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!
With this month's sesquicentennial of the 13th Amendment's ratification, consider the story of the first abolition organization in the Western Hemisphere: the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which is still in existence after 240 years.
The society was once a world-leading abolitionist organization, though it was eclipsed by a more radical brand of abolitionism in the years leading to the Civil War evinced by William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and others.
The following article was written by HSP volunteer Randi Kamine and is being posted on her behalf. Part two of the article will be posted next Wednesday. Many thanks to Archival Processor Megan Evans for helping prepare these articles for publication.
Print is dead, or so drone digital media's arrivistes. This may come as a shock to Philadelphia's Print Center as it celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, making it one of the oldest organizations dedicated to graphic arts in the United States.
Where’s Washington? Judging by the number of search results when using the terms “George Washington” in HSP’s online catalog, Discover, the answer is: Everywhere!
Hello, everyone! We've reached the penultimate post of transcriptions 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.
Many Philadelphia boosters proudly boast of its reputation as a rough-and-tumble city. Soften those edges with a look at its history of silk production.
The culture of silkworms (Bombyx mori) began in China nearly five millennia ago with the discovery that caterpillars' cocoons could be unwound to lustrous effect. Its roots in the New World were established with the first permanent English settlement, Jamestown.
Every type of American prime mover—the power to do work—has been harvested and used in Pennsylvania and, in the process of its use and management, has defined entire regions of the state. Exciting new scholarship is teaching us much about this important history while also pointing us to promising areas for future inquiry.
During the course of the Howard Lewis Project in our Archives department, the John Wanamaker collection  received some much-needed attention in order to make the collection more accessible and easier to use for our researchers. As one of our larger collections (approximately 190 feet of material) that documents a very prominent Philadelphia citizen and the store he founded, the collection sees a great deal of use in our research library. It was determined that one of the things we could do to make the collection easier to use would be to take a detailed inventory of all the volumes in the collection and number them consecutively. Previously, the volumes had been numbered rather confusingly and were further obscured by the fact that some were housed in boxes with other materials and not listed separately in the finding aid. All volumes were removed from the boxes (except where they were fragile and in need of extra support) and given labels with their new numbers and titles that accurately reflect their contents.
William Berkeley, a colonial governor in 1671, counted the lack of newspapers among the New World's few charms: "I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing. . . . God keep us from both." Philadelphia proved more welcoming to the printed word.