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!
One of the first things that I observed upon first entering the Special Collections Library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, was the number visitors studying documents from the collection boxes. Each visitor was carefully and thoughtfully conducting research on a theme of their interest.
Part II: Marjorie Gibbon
While Dr. Gibbon was operating on wounded soldiers in northern France, his wife, Marjorie Young Gibbon, remained in Philadelphia with their four children. Marjorie was the daughter of Civil War veteran and friend of Theodore Roosevelt, General Samuel Baldwin Marks Young. As a child and young adult, she and her four sisters lived at many different military locations throughout the United States, following the various appointments of her father. It was while her father was stationed at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri during the Spanish-American War that she first met a young Army doctor, John Heysham Gibbon.
This week marks the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth. The nationwide celebration dates back to June 19, 1865, with Union soldiers' announcement of emancipation in Texas - the last state in rebellion.
More than 150 years before this remarkable event, four Germantown Friends launched the first formal protest against human bondage in North America.
Olivia D'Aiutolo, HSP's summer 2015 Communications Intern, explores the library's cookbook collections as part of her new blog series, A Pinch of History: Culinary Commotion at HSP.
Philadelphia's first free library was not the Free Library of Philadelphia. Bookworms without means in the mid-19th century turned to the Philadelphia City Institute.
Founded in 1852, PCI originated from the Young Man's Institute, an organization striving to provide Philadelphia's youths with positive alternatives to the "perils to which they are exposed in a large city."
“What is the birth of a movement? What is the movement before we know what it is?”
Playwright Ain Gordon began HSP's program, Before Stonewall: The Gay Pride Movement in Philadelphia, by posing this question to the audience.
A part of HSP's An Artist Embedded project, the program turned out to be an intimate evening wherein the audience felt free to interject and share their own experiences. Many in the audience were individuals active in LGBTQ advocacy in Philadelphia in the 1960s and 1970s.
Part I. Dr. John Gibbon
In my work as an archival processor at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, nothing brings history to life quite like a family collection. The majority of collections that I have worked on in the past have consisted of institutional or organizational records: a mind-numbing mountain of board minutes, receipts, form letters, invoices, etc. that comprise most such 20th century collections and have contributed considerably to HSP’s own processing backlog. While these collections certainly have their research value, they don’t necessarily inspire one’s imagination. By comparison, processing and arranging the Gibbon family correspondence (Collection 3272) was a breath of fresh air. In fact, I felt a little sheepish throughout the whole thing because for a history lover like me, working on this collection felt like the thrill of discovery that accompanies digging through my own grandparent’s attic and people aren’t supposed to have that much fun at work.
June 1 marks the beginning of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, celebrated since 1995 in commemoration of the June 1969 Stonewall riot in Manhattan - a turning point in the struggle for gay rights.
Celebrations of the hard work and sacrifice of emergency medical services personnel have marked this year's National EMS Week. For a historical perspective, consider another "first responder" of sorts, Edith Madeira - one of the first Red Cross nurses to treat the sick and starving of what was then known as Palestine during the World War I.
Greetings, everyone! We're happy to be back with 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.