Past Events

Wednesday, 2/4/15
Lecture/Panel Discussion

For many of Pennsylvania’s early German-speaking settlers, handwriting was more than a communication tool.  It was also a component of religious devotion.  Highlighting objects in the HSP collection, this presentation by Doctoral student Alexander Lawrence Ames explores the complex relationship between Pennsylvania German spiritualism and the visual presentation of devotional texts. 

Tuesday, 2/3/15
Lecture/Panel Discussion

An exploration of real-life letters, newspaper clippings and more from survivors of Japanese Internment in the context of the Philadelphia premiere of the play Hold These Truths. The event will kick off with a sneak peak of Hold These Truths, performed by local actor Makoto Hirano, a one-man show about the real life journey of Gordon Hirabayashi, the man who famously defied forcible removal and took his case all the way to the Supreme Court... twice!  This will be followed by a document display and discussion by Dr.

Wednesday, 1/28/15
Lecture/Panel Discussion

Teaching and mastery of handwriting is under attack as being less relevant with today’s digital communication. Dr. Robert J. Mahar will provide a brief review of the history and present status of handwriting, revealing the central role that cursive handwriting has served in society.

Thursday, 1/22/15
Workshop

As HSP’s collection of over 20 million manuscripts suggests, the art of calligraphy and hand lettering was a requisite for any young professional. From accounting to academia to personal diaries, calligraphy was a must. Join the Young Friends for wine, beer, light fare, and their first ever hands-on workshop with a beginner level class on the lost art of calligraphy led by the Philadelphia Calligraphers' Society. 

Wednesday, 1/14/15
Lecture/Panel Discussion

Not everyone knows that a Philadelphia brewer penned the most famous document in American history. As an assistant Secretary to Congress, Timothy Matlack engrossed the Declaration of Independence. But how was it that a beer-bottler, infamous for cockfighting, once confined to debtor’s prison, was given this responsibility?

Tuesday, 1/13/15
Exhibit/Display

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.

Wednesday, 12/3/14
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.

Saturday, 11/22/14
Special Event

At an isolated log cabin in the harsh wilderness of Indiana circa 1817, the rhythms of love, tragedy, and the daily happenings of life on the developing frontier shaped one of our nation's greatest heroes: Abraham Lincoln.

Using black and white cinematography to conjure an America where the land was raw, The Better Angels sheds new light on the formative years of the future president and the two women who molded him into one of the most revered men in American history.

Wednesday, 11/19/14
Teacher Workshop

Learn how to teach about immigration through the experiences of 19th century Irish Americans.  This workshop features a new cross-curricular lesson plan, “Exploring Anti-Irish Attitudes”. Participants will also receive a copy of the Irish American-themed issue of Pennsylvania Legacies. Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, 11/13/14
Exhibit/Display

Discover the Hidden Treasures in HSP's collection with an illustrated presentation by Senior Director of the Library and Collections Lee Arnold. Arnold will highlight lesser known but highly treasured historical documents and images, including: the oldest collection item; a map showing an early Pennsylvania land swindle; and the first portrait photograph taken in the United States. A reception with an opportunity to view--for one night only--some of these rarely seen artifacts will follow.

Tuesday, 11/11/14
Lecture/Panel Discussion

During the mid 19th century, large numbers of Irish citizens made the perilous journey to America with the the hopes of escaping poverty, famine, and oppression. As thousands of immigrants made Philadelphia their home, they were met with religious and ethnic prejudices.  Moderated by Charlene Mires, professor of History at Rutgers-Camden, this panel of experts examines the challenges and issues faced by the Irish as they struggled to integrate into American society.

Tuesday, 11/11/14
Exhibit/Display

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.