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

Several generations of Seifert family ciphering books (school books) trace the history of the family as well as the history of educational practice. The collection, held at the Springfield Township Historical Society (Bucks County, Pa.), documents one of the oldest families in the area. 

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Chadds Ford in Delaware County, Pennsylvania is renowned as the home of the Brandywine School. The influential American illustrator Howard Pyle held art classes in the area around the turn of the 20th century, attracting an extensive list of important artists including Maxfield Parrish, Violet Oakley, and N.C. Wyeth.


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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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.


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.


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!


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


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


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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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.)

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