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!
I started working in September as a joint digital collections intern at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and Villanova University. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania and Villanova are in the process of creating a digital exhibit that highlights World War I-era resources from institutions within the Delaware Valley region. The project will go live on the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 2014, and will continue to commemorate the Great War over the next four years.
In 1915, the German passenger liner turned auxiliary cruiser, Kronprinz Wilhelm, interned in Philadelphia. After capturing 15 merchant ships since the outbreak of World War I, the ship was low on fuel and ravaged by sickness in its crew. While the ship was laid up in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, its crew lived in a nearby camp. However, when the United States joined the war in 1917, the United States seized the Kronprinz Wilhelm and relocated its crewmembers to Fort McPherson in Georgia as prisoners of war.
We historians know the power of a name. Names are assertions, claims to participation in a world which cherishes the deep meanings imbedded within them. Historians, like you and like me, must often speak, however, of those whose names are lost to our own imperfect historical record. We do our best to articulate the ways in which these individuals possessed power and influenced the past but, too often, we fall short due to a simple lack of either written or verbal documentation about their lives. Rarely, we find a source that enables us to find names for the anonymous.
They had such nice hand writing back then!
If only I had a dollar every time I’ve heard that. Yes, many scribes of our manuscripts did have a nice script. But there are plenty of writers who didn’t. My personal favorite is William Penn:
Season's greetings everyone! Welcome back to another edition of entries 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.
It's an old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in the Internet age, how do you make those "words" meaningful and searchable in Google? This question is at the heart of a new two-year project HSP has undertaken to enhance description and discovery of its graphics materials and promote the linking and sharing of content among institutions and scholars.
What bank ledgers contain, as anyone could imagine, is bank records. But in these old ledgers from the First Bank of North America collection, we have encountered several physical contents far beyond what one might expect. We have found bits of quills, pieces of blotter paper, particles of iron from the ink, some mysterious metal fragments from the original binding materials, etc. (link)
Hello readers and happy pre-holidays! This month, we're more than pleased to bring you another series of entries 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.
Posted on behalf of Jacob Roberts, an intern who worked on the Preserving American Freedom Project
While working on the Preserving American Freedom Project, it is easy to take for granted how many one-of-a-kind documents have been preserved at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In many cases, these papers could have just as easily been lost or destroyed by those who did not see historical value in them. The fact that so many survived is nothing short of miraculous.