the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's new genealogy blog, Roots & Branches. Head over to http://hsp.org/blogs/roots-branches/genealogy-research-off-the-beaten-path to read the full text of "Genealogy Research off the Beaten Path," highlighting some of the excellent resources for genealogy research at small archival repositories.

Topics: Genealogy
Comments: 0
12/7/12
Author: Faith Charlton

In honor of the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I wanted to highlight two interesting photo albums created by World War II soldiers who were stationed at the Hawaiian naval base at different times during the war.

Norman C. Brauer, Jr. wasn’t stationed at Pearl Harbor during the attack; he was sent to the base afterward, working to salvage ships such as the USS Oklahoma. Brauer's scrapbook documents the success of salvage operations, and some of the Hawaiian-themed festivities the servicemen enjoyed on base.

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12/4/12
Author: Faith Charlton

It only makes sense, but isn't it somewhat ironic that the owner of a funeral home was buried by his own business?

Topics: Genealogy
Comments: 0
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
Comments: 0
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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