Fondly, Pennsylvania

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!

Author: Cary Hutto

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.

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Author: Faith Charlton

Because Dana and I are primarily viewing the history of Bankers Trust Company through the eyes of Albert M. Greenfield- since we’re using his papers- we have come across other story lines relating to Greenfield and his numerous other ventures that continually weave in and out of the story of the bank.

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Author: Willhem Echevarria

We recently finished processing the John Fryer papers (Collection 3465) and are very proud to have among his documents the original manuscript of the speech Fryer gave at the 1972 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The event is considered one of the most significant moments in the history of the gay-rights movement, persuading the APA to remove homosexuality from the list of diseases listed in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM II).

Topics: 20th century
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Author: Matt McNelis

An earlier blog post gave a brief introduction of the Oliver H. Bair Company collection, which is now properly preserved and accessible to users at HSP. This collection is comprised of nearly 83,000 burial records that span the time of 1920 to 1980. There were many surprises within these records, and this post is going to highlight some of the most interesting people that were located within these records.

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Author: Matt McNelis

In the fall of 2011, through a generous grant by I was given the task of re-housing the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s largest funeral home collection, the Oliver H. Bair Company collection. The collection consists of over 1050 boxes of burial records that the company had amassed over six decades of operation, from 1920-1980 to be exact.

Topics: 20th century
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Author: Mary Tasillo

The Cassel Collection (Collection 1610) is one of twenty-one collections documenting immigrant and ethnic history receiving processing, digitization, and conservation treatment as part of the Digital Center for Americana Project Phase II. Abraham H. Cassel (1820-1908) was a collector of books and materials related to Pennsylvania German religious history.

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Author: Sarah Newhouse

I’m sure many of you have seen the “What I Do” meme that did the rounds a while back. The meme itself is old news, but I recently stumbled across a “What I Do” image for archivists this week on the Syracuse University’s Special Collections Research Center blog.

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Author: Dana Dorman

I'm excited to report that we've moved on to the next phase of the Greenfield Digital Project: researching and annotating our 324 selected primary-source documents.

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Author: Matt Shoemaker

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is proud to announce that more than 6,100 collection level records are now available online through  Many of these records were previously unavailable online making this a valuable addition for researchers.  Information on nearly every collection at HSP is now available on These records provide a summary of each collection that will aid you in your research.  Examples of materials never before described online include:

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