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.

 

 

6/25/13
Author: Faith Charlton

Some of the historical societies/ historic sites that Celia and I have recently visited are located in fairly rural areas of Bucks and Delaware Counties. So, it's not surprising that we've come across several collections that relate to local general stores, which had played a significant role in the life of these small towns and villages.

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6/18/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

The Colonial Georgian structure of the Johnson House looks beautiful today, but imagine how good it must have looked in the early 19th century to enslaved African Americans on a harrowing trek northward. The Johnson House was a stop on the Underground Railroad for many Freedom Seekers passing through Philadelphia.

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6/11/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

The first store in Haycock (Bucks County, Pennsylvania), and the only store in the area for the latter half of the 19th century, was the Frankenfield Store. It was built in 1868 by Henry Frankenfield and carried on by family members including M. D. Frankenfield, Abel Frankenfield, John Bergstresser, E. A. Frankenfield, and A. H. Frankenfield. In 1872, M. D. Frankenfield began operating the Haycock Run Post Office from within the store. The post office and store shared the space for several decades until the store went out of business in the early 1900s.

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6/5/13
Author: Faith Charlton

Celia and I recently visited the Concord Township Historical Society, headquartered at the Pierce-Willits House. Frank Willits was an important figure in establishing the mushroom industry in America.

Topics: Education
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5/28/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

I am a big fan of the TV show "Friday Night Lights," so when Faith and I found a set of scrapbooks about high school sports at the Quakertown Historical Society, my first thought was, "Go Panthers!" Of course, this collection pertains to the Quakertown Panthers, not the Dillon Panthers; and the "molder of men"--and creator of the scrapbooks--is Coach John O. Barth, not Coach Eric Taylor.

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5/21/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

For over 330 years, the Richard Wall House and surrounding Eastern Montgomery County, Pennsylvania have been a place of sanctuary--for Quakers, slaves, and birds--but not for horse thieves!

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5/14/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories is gearing up to begin surveying in Chester and Delaware counties.

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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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4/30/13
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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4/24/13
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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