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Fondly, Pennsylvania

Fondly, Pennsylvania is HSP's main blog.  Here you will find posts on our latest projects and newest discoveries, as well articles on interesting bits of local history reflected in our collection.  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!

HSP Blog

Political Cartoons on Display

“Drawn and Quartered: Cartoons from the Collection” opened at HSP on April 22. This document display presents a sampling of political cartoons from HSP’s collections spanning from the 1700s to the early decades of the 20th century. These cartoons, and many more, will be part of HSP’s Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project. For those who are unable to come in to HSP to see these cartoons in person, digital copies of the cartoons on display (and a few that had to be cut at the last minute for space reasons) can be viewed here:

http://digitallibrary.hsp.org/index.php/simpleGalleryEdu/Show/displaySet/set_id/662

The display is organized into four glass cases. A case of early American political cartoons features engravings and prints commenting on British taxation, the formation of the earliest American political parties, and Jacksonian democracy. In this section is the first American political cartoon to be lithographed:

A New Map of the United States with the Additional Territories on an Improved Plan (1828 or 1829)

A New Map of the United States with the Additional Territories on an Improved Plan (circa 1829). Lithograph by Anthony Imbert

A section on cartoons of the Civil War displays commentary on debates over the expansion of slavery into western territories in the 1850s, the formation of African American regiments, and the 1864 election that pit Abraham Lincoln against “Peace Democrat” George McClellan.

Your Plan and Mine (1864)
Your Plan and Mine (1864). Artist unknown; lithograph by Currier & Ives

A section on cartoons of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era features the work of political cartoon legend Joseph Keppler, who cofounded and drew for the popular illustrated magazine Puck, and local cartoonists such as John L. De Mar of the Philadelphia Record.

The Deadly Upas Tree of Wall Street (1882)
"The Deadly Upas Tree of Wall Street," in Puck,
August 30, 1882. Chromolithograph by Joseph Keppler

Finally, a section on Pennsylvania politics focuses on the unique personalities, scandals, and reforms that have shaped the Quaker state. This section boasts one of my favorite finds: an original political cartoon (that is, a pre-published draft, showing original pen-and-ink and collage work) by Thomas Nast, one of America’s most famous and influential political cartoonists, portraying Pennsylvania political “kingmaker” Matthew S. Quay in a sinister light.

The Silence of Matt Quay (1890

The Silence of Matt Quay (1890). Original cartoon by Thomas Nast

The display is free to view and runs until June 10...come check it out! And please follow our progress on the HINT project, which will feature 500 political cartoons from HSP's collections.

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: April 1864

Happy Spring! We're glad you returned to Fondly, Pennsylvania for more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Librarywhere you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

Parry was back in action after a furlough as April 1864 began. He was in camp at Nashville the rest of his regiment, and, according to his entries, he spent a good portion of the month dealing with horses – collecting them, disseminating them among the offices (and picking ones for himself), and condemning those that were no longer fit for service. As April drew to a close, Parry was on the move to Columbia. His stay there didn’t last long as his regiment continued its march east on the last day of the month.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


*****

Wednesday, April 6
Order to Pick out Horses for
Col. Sibert[,] Major Davis[,] Adjt.
Stalen[,] Capt. Thompson + Geo. [J. ?]
Frazier.  Picked out Seven Hor[ses]
for officers and sixty nine for
Regt. [midling?] good Horses
received two Papers from Home

*****

Thursday, April 14
Drew a one hundred + twenty
five Horses[.] fourth Regulars + fourth
Michigan left. Dull day no news
feeling very badly—Rosecrans and
I took a walk[,] got some Horse radish
ordered a mule killed—[Glanders?]
Cold and disagreeable[.] orders to
Pick out all Unsound Horses to be
sent to Nashville for good ones by
Genl. Sipes.

*****

Monday, April 18
Ordered a Mule killed. Issued
24 Horses to Co. D by order from
Sibert.  Rode my new Horse
About ten miles. Received our
new arms[,] the spencer Carbine
shoot seven times[,] also our Horse
Equipments[,] very nice also[.]
orders to move in a few days
cold and rainy moist any day

*****

Monday, April 25
Received  a call from Adam –
Tainnger + Wm. Fetter—
Had five men Detaled to care
For the Sick Horses – by order from
Head Qrts. Rode over to Brigade
Head Qrts to find our about the
Horses – Issued them. Received Order
to inspect the Horses with other officer
on the 26th and make out Report
Received Letters from Lizzie Linton +
[John?] V. Taylor
 

*****

Saturday April 23
Moved out at Seven O Clock for
Comlumbia[.] passed through Spring
Hill and arrived at Columbia
at 4 P. M. went into camp in
woods non Shelbyville pike near
Columbia[.] Saw Fetter and others
of the old seventh—very rainy
and windy night[.] slept very
Good under a tree.

*****

Saturday, April 30
Bid good by to our nice Camp at
Columbia and marched East twenty
four miles the whole division[,] a
warm + showery day[.] Encamped
for the night in a wood along
side of large stream[.] head ack[sic] all
Day.  no cinner and light Break-
fast. Supper on Coffee + Bread
very rainy dull night[.] Received a
Letter from home.

*****

Rebinding Ledgers from the Bank of North America Collection II

In my previous blog post about rebinding ledgers from the Bank of North America collection, I described the Split Board binding process we use on books with bindings that have deteriorated. This binding uses an inside cloth hinge to reattach the original cover boards. We use this rebinding method the most because it gives the books  new life without changing much of the original look. However some books in the collection that are missing both the front and back covers, or the severe deterioration of the existing covers require creating a new case. So far we have found 10 volumes with missing covers in the Bank of North America Collection and have rebound them.  In this blog post, I would like to share how we have rebound and recased those volumes with the Bradel Binding.

The Bradel Binding is a type of case binding in which the case (the covers and spine) is created separately and later attached to the sewn text block.  The distinctiveness of the Bradel Binding is that it is composed of two cover boards and a thin spine stiffener that are joined together with a strip of strong paper before the case is covered with book cloth. This lets the case fit precisely to the text block, especially at the joint (the hinge where the covers meet the spine) and fore-edge (the side the book opens). The Bradel Binding is also often considered to be stronger than other case bindings.

Below are some before and after examples of the Bradel Binding treatment.  The spine and joints are covered with paper-backed book cloth, and the front and back boards are covered with decorative papers — such as the paste paper that we make here in the Conservation Lab at HSP.

Missing covers/spine and the new case

All split apart text block and the rebound text block

Missing front cover and the new front cover

Torn and missing end papers and newly created/mended end papers

Missing spine and the new spine

Detail views of fore-edge before and after treatment

Details of the first page of the book with missing end paper and newly created end papr

 

Now, the following images are going to show the brief process of how we rebind the text block and reconstruct the case with using Bradel Binding.

As we start the other rebinding process (Split Board Binding), we first have to clean and take apart the badly detariorated old binding that doesn't function properly. Then we reinforce the pages with guarding each section and mending each tear and flatten the sections for sewing. Also, we create end papers that have been missing in the most of these books. Those end papers have the long strip of cotton flap (hinge) attached to adhere this text block to the new case later. 

The guarded sections are being punched for sewing.

Text block is being sewn onto linen tapes.

Text block is ready to be rounded (detal view of sewing and cotton hinges).

Text block is being rounded in the finishing press.

(Detail view of the rounded spine)

Spine surface is being covered with layers of thin paper in between the linen tapes.

Text block is all prepared.

Jig is created prior to constructing the whole new case with using small scrap pieces of the materials.

According to the measurment of the jig, the new case is created.

Sometime, more than one jig created  for one book to make more prescise case.

Two boards and one spine piece are joined together on a strip of a sturdy paper.

The spine and joint area are covered with book cloth.

The two boards are covered with decorative paste paper.

The case and the text block are all prepared saperately.

The newly bound text block is ready to be cased in.

The cotton hinges and the linen tapes are all adhered to the front and back boards and create very strong but flexible joints.

Cased in!!

(Detail views of the spine head and inner hinge)

For more images of before and after treatment can be found on Flickr photostream.

 

 

Finding Meaning in Political Cartoons

We may have wrapped up the William Still Digital History Project (for now), but we’re still up to our elbows in digital history work here at HSP.

Our Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project is developing new tools for managing and describing graphics materials. You can read more details about the project here, and keep an eye out for more blog posts about our progress in the coming weeks and months.

But forget about the "technology" part for a minute. Let's talk about what we'll be using to demonstrate that technology: political cartoons!

These cartoons are complicated graphic items, challenging viewers to decode meaning not only from the cartoon's caption or dialog text, but also through its imagery, symbolism and allegory.

Sometimes, the general gist of an old cartoon is still fairly clear to modern viewers, as with this commentary on Abraham Lincoln and slavery:

"Lincoln's Last Warning," from Harper's Weekly, October 11, 1862. (HSP Cartoons and Caricatures collection, #3133).

Other cartoons are more obscure, referencing events and people that modern viewers don't recognize.

For the next year or so, we'll be working on a new digital history exhibit that will help to illuminate some of these obscurities.

We'll be selecting approximately 500 political cartoons from HSP's collections to help show off the new technology we're developing in the HINT project, and we'll be creating additional contextual materials to help users better understand the cartoons and help educators incorporate them into the classroom.

We certainly have plenty of cartoons to choose from at HSP. To date, project staff have identified 1600+ political cartoons in just six collections: the Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133), the Balch Broadsides: Satirical Cartoons collection (#PG278), the Hampton L. Carson papers (#117); HSP small graphics collection (#V63); HSP medium graphics collection (#V64); and HSP large graphics collection (#V65). We estimate that the scrapbooks of Pennsylvania Cartoons 1902-1915 (call # Vb# .9199F) contain another roughly 1700 cartoons.

We plan to organize the cartoon digital exhibit into six chronological sections that span the mid-eighteenth-century to 1923, and my colleague Rachel Moloshok and I are currently finalizing our selections for each section.

Here are a few of the 500 or so Civil War era cartoons that we plan to include in the digital history exhibit:

"The Inauguration at Richmond," from Harper's Weekly, March 15, 1862. (HSP Cartoons and Caricatures collection, #3133).

"A Bitter 'Draught,'" 1863. (HSP Cartoons and Caricatures collection, #3133)

"The Federal Phoenix," from Punch, December 3, 1864. (HSP Cartoons and Caricatures collection, #3133).

"Your Plan and Mine," 1864. (HSP Cartoons and Caricatures collection, #3133).

"Family Ties on the Underground Railroad" Site Launches

After many months of hard work, we have now completed the prototype web site for the William Still Digital History Project!

This new resource, titled "Family Ties on the Undergound Railroad," weaves together the manuscript journal and published book of William Still, who was the chairman of Philadelphia's Vigilance Committee in the mid-nineteenth century.

Check out what we've been working on:

still.hsp.org/still  (log-in information below)

username: hspguest
password: preview

(Because it's just a prototype and not yet a full interactive exhibit, we plan to keep the site behind a password for now.)

As we've described in past blog posts, we chose to focus this initial prototype on the experiences of three enslaved families who passed through Philadelphia in their journeys to freedom: the Shephards, the Taylors, and the Wanzers. This focus allowed us to create a manageable "proof of concept" site, while also exploring all of the complexities that we'll face when we expand the project to Still's entire volumes.

The prototype site includes transcripts and digital facsimiles from Still's works, carefully researched biographies, and other contextual annotation and materials. Thanks to our text encoding work, we also created some cool new tools to present the social networks connecting the people described in Still's works and to present geographic maps showing people's movement over time.

And even at this prototype stage, the project provides extraordinary insight into the experiences of enslaved individuals and families who passed through Philadelphia and the covert networks that aided their escape.

Thanks to Still's documentation, for instance, we know that Harriet Shephard fled enslavement in Columbia, Maryland on October 26, 1855, along with her five children, her aunt and uncle, and three young men. Their journey to freedom included a stop in Kimberton, Pennsylvania, where Harriet and her children were separated from the rest of the group to ensure their safety. Read more about Harriet Shephard (user name and password listed above).

Here's a screen grab of the social network map for the Harriet Shephard group (she's in the top left), showing all the individuals in the prototype connected to her group:

 

Still also documented the story of Frank Wanzer, who fled enslavement on December 24, 1855 with his fiancée, Emily Foster, his fiancée's sister and her husband, and two unidentified men. After a gunfight in Maryland (see illustration below) where the two unnamed men were captured or killed, the smaller group traveled onward, arriving in Canada in late January, 1856. Frank returned to the U.S. in July 1856 to rescue his sister and brother-in-law, and their friend. Read more about Frank Wanzer (user name and password listed above).

The Wanzer group as depicted in Still's book, The Underground Rail Road

 

The Taylor family is no less extraordinary. Otho (or Otto) Taylor initially fled enslavement in Clear Spring, Maryland on March 23, 1856, with his wife and children, his brother Owen and his family, and his brother Benjamin. The group had arrived safely in Canada by late May 1856, but Otho returned to the United States in March 1857 to rescue a second group of two enslaved men and one woman. Read more about Otho Taylor (user name and password listed above).

Here's a screen grab showing Otho Taylor's personal journey, as described by Still (just one part of Otho's biography page in the prototype site):

 

With Still’s resources interpreted and linked for the first time, even in this small "proof of concept" prototype, scholars, educators, students, genealogists, and history enthusiasts will be able to make deep connections both geographically and chronologically as they are guided through his meticulous documentation.

So with the prototype complete, what happens next?

In recent weeks, we've collected feedback on the prototype in both formal and informal settings, and we look forward to integrating this feedback into the next phase of the project. HSP is currently seeking funding to expand the project into a fully implemented site about the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia and beyond.

In the meantime, please stay tuned to this blog for updates on HSP's other innovative digital history projects, including the Historic Images, New Technologies initiative.

 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: March 1864

Welcome once again dear readers to Fondly, Pennsylvania and more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Librarywhere you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

Parry's furlough that started in the previous month was over in early March 1864, and at the beginning of the month he was headed back down South. He spent the rest of the month in camp at Nashville, Tennessee. He remained quite social despite the weather which was, apparently, quite "disagreeable" throughout most of the month. At the end of March, his new appointment as the regiment's veterinary surgeon was drawn up and his service continued.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


 

*****

Thursday, March 3
Spent a few moments with
Capt. Comfort of 20th P. A. Cavalry
Wrote a Letter Home and sent
it[.] called up at Senat(e) with
Dr. Ryes. Orders to leave at 2 A. M.
took cars for Pittsburg at 4 A. M.
fine day[,] saw Frank Buckman at
Camp Curtin

*****

Monday, March 7
Got Shaved and at ten started
for the Cars. Rept. loaded at 1 P. M.
for Jeffersonville and arrived at
Seymour at dusk and dined
their[sic][.] Arrived at Lousiville
Ky. at 12 A. M. and [stopped]
at the Planters House
a very good second class hotel
board $1.50 per Day

*****

Wednesday, March 16
Got a Pass[,] wet to Nashville
Cold & Blustery
                        Took dinner
at a Saloon[,] very good one
with Frank Keys[.] rode out
to Camp in the Ambulance
very cold and disagreeable

*****

Friday, March 25
Looked over the war department
orders.  slept till noon[.]
Wrote a litter Home[,] very
rainy and wet in afternoon
tent much like a cradle –

Keys and I walked over to the
Fourth Regulars' Camp

*****

Tuesday, March 29
A very disagreeable Day. in
Camp all day[.] Our new Surgeon
Came. Col. Sibert drew up my
New appointment. In Evening Dr.
Keys went to Nashville[,] got our
Hair dressed + some ale and attended
The new Theatre. Miss Charlot[sic] [illegible]
Played Little Bare Foot and
Played it very well. took a lunch and
then started for Camp and after
running the Pickets arrived in Camp
at 2 O'Clock P. M.

*****

Now Available to Researchers: Items in the Bank of North America Collection

We in the conservation department are excited to share that many of the volumes in the Bank of North America collection are now available to researchers. Over three hundred volumes and boxes are now finished, covered in sleeves for their further protection, and labeled.

Upon the completion of this huge percentage of the collection (almost half!), we made the decision to move the volumes to their permanent home in our newly renovated second floor vault so that they can now be accessed by public researchers.

Please enjoy these images of our department moving the collection into our second floor vault. For an appreciation of the stark contrast between the new home and the former, compare these to earlier images found here. We are so pleased that the collection will now be kept in a vault large enough to accomodate it safely. 

Roughly half of the books found in this first batch are incredibly large spring back structures, many of which were still in stable condition and only required a thorough cleaning and mending of torn folios. 

Now that these are complete, we project conservation technicians are hard at work on the volumes in the worst state of disrepair, all of which have to be completely rebound (see Sun Young Kang’s previous post detailing the process).

As we complete a sizable quantity of books, we will move them to the 2nd floor vault in batches to join their counterparts in their availability to the public.

Our project archivist Sarah Newhouse has prepared a finding aid for researchers interested in the volumes now available; it is attached to this post for your perusal. 

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: February 1864

Hello again folks, and thank you for coming back to Fondly, Pennsylvania this month for more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Library where you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

February 1864 marked Parry's temporary stay in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, as he had received a furlough at the end of the January. Parry quickly found himself once again in full "social butterfly" mode as he spent much of the month getting back in touch with people and paying frequent visits to family and acquaintances. For most of February he was in Newtown, but he made a few trips to Philadelphia, including one at the end of the month that signified the end of his furlough.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


*****

Tuesday, February 2
Went with Dr. Smith to Edgwood
and around to see his patients
Dined with Smith
                           Eve. at Taylors
and roses[.] a few choice words with
Blaker about a bill he having
me charged with shirting &
never got. He is to be remem-
bered by me. revenge.

*****

Saturday, February 6
Rode out with Chas. Roberts
to sell a pair of Horses[.]
Afternoon House company met
at Newtown Hall. rooling Bag't [bagatelle]
                          tea with Taylors also
J. S. Janny Jr.
                          Eve. took some
Young Ladies out to Ed. Buckmans
Wine and lots of good things
Very Gay & festive ----

*****

Friday, February 12
Called on Sam'l Philips[,] Wm.
Barsley = with Sim Hough
& David leedom = got Cider
and Apples –
                  Eve. a very fine
Party ay Houghs[.] took Miss
Lukens & Tomlinson[.] good
time at Party and Tomlinson
Home at [illegible] AM
J. S. Beets at our House & Wife

*****

Thursday, February 18
Called on Pickerings Girls
Sallie Lukens called[,] then
Accompanied her to Barnsleys[.]
Afternoon took Miss Willie
Barnsley & Sallie Hough up
to Carys.
                  Eve. took Miss
Taylor down to Wm. Paffs
Party[.]   very good time

*****

Thursday, February 25
Called on Miss Lukens at
Tomlinsons. Headack all Day.

Eve. bid Miss Paff & Barn-
sley good by –

Called at Barnsleys in Eve.
Settled with Geo. A Jenks Esq.
Received [$45.90?] in cash
got my photograph taken
                                 at Philips

*****

Monday, February 29
Bid good by to Philadelphia
accompanied to Depot by
Gen. Roberts. Left Phila. 11.40
P.M. arrived in Harrisburg
at 5 A.M. reported at Camp
Curtin.

               Col. Sipes informed me
at the Hotel all right ---
received several Letters[,] old ones
sent a letter Home

*****

Looking for Volunteers for Feb. 19 Study

As we finalize our new digital history project centered on the Underground Railroad, we're looking for volunteers who can give us 15 minutes here at HSP on Wednesday Feb. 19 between 5 - 8 pm.

If you're in the Philadelphia area and can help us out, please email project manager Dana Dorman at ddorman@hsp.org ASAP.

We're looking for input on the project's prototype web site from educators, genealogists, scholars, representatives of other history and heritage organizations, and others. That means you!

We'll be asking volunteers to look at the draft web site and answer a few simple questions. Snacks will be provided, and we'll reward you with a small thank-you gift (options currently include a reprint of the 1783 Wallis map of the U.S., a couple different books, and HSP notecards).

We're scheduling volunteers into specific time slots, both to ensure that we have enough computers available and to make sure you don't have to wait long. We've already filled a number of available slots, but we'd like to find 10 more volunteers to help provide a mix of voices in this user testing.

If you can help, let us know which of the time slots listed below would work best for you. Please also indicate whether you'd identify yourself as the following (feel free to choose more than one): 1) college professor/instructor; 2) secondary school teacher; 3) genealogist; or 4) representative of history/heritage organization.

Available volunteer time slots for Wednesday Feb. 19, 2014:

5-5:30 pm
5:30-6 pm
6-6:30 pm
6:30-7 pm
7-7:30 pm
7:30-8 pm

Thanks in advance for your help!

 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Drawings found in the Bank of North America Collection

The financial records that fill the 671 volumes in the Bank of North America Collection offer up a veritable goldmine of historical information, vital and pertinent to more areas of research than can be readily imagined.   And yet these pages, being written out by hand, also contain a sort of history that goes beyond the academic. 

Sketch of a tree, c. 1809; found on the end papers of volume 126 (Collection 1543). 

There is a simple beauty to these books that is almost other-worldly, in greatest part because it really was another world back then.  In a time before computer software and excel spreadsheets, everything was recorded by hand – and so the employees of the B.N.A. quite literally left their mark on every page of this collection. 

Cityscape, c. 1809; found on the end papers of volume 126 (Collection 1543). 

These marks, however, were not always limited to the alpha-numerical strokes of their pens.  While a contemporary bank teller or accountant might frequent their Facebook or Twitter accounts to pass the time at work, there is evidence that their 19th Century counterparts were sometimes prone to “doodling” in the empty spaces of the page. 

It feels almost incorrect to call these images “doodles;” most exhibit a much higher level of intention and execution than we would associate with modern examples of the category.  Even so, many of these drawings are penciled very lightly, or are all but erased; this, combined with their infrequency, perhaps speaks to a higher standard of discipline in the workplace, but it also makes finding them all the more wonderful – as if they are a sort of secret. 

Sketch of a man smoking, c. 1845; found on page 555 of volume 228 (Collection 1543). 

The books, manuscripts, and documents that are housed here at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania are not merely a recording of human history but are also a residue – a literal trace of hours spent in the lives of ordinary (and extraordinary) people.  It is easy to forget that history is a period of time lived out by others just like us, and it is a fact that can be awe-inspiring to ponder.  The reality of it is made all the more palpable when leafing through these objects that have traveled through time, and now exist as very tangible connections between the past and the present.

Sketch of buildings, c. 1809; found on the end papers of volume 126 (Collection 1543). 

Architectural feature, c. 1809; found on page 502 of volume 126 (Collection 1543). 

Woman with collar, c. 1810; found on the end papers of volume 129 (Collection 1543). 

Sketch of buildings, c. 1809; found on page 281 of volume 126 (Collection 1543). 

Sketch of a ship, c. 1809; found on page 281 of volume 126 (Collection 1543). 

Additional sketches and doodles from the pages of the Bank of North America Collection can be seen on our Flickr page: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/historicalpa/sets/72157632939369589/

5/14/14
Author: Rachel Moloshok

“Drawn and Quartered: Cartoons from the Collection” opened at HSP on April 22. This document display presents a sampling of political cartoons from HSP’s collections spanning from the 1700s to the early decades of the 20th century. These cartoons, and many more, will be part of HSP’s Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project. For those who are unable to come in to HSP to see these cartoons in person, digital copies of the cartoons on display (and a few that had to be cut at the last minute for space reasons) can be viewed here:

Comments: 0

4/30/14
Author: Cary Hutto

Happy Spring! We're glad you returned to Fondly, Pennsylvania for more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0

4/28/14
Author: Sun Young Kang

In my previous blog post about rebinding ledgers from the Bank of North America collection, I described the Split Board binding process we use on books with bindings that have deteriorated. This binding uses an inside cloth hinge to reattach the original cover boards. We use this rebinding method the most because it gives the books  new life without changing much of the original look.

Comments: 0

4/23/14
Author: Dana Dorman

We may have wrapped up the William Still Digital History Project (for now), but we’re still up to our elbows in digital history work here at HSP.

Comments: 3

4/2/14
Author: Dana Dorman

After many months of hard work, we have now completed the prototype web site for the William Still Digital History Project!

This new resource, titled "Family Ties on the Undergound Railroad," weaves together the manuscript journal and published book of William Still, who was the chairman of Philadelphia's Vigilance Committee in the mid-nineteenth century.

Comments: 9

3/26/14
Author: Cary Hutto

Welcome once again dear readers to Fondly, Pennsylvania and more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

Comments: 0

3/11/14
Author: Erin Paulson

We in the conservation department are excited to share that many of the volumes in the Bank of North America collection are now available to researchers. Over three hundred volumes and boxes are now finished, covered in sleeves for their further protection, and labeled.

Upon the completion of this huge percentage of the collection (almost half!), we made the decision to move the volumes to their permanent home in our newly renovated second floor vault so that they can now be accessed by public researchers.

Comments: 2

2/26/14
Author: Cary Hutto

Hello again folks, and thank you for coming back to Fondly, Pennsylvania this month for more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0

2/12/14
Author: Dana Dorman

As we finalize our new digital history project centered on the Underground Railroad, we're looking for volunteers who can give us 15 minutes here at HSP on Wednesday Feb. 19 between 5 - 8 pm.

If you're in the Philadelphia area and can help us out, please email project manager Dana Dorman at ddorman@hsp.org ASAP.

Comments: 2

2/5/14
Author: Charissa Schulze

The financial records that fill the 671 volumes in the Bank of North America Collection offer up a veritable goldmine of historical information, vital and pertinent to more areas of research than can be readily imagined.   And yet these pages, being written out by hand, also contain a sort of history that goes beyond the academic. 

Comments: 6