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!
As an intern for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, I’m spending this summer researching people connected to the story of Bankers Trust Company, the first large Philadelphia bank to default during the Great Depression. I’m currently writing a brief biography about George Wharton Pepper (1867-1961), a lawyer, law professor, author, and Republican senator.
The summer is in full swing at HSP, and in archives that means we have welcomed two new interns into the ranks: Arek and Allison. Both have been working hard on numerous projects, including updating our free space inventory and assisting Project Archivist Willhem Echevarria on collections he's processing for the NHPRC Civic Engagement Collections project. They've also been hard at work inventorying and processing collections of their own. Here's a rundown of those collections. Links to the finding aids will be posted once their work is complete, but all these collections are currently
It's certainly the dog days of summer in Philadelphia right now, making all of us at HSP yearn for a little sun, sand, and ocean breeze. Thankfully, those of us who aren't lucky enough to be on vacation can find escape in the Digital Library and images of inviting beach vistas and boardwalks. Looking for something to liven up your stay-cation? Check out these gems:
It's tough being a holiday in June. Just ask Flag Day. Between Memorial Day and July 4th, people are out and about, vacationing, ending classes, and celebrating the beginning of summer. Nobody has time to pay the ol' Red, White, and Blue any mind.
(This blog post was co-authored by Digital Center of Americana II archives intern, Kyriakoula Micha.)
Athena Tacha is a Greek American sculptor, photographer, and conceptual artist who frequently works on large, public sculptures and spaces -- including Connections, at Franklin Town Park at 18th and Spring Garden in Philadelphia (seen below).
As an intern for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, I have been reading through the Albert M. Greenfield papers and researching the key figures connected with the Bankers Trust Company – a large Philadelphia-based bank associated with Greenfield which closed in December 1930. A couple of weeks ago, I came across some documents of Bryn Mawr College sent to Edna Greenfield (née Edna Florence Kraus), Albert’s wife from 1914 to 1935 and BMC alumna from the class of 1915.
Coffee is such a normal, frequent occurence both inside and outside the walls of HSP that we often don't think twice about it beyond our daily morning pilgrimage. It ensures that those who drink it stay awake, functional, and most of all, pleasant enough to conquer the day, so much so that among the Folgers and Nescafé commercials and the Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks bus ads, marketers have tapped into our need of coffee to make it commonplace, routine, and universal.
If an event takes place, but leaves no evidence of having occurred, did it really happen? Recently, I found myself pondering this historical variation on the age-old question “If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?” when I digitized several items from HSP’s collection of Theater Posters [V06]. As historians and archivists, our understanding of the past is so dependent upon the evidence left behind and some events are so ephemeral they are simply lost to the passage of time.
Of all the adopted collections that have come through the ranks, my favorites remain the ones that offer windows into Philadelphia's rich cultural history. The John Neagle papers and related items (Collection 2112), which I recently processed, is one such collection.