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.

 

 

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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2/27/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

When the New Hope Public Health Nursing Association was organized in 1920, it was the only public nursing group in that part of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The first nurse who was employed traveled her coverage area on a bicycle! The story of the organization, which dissolved in 1969, contains embedded narratives about changes in public health needs, the professionalization of the healthcare industry, women's roles, and many others subjects.

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2/19/13
Author: Faith Charlton

Kaiser-Fleetwings Corporation played a significant role in its production of aircraft and aircraft components during World War II. The Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK, a dive and torpedo bomber developed for the United States Navy starting in 1944 was its best-known product.

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2/13/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

In the twenty-first century, perhaps the only thing more anachronistic than an organization with a 15-word name is a vigilante group dedicated to stamping out horse thieves. In many ways, finding archival records from 1819 of "The Newtown Reliance Company for the Detecting and Apprehending of Horse Thieves and Other Villains" at the Newtown Historic Association was less surprising than learning that the group is still active in the year 2013.

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2/6/13
Author: Faith Charlton

While surveying the archival collections of small repositories, Celia and I often find some entertaining items that document the more flavorful aspects of everyday life in neighborhoods and towns. Our visit to the Roxborough-Manayunk-Wissahickon Historical Society was no exception.

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2/4/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

Last Saturday (February 2nd, 2013), HSP's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories held a "Meet & Greet" and orientation to introduce Bucks County organizations to the project. It was held at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown.

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1/30/13
Author: Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

I was initially disappointed that we had a January appointment to survey the archival collections at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania--nothing would be in bloom! But luckily for us, and for researchers everywhere, over 1,000 historic photographs from the Arboretum's archives have been digitized and can be viewed online. You don't have to use your imagination to see the Arboretum in springtime or in 1890: just look at http://morrisarboretum.pastperfect-online.com!

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1/24/13
Author: Faith Charlton

The Village of Fallsington in Falls Township, Pennsylvania became the first historic district in Bucks County and was subsequently placed on the National Register of Historic Places largely due to the efforts of Historic Fallsington, Inc.

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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.

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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