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!

7/15/10
Author: Elsa Varela

As one of the digitization technicians for the Digital Center of Americana, I come across a lot of correspondence. When I have a moment to read some of the letters I often ask myself what may have caused the writer to send this particular set of words to his loved one, family member, boss, or friend. Many times the letter I am scanning is a response to a letter that we do not have in our collection, and without having the time to research the item I am left to wonder what started the exchange.

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7/6/10
Author: Dana Dorman

I recently finished processing the Citizens’ Bounty Fund Committee records, another Civil War-era collection that we are working on as part of the Digital Center for Americana project.

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6/21/10
Author: Matt Shoemaker

One of the major challenges we face at HSP with the Digital Center for Americana project is just how to deal with pesky legacy data.  Getting information online to improve access is great and all, but it takes a lot of effort to select, customize, and design systems so they can function together, integrate data from older systems (legacy data) and then provide the easy online access we have all come to expect.

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6/11/10
Author: Leah Mackin

From rotting leather bindings to unstable photographic materials to fragile, crumbling papers held together with aged plastic tape, there are a plethora of challenges faced when preserving historic documents and books. The condition of materials is based upon many factors including how the documents are currently housed, how they were stored prior to becoming part of the Society’s collections, and how they were treated as they were created or originally collected. The following images are from A Manual of the Art of Bookbinding. Published in 1856, James B.

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6/10/10
Author: Cary Hutto

As we've stated before here on this blog, there's alot more to HSP's archives than just old correspondence and records.  HSP's conservation staff recently finished work on our Work Projects Administration (WPA) posters collection, which was adopted last year.  The collection contains works from the 1930s and 1940s from mostly Pennsylvania artists who were emplo

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5/27/10
Author: Cathleen Miller

While I've made announcements to many people about my departure from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, I have not shared this news with you, readers of Fondly, Pennsylvania. Since blogging about archives at HSP moved forward because of my desire to see it happen, I feel a deep attachment to the community of readers we have reached through our efforts here.  I have been delighted to see how hungry people are for information about our collections and about our behind-the-scenes view of the work of archivists and conservators.  When I began the Chew collection blog in

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5/20/10
Author: Cary Hutto

HSP has a large collection or programs, playbills, and other ephemera from Philadelphia's Academy of Music (once called the American Academy of Music), dating from its beginnings in the late 1850s to the late 20th century.  The collection was recently adopted and is my current processing project.  Though I’ve barely scratched the surface (having just completed rehousing 13 of 157 boxes), the collection is already proving to be a joy--it presents a veritable history of performi

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5/5/10
Author: Matthew Lyons

Recently the Historical Society of Pennsylvania acquired a small collection called the Pisano and Siciliano Families Papers. Through photographs, vital records, family histories, and other materials, this collection documents two Italian families whose members came to the United States in the early 1900s and settled in South Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. A highlight of the collection is the handwritten poetry of Antonio Nicola Pisano (1894-1979). Mr. Pisano, who immigrated to the U.S.

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