Fondly, Pennsylvania is a joint blog of HSP's archives, conservation, and digitization departments. Here you will find posts on our latest projects and newest discoveries, as well as how we care for, describe, and preserve our collections. Whether you are doing research or just curious to know more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes on at HSP, please read, explore, and join the conversation!
This August marks the 150th anniversary of the first public gay rights protest. It consisted of a single man taking the stage at a theater in Munich, Germany. Despite the small size of the protest, it would influence a movement, encouraging the use of science as a tool to explain the validity of queer identities.
In 1994, the UN declared that International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples would be observed on August 9th every year. Bearing that declaration in mind, I decided to examine HSP’s collection and see what, if any, primary documentation of the voices of indigenous peoples to the area survives.
The area around Philadelphia was home to the Lenni Lenape, also called the Lenape or Delaware, when Europeans arrived. As was the case with other settlements, the indigenous peoples were forced into displacement relatively soon after the arrival of white settlers.
Not unlike today, after an election, there is a need to try to reunite the country. After taking the oath of office on March 4, 1817, President James Monroe was hungry to repair the political disorder between Democratic-Republicans and Federalists. Though the War of 1812 had ended two years before Monroe’s inauguration, the Capitol in Washington D.C.
“Philadelphia has the finest orchestra I have ever heard at any time or any place in my whole life. I don’t know that I would be exaggerating if I said that it is the finest orchestra the world has ever heard.”
The following article was written by HSP volunteer Randi Kamine and is being posted on her behalf.
"My Dearest X.Y.Z. I want to tell you everything that has occurred lately and I want you to ask me questions which I am bound to answer.” So begins the first entry in the diary written by Selina Richards Schroeder in early 1889."
History is a mystery, especially for events that occurred more than 100 years ago. With no one around who was a witness, the evidence is often sketchy at best. A newspaper article, a photograph, a letter – each piece only whets the appetite by offering a tantalizing clue.
Historians, like real life Sherlock Holmeses, search out all the evidence they can find and then apply their honed skills of reasoning to create an interpretation of what happened. Even then, they don’t always have all the right information – and they may come to incorrect conclusions.
This post is shared on behalf of Andrea (Ang) Reidell, Educational Specialist, National Archives.
Amid holiday tumult, Lee Arnold, HSP's Senior Director of the Library & Collections and Chief Operating Officer, takes a humorous look at hidden Thanksgiving "history."
For my third and final blog post, I had originally planned to profile several individuals living in Philadelphia’s Chinatown at different points in its history. As I sifted through boxes of documents and folders of photos, however, I found this task nearly impossible.
Despite having gone through stacks of Christmas cards and business letters, newspaper clippings and various personal collections, I felt as if I barely understood these individuals better than those anonymous faces featured in black and white photographs published in period newspapers.
Every Sunday, my parents bring home a copy of The World Journal Weekly (Shi Jie Zhou Kan), the Sunday edition of a newspaper circulated in the Chinatowns of the United States documenting everything from world events and economic news to articles addressing issues pertinent to the Chinese American community. I remember that these pages of colorful newsprint would litter the house, and for the longest time, I paid little attention to them.
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