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.

 

 

5/6/13
Author: Faith Charlton

Last week, Celia and I returned to the behemoth that is the Old York Road Historical Society to finally complete the surveying that she and Michael began during the fall of 2011 which was documented in an earlier blog post

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5/1/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) focuses on disaster preparedness every May 1st by promoting "MayDay: Saving Our Archives." 

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4/25/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

The property on which local historian Ned Harrington lived in Carversville (Bucks County, Pa.) has a long, complex history. At times a school, a resort, a sanitarium, and an orphanage, chronicling the property's tangled background might have taken a lesser historian decades.

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4/15/13
Author: Faith Charlton

This past Saturday (April 13), HCI-PSAR staff held a symposium for Philadelphia and Montgomery County repositories that participated in the Small Repositories Project at The Highlands Mansion and Garden located in Fort Washington. 

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4/10/13
Author: Faith Charlton

During the late 1930s and early 1940s Bensalem High School was a powerhouse for girls' sports. Their basketball, softball, and field hockey teams, led by Coach Helen M. Smith (d. 1989), all won several championship titles.

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4/3/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

Did John Fitch start the transportation revolution in Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania? The John Fitch Steamboat Museum argues that the answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!" After all, it was in Warminster in 1785 that Fitch invented the first American steam engine feasible for propelling a boat. Several years later, he ran the world's first commercial steamboat service in 1790, along the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Trenton. (Although, even free beer, rum, and sausages could not entice enough customers to keep the operation viable.)

Topics: 18th century
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3/26/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

Mark your calendars! The second annual History Affiliates Awards Luncheon will be held on October 25, 2013 at the Union League of Philadelphia.

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3/20/13
Author: Faith Charlton

If one thing is clear about Perkasie Historical Society's archival collection it's that it is not lacking in materials relating to World War I and World War II. 

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3/15/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

The United States unemployment rate for February 2013 was 7.7%, which isn't great, but really isn't that bad. Especially when compared to unemployment rates during the Great Depression. When William E. Collier began working for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Employment Security in the 1930s, the national unemployment rate was upwards of 20%. His work with the Works Progress Administration, unemployment compensation, and labor unions--as well as his local history research and photographs of Bucks County--are meticulously documented in Collier's collection at the Historical Society of Hilltown Township.

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2/27/13
Author: Faith Charlton

Since it's Women's History Month, I thought I would highlight some of the collections relating to women's history that Celia and I have surveyed since beginning Phase II of the Small Repositories project.

Topics: Women
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