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

Are you looking for sources on your historical research topic, but desire a fresh alternative to the well-trodden archival canon? Try a small repository!


Before James H. Hirokawa bought his home in Montgomery Township, Pa., the seller checked with all the neighbors if they were willing to live near a Japanese man. The year was 1945, and Hirokawa had just been released from an internment camp.

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Guest blogger Ashley Harper writes about Bartram's Garden, the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America, and home of some amazing archival materials!


Imagine a private home bigger than the White House. Now imagine it outfitted with machine guns trained on proletariat-uprisers, and now trained on Nazi art thieves. Now imagine it transformed into laboratories... If you're having trouble picturing all that, visit the Springfield Township Historical Society to see their extensive collection on Whitemarsh Hall!


A lot has changed in 225 years, but some things have stayed the same. When the squat building nestled in a corner of the St. James' Episcopal Church cemetery was built in 1788, it was a schoolhouse for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Today, it is still a space dedicated to teaching--but now, as the St. James' Community History Center, the focus is history.


Philadelphia Sketch Club, America's oldest continuously-operating club for artists, was founded in 1860. That means 150 years of accumulated art, artifacts, and archival materials!


Globe-trotting cultural ambassadors to South America. Documentary filmmakers. Founders of the Philamigos Institute of Learning in Philadelphia. Meet James A. Caulfield, artist and gay veteran of WWII, and his partner, Cuban-born linguist and University of Pennsylvania professor Dr. Rafael A. Suarez.


Have you ever been driving on the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) and gotten stuck in traffic at the Conshohocken Curve? If you live in or near Philadelphia, the answer is probably yes. If you live in or near Philadelphia and are above the age of 40, I'll ask the same question a different way: Have you ever gotten stuck in traffic around the Lee Tire Curve? The bend in the highway used to be nicknamed after the old Lee Tire Factory, a landmark until the factory closed in 1980 and the building was re-purposed for office space. To learn more about the history of the Lee Tire & Rubber Company, get off the highway and drive to the Conshohocken Historical Society!

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I don't know about you, but I was pretty excited when the National Archives launched the 1940 Census website a few months ago. Census records are an amazing research tool, especially for genealogy. If only the census happened more frequently than just once per decade! Luckily, savvy researchers know a trick: one of the best ways to learn about those census-free years is from tax records. If you happen to be researching Lower Pottsgrove township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and want to fill in the gaps around the newly-released 1940 census, you're in luck--head over to the Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society and check out the Wilson D. Puhl tax collection records, 1934-1942!


The 103rd Engineer Battalion of the Pennsylvania National Guard--nicknamed the "Dandy First"--is the oldest continuously-serving military unit in Pennsylvania, and one of fewer than ten organizations whose lineage goes back to before 1747 (as verified by the Center for Military History). Did you know that a museum dedicated to the lineage of this storied regiment is housed in the old armory building on the campus of Drexel University? I certainly had no idea until I was sent to survey their archival collection. I felt like I was the "Dandy First" person to visit!

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