Celia Caust-Ellenbogen

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Celia Caust-Ellenbogen is Senior Project Surveyor on the Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. She began working at HSP in early 2011 under the auspices of the PACSCL-CLIR "Hidden Collections" project, and has been working on the HCI-PSAR project since September of 2011. She holds a BA in History and World Literatures from Swarthmore College, and an MLIS with a concentration in Archives, Preservation and Records Management from the University of Pittsburgh.

This Author's Posts

The first African American Presbyterian congregation in the United States, appropriately named First African Presbyterian Church, was founded right here in Philadelphia over 200 years ago. A roster of figures notable in Presbyterianism and the African American community in Philadelphia served in the church's ministry, beginning with John Gloucester (1776-1822), a former slave who established the congregation. Since 1910, the John Gloucester Memorial and Historical Society has been dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of Gloucester and of First African Presbyterian Church.

Anthony Wayne was one of the most important Generals of the Revolutionary War, and also played a crucial role in the Northwest Indian War (1785–1796). At his ancestral home, Historic Waynesborough, visitors can learn about life of Anthony Wayne and his family, and also peruse some of the documents that tell their story.


Wheat, Rye, Corn, Mix, Oats, or Corn Cobs? I know those options sounds delicious, but no, I'm not asking what you want for lunch. At a grist mill in the late 19th and early 20th centuries this would have been a familiar question. There used to be scores of mills, including about 20 grist mills, lining the banks of the Wissahickon Creek. Today, the Evans-Mumbower Mill is one of only a few that remain.


For decades, Stinson Markley's land in Charlestown Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania was used to cultivate fruits, vegetables, and even wild turkeys. The Markley farm is now owned by the Charlestown Historical Society, which is sown with carefully tended archival documents, the information contained therein ripe for reaping by historians and other researchers!


"The father of gospel music," African American minister Charles A. Tindley (1851-1933) grew his Philadelphia church into one of the largest Methodist congregations in the United States in the 1920s. Tindley, the man and his church, are the topic of this week's blog post, continuing our Black History Month mini-series from last week. The Charles A. Tindley Institute (CATI), located at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, is dedicated to telling the story of Tindley's life and legacy.


Tell all your friends! February is Black History Month, and one of the best places to study Black history in this city is at the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP). One of the largest and most robust archival repositories we have visited thus far, AAMP's collections document African Americans active in the arts, medicine, politics, sports, and many other arenas. In this blog I will highlight just a few of my favorite AAMP collections.

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Last fall HCI-PSAR facilitated a pilot internship program that paired emerging archivists in need of hands-on experience with small repositories in need of processing assistance and large repositories willing to train and supervise the intern. We matched intern Tracy Ulmer with the Chestnut Hill Historical Society and Drexel University College of Medicine Archives & Special Collections. Tracy reflected on the Jessie Laird Brodie, M.D. papers, the Philadelphia Canoe Club records, and her other experiences in the blog below.


Last fall HCI-PSAR facilitated a pilot internship program that paired emerging archivists in need of hands-on experience with small repositories in need of processing assistance and large repositories willing to train and supervise the intern. One of our interns, Sarah Leu, has just written a blog post about her experience! We matched Sarah with the Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


Before embarking on the HCI-PSAR project, I had no idea how many signficant world explorers called the Philadelphia area home. On a recent visit to the Sharon Hill Historical Society (Delaware County, Pa.), I learned about Arctic explorer George W. Melville (1841-1912). He joins the ranks of William Edgar Geil, the Doylestown native who walked the entire length of the Great Wall of China and visited parts of Africa and Oceania around the turn of the 19th century. Melville was also a naval engineer, like John Ericsson, whose papers we surveyed at the American Swedish Historical Museum.


Newlin Grist Mill is the only historic site I know of where you can learn about history and do your grocery shopping all at once. The gift shop sells cornmeal ground on the site's 300 year old, still operational mill!