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!
Philadelphia is a city of firsts, including both the first brick house and pianoforte built in the United States, as well as the first published treatise against slavery. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that Philadelphia was also home to the first chartered, national bank. The Bank of North America was initially founded by the Second Continental Congress in 1781 to help fund the expensive Revolutionary War, which was badly in need of money and supplies.
The Balch Ethnic Images in Advertising collection is intriguing if not problematic. It raises questions of definition, the transient nature of advertisements, and the nature of advertising in general. Much like Scarlet O’Hara— seen at right in what is perhaps the classiest Schlitz advertisement known to man— its existence depends on the kindness of strangers. First someone--in this case The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies--made the conscious decision to artificially create the collection.
Welcome to the second installment of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). In the event that you're just joining in, or have perhaps forgotten what this is about, HSP recently 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, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.
I'm posting this entry on behalf of my intern, Ethan Fried, who performed extensive amounts of research and writing for the Preserving American Freedom digital history project, funded by Bank of America. For this project, Ethan described and annotated 50 documents that help trace the evolution of American liberties and composed biographies of related people and organizations. Ethan is a recent graduate of Pennsylvania State University and holds degrees in History and Secondary Education.
In November the Conservation Department at HSP started its latest grant project; conserving the Bank of North America Collection.Generously funded by Wells Fargo, this project will focus on repairing approximately 650 volumes, 400 graphics, and several boxes of loose manuscripts. Over the next three years conservation staff will be reparing and stabilizing ledgers, minute books, account books, stock certificates, and currency of the first bank in the United States. The collection is also being processed and we look forward to a new finding aid to help research within the collection.
I joined the Historical Society of Pennsylvania as an intern in September 2012 to work on the Preserving American Freedom project. The project aims to transcribe, digitize, and annotate fifty notable documents from HSP’s collections and turn them into an online exhibit. In my short time here, I have researched and written about more than twenty of these items along with Ethan Fried, another intern. At this point in the project, we are finished with annotations and descriptions of every document, as well as most of the biographies of people and organizations who appear in the documents.
With over 1,000 photographs, there was a wealth of topics that interested me as I digitized the Leonard Covello collection over the course of my internship. Leonard Covello (1887-1982) was an Italian immigrant who established and served as principal of the Benjamin Franklin High School in New York City. He is well known for his community centered school philosophy and his activism among the East Harlem neighborhood, especially with Italian and Puerto Rican immigrant groups.
If you've been keeping up with recent HSP news, you've probably seen a press release documenting records of the Parry family that we recently acquired. These two wonderful collections, one the George F. Parry family volumes (Collection 3694) and the other of Susan Parry volumes (Collection 3695), contain interesting and in-depths glimpses into the history of medicine and veterinarian medicine in Pennsylvania during the 1800s.
January 1, 2013, marked the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln's final Emancipation Proclamation, and a special issue of the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, of which I am proud to be the Assistant Editor, commemorates this transformative moment in American history. Yet it is not just because I've spent the last few months editing the latest scholarship on emancipation that freedom has been on my mind.
This Saturday, January 12th, a new Miss America will be crowned amidst the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas strip, a far cry from the pageant's humble origins on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Thankfully, for those who yearn for the days when bathing beauties roamed the Jersey shore, you can travel back in time with these historic images recently added to HSP's Digital Library.