HSP holds a variety of events throughout the year, including genealogy workshops, lectures and panel discussions, tours, and teacher workshops. Events are held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania at 1300 Locust Street in Philadelphia unless noted otherwise.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, 8/19/14 12:30pm

HSP will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Great Central Fair with a special document display exploring patriotic crowd-funding in Philadelphia during the Civil War. 

In the summer of 1864, Philadelphia hosted the Great Central Fair in what is now Logan Circle, positioning the city as a vital contributor to the Union war effort.

The civilian-led U.S. Sanitary Commission, a precursor to the Red Cross founded in 1861, organized “sanitary fairs” across the Union to raise money for sick and wounded soldiers.

Tuesday, 9/16/14 12:30pm

In conjunction with the conference, James Logan and the Networks of Atlantic Culture and Politics, 1699-1751, HSP will display a selection of documents related to the life of James Logan. Materials will provide a glimpse into the many facets of James Logan, including his personal life, his intellectual pursuits, his work as provincial secretary to William Penn and in the public sphere, and his role in Indian affairs.

Tuesday, 9/16/14 6:30pm
Lecture/Panel Discussion

Albert M. Greenfield, a Russian immigrant, was courted for his business acumen by mayors, senators, and presidents, including Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. He built a multifaceted business empire that encompassed real estate, department stores, banks, newspapers, and hotels, among others. Throughout his life, Greenfield was able to cross social, religious, and ethnic boundaries to form unique business aliances among Jews, Catholics, and African Americans.

Thursday, 9/18/14 5:00pm

This three-day conference explores the life of James Logan, who would become mayor of Philadelphia, chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and lieutenant governor. Co-sponsored by the Library Company of Philadelphia, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, Stenton, and The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Saturday, 9/27/14 9:30am
Teacher Workshop

Discover innovative, interdisciplinary ways to teach about Yellow Fever using HSP’s educational materials and History Making Production’s documentary resources to meet Common Core Standards. Reverend Mark Kelly Tyler, Senior Pastor at Mother Bethel AME Church, will deliver a keynote, and lunch will be provided.

Thursday, 10/2/14 5:30pm
Lecture/Panel Discussion

Dr. Marc Stein will use Philadelphia LGBT history to explore the sexual dimensions of the past when historians, librarians, archivists, publishers, and others construct and reconstruct historical narratives. Cosponsored by the Library Company of Philadelphia. Preceeded by a reception at Library Company of Philadelphia at 5:30, with the lecture to follow at HSP at 7 p.m. 

Tuesday, 10/7/14 10:00am
Genealogy Workshop

“It’s so confusing!”  Wondering where to start with your family history?  This session, presented by HSP library director and genealogist Lee Arnold, offers an overview of the different types of resources available at HSP and how to get started doing your genealogy.

Wednesday, 10/8/14 6:00pm
Lecture/Panel Discussion

A growing number of historic sites are exposing the intersection of history and mystery, utilizing the paranormal as an entertaining and educational way to share their stories with visitors. Beth Beatty, Executive Director of Fort Mifflin, and Dr. Daniel Rolph, HSP’s Head of Reference services, discuss their sites’ famous hauntings. After the lecture, take a tour through HSP’s most haunted locations.

Thursday, 10/9/14 10:00am
Genealogy Workshop

So many databases, so little time.  How does compare to Family Search?  What about other subscription and free databases?  Experienced HSP staffer and researcher, Dana Dorman, guides you through the various databases which any user can access at HSP.

Tuesday, 10/14/14 10:00am
Genealogy Workshop

Trying to prove that your ancestor was a Civil War hero (or at least not a deserter)?  Attend this session by Dr. Daniel Rolph, HSP’s head of reference and historian.  Dr. Dan is a Civil War expert and author.  He will guide you through HSP’s extensive Civil War resources as well as give you help with other military records at HSP.

Tuesday, 10/14/14 12:30pm

Pennsylvania has long been known as the Keystone State, and not without cause. Its history and culture have been shaped by its place—geographically and otherwise. In conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical Association annual meeting, HSP will display selections from its collections that look at Pennsylvania as a place, whether geographical, political, or imagined.

Wednesday, 10/15/14 6:00pm
Genealogy Workshop

Over twenty-five hundred service people from Philadelphia lost their lives in the Great War, and each of them had a story. Some of their stories live on in the memories of their descendants, many of whom still live in the Philadelphia area today. But many left no descendants, having died young—often in their late teens or early twenties—before they had the opportunity to start a family. As a result, there was no one left to remember and share the story of their lives.

Thursday, 10/16/14 10:00am
Genealogy Workshop

HSP director of research, David Haugaard, (almost literally) wrote the book on Colonial Pennsylvania legislators (serving for many years as one of that project’s editors).  David will explain the various Colonial-era records at HSP and how they can aid you in your family history research.

Thursday, 10/16/14 6:30pm
Special Event

Brush, tease, and apply the pomade for a party all about hair! Guests will enjoy an evening of hors d’oeuvres, raffle prizes, a whiskey tasting from WhistlePig Whiskey, and an exclusive, one-night document display showing some of the best hairstyles through the centuries.

Wednesday, 10/22/14 5:30pm
Lecture/Panel Discussion

The Philadelphia Vigilance Committee helped runaway slaves relocate within northern Free states and Canada. Committee Chairman William Still interviewed the runaways and kept a journal documenting their escapes and experiences in bondage. Join us for a panel discussion featuring Valerie Still, Phil Lapansky, and Melvin Garrison. Part of a month-long celebration of Moonstone Arts Center’s Underground Railroad in Philadelphia

Thursday, 10/23/14 6:00pm
Lecture/Panel Discussion

The 1793 Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia has become well known: the story has a hero—Benjamin Rush—and a villain—a mysterious pestilential disease which killed almost 10 percent of the population. Rush has been roundly criticized, both by posterity and his contemporaries, for his harsh therapies of bloodletting and extreme medicines.

Wednesday, 10/29/14 6:00pm

Old buildings and places have their share of ghost stories and eerie tales. Come take a tour of HSP and listen to the stories of those who haunt our 100 year old building...if you dare! Space is limited so reserve your ticket today!

Monday, 11/10/14 3:00pm
Special Event

At the annual business meeting, HSP Board members and executive staff will report on the past year’s accomplishments, discuss plans for the future, and announce nominations for the Board of Councilors. This meeting is open to HSP members only. 

Tuesday, 11/11/14 12:30pm

Philadelphia has the second largest population of Irish-Americans in the country. From the founding of the nation, Irish immigrants and elements of their culture have integrated into our society. This display documents some of their experiences as the mostly rural population amalgamated into a growing urban city.

Wednesday, 11/19/14 4:30pm
Teacher Workshop

Learn how to teach about immigration through the experiences of 18th century Irish Americans.  This workshop features a new cross-curricular lesson plan, “Exploring Anti-Irish Attitudes”. Participants will also receive a copy of  Pennsylvania Legacies: Organizing Pennsylvania Workers. Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, 12/3/14 6:00pm
Genealogy Workshop

Irish family history has always been described as difficult because of the absence of 19th century census data.  Professional genealogist Frank Southcott will look at the importance of basic family research in the United States and explore the various alternative resources to develop the Irish family in Ireland.  Ideas for how to approach the research in Ireland will be discussed.  Several actual family examples will be detailed.

Tuesday, 1/6/15 12:30pm

Take a look at penmanship throughout  United States history from original documents.  View items from HSP’s collection of quintessential penmen including John Hancock and Timothy Matlack. Long before the invention of the typewriter our Founding Fathers set up an entire government using only pen and paper. How did they do that? In this display we look, not only at examples of our Founders’ scripts,  but also the manuals and instruction books which taught more than a century of Americans  the art of fine penmanship.