Members Only Databases

HSP members enjoy access to several databases of both HSP's own design and from other vendors.

Resources Available to HSP Members:

  • HSP Encounters
  • Adam Matthew Digital - Global Commoditites
  • Adam Matthew Digital - Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice: 1490-2007
  • Ancestry Institution Edition
  • FamilySearch
  • Heritage Quest Online
  • JSTOR
  • Newsbank - America's Historical Newspapers

HSP Encounters

HSP Encounters, a new digital resource comprised of an ever-growing number of genealogical and biographical databases, launched in August 2015. HSP Encounters is an ongoing project in which records and materials deemed of high research value are digitized and made available to HSP members online, in searchable form. Historical essays incorporated in the system describe each database, as well as providing historical context for the records it contains. 

As of today, there are six databases available for research. HSP staff are currently developing additional databases to be released throughout the coming months. 

Genealogical Scrapbooks & Research Folders (1607-1958)

  • Contains information found in privately published family histories at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The individuals found in these histories usually are from the colonies and states east of the Mississippi River, and generally span from the 17th through the 19th centuries.

Oliver H. Bair Company Records (1920-1980)

  • Contains information about deceased individuals drawn from funeral home files, which include substantial additional information on the deceased, usually including date of birth, date of death, place of death, age at the time of death, cause of death, the address or institution from whence the body was received, place of burial, occupation, spouse, and the names of parents.

Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War Battalions and Militia Index (1775-1783)

  • Contains an index to the muster rolls of the Pennsylvania militia in the War of the Revolution. The records in this database list names, sometimes rank, and a volume and page reference to the source material, which include further rosters, muster rolls, histories, diaries, and other documents listing Pennsylvanian troops.

Philadelphia Home for Infants collection

  • This collection includes records for the Philadelphia Home for Infants, including annual reports, board minutes, case histories, financial records, scrapbooks, articles, reports, publications relating to child welfare, and a few photographs. 

Philadelphia Job Placement Office collection

  • The Philadelphia Placement Office register contains the daily entries of a Philadelphia employment agency from 1898 to 1901.
  • The 2,647 entries, listed chronologically over the course of 300 pages, convey a wealth of information about potential employees and employers. A typical entry includes the name, street address, and type of work or type of worker sought by either the employee or employer. Beyond this basic information, entries often provide ages, previous work experiences, family facts, and personal observations written down by the agent of the office.The records also include number of family members, race, place of birth, religious denomination, and, often, an observation on the cause of the family’s poverty.

The Home Missionary Society collection

  • Contains one volume of visitation records from the Home Missionary Society of the City of Philadelphia (HMS). The volume contains 4,890 entries from 1883 to 1889 that document visits made to the homes of Philadelphia residents in need of assistance. In each of the cases, it was the woman of the household who was interviewed by the HMS to determine the needs of the family or individual. The HMS provided coal, groceries, cash, and apparel to thousands of people during this six-year period.

To access HSP Encounters remotelyclick here or visit pal.hsp.org. Please login with your HSP website/PAL (Patron Access Link) username and password and select HSP Encounters from the database list. 


Adam Matthew Digital - Global Commoditites

  • Contains manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of global commodities in world history. The commodities featured in this resource have been transported, exchanged and consumed around the world for hundreds of years. They helped transform societies, global trading operations, habits of consumption and social practices.

Adam Matthew Digital - Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice: 1490-2007

  • Contains documents from archives and libraries across the Atlantic world, this resource allows students and researchers to explore and compare unique material relating to the complex subjects of slavery, abolition and social justice.
  • In addition to the primary source documents there is a wealth of useful secondary sources for research and teaching; including an interactive map, scholarly essays, tutorials, a visual sources gallery, chronology and bibliography.

To access Adam Matthew databases remotelyclick here or visit pal.hsp.org. Please login with your HSP website/PAL (Patron Access Link) username and password and select Adam Matthew databases from the database list. 


Ancestry.com Institutional Edition

HSP has partnered with Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, to digitize over seven million records from our collection. These collections detail more than 300 years of Pennsylvanians’ life history spanning from 1708-1985.

The vital record additions, containing information from each county in the state of Pennsylvania, include:

  • Pennsylvania and New Jersey Church and Town Records (1708-1985): The documents in this database contain records from churches, funeral homes, cemeteries, newspapers, historical societies, as well as personal records and other various sources. Click here for a list of collections included in this database.
  • Pennsylvania, Oliver H. Bair Funeral Records Indexes, 1920-1980: These records make up an index to funerals handled by the Oliver H. Bair funeral homes. The majority are cards with the name of the deceased and billing information. However, the cards can contain other details, including names of people being charged for the funeral, addresses, family members and indications of family relationships (niece, widow, son, etc.), place of burial, and dates. Finding a record in the index indicates that a larger packet of information is available at HSP.
  • Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War Battalions and Militia Index, 1775-1783: This database contains an index to Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution (4 volumes), a series that reprints muster rolls and other documentation found in the Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd series, vols. 10, 11, 13, 14. These books include rosters, muster rolls, histories, diaries, and other documents listing Pennsylvanian troops. The cards in this database list names, sometimes rank, and a volume and page reference to the source volume.
  • Pennsylvania, Card Indexes to Genealogical Scrapbooks and Research Folders: These records are an index to genealogical scrapbooks, published volumes, and research folders in HSP's collection. The cards in this index include minimal information, including titles and sometimes page numbers, but this information points to a scrapbook, research folder, or published volume available at HSP.  

These records are available to all members of HSP. (If you don't already have a log-in at Ancestry.com, you'll need to sign up for a free account there.)

To access the Ancestry Institutional Edition remotely, click here or visit www.ancestry.com. An Ancestry.com account is required. Special access to HSP materials available to HSP members with a code. Please email Membership Manager Keith Lyons at klyons@hsp.org to receive the code. 


FamilySearch

FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, safeguards more than 3.5 billion images on microfilm, microfiche, and digital media. Very large collection of genealolgy records sponsored by the Church of Latter Day Saints, including HSP materials.

To access FamilySearch remotely, click here or visit familysearch.org. A free account with FamilySearch is required. 


Heritage Quest Online

Heritage Quest Online provides access to the complete set of the US Federal Census from 1790 to 1940. The Revolutionary War pension and bounty-land warrant applications collection provides information on more than 80,000 military officers and enlisted men. The Freedman's Bank depositor records date from 1865 to 1874, and provide insights for genealogists and scholars interested in African American life during and after the Civil War. The LexisNexis U.S. Serial Set collection includes information about U.S. Congress actions regarding memorials, petitions and private relief actions (like increasing specific peoples’ pensions).

To access Heritage Quest Online  remotely, click here or visit pal.hsp.org. Please login with your HSP website/PAL (Patron Access Link) username and password and select Heritage Quest Online  from the database list. A free account with FamilySearch is required. 


JSTOR

JSTOR offers access to thousands of scholarly journals, books, and primary source documents including complete archival runs of HSP's journal, Pennsylvania Magazine for History and Biography (1877-present), and our magazine, Pennsylvania Legacies (2001-present).
Hint Discount available to HSP members.

To access JSTOR remotely, click here or visit www.jstor.org. A discount is available for HSP members. Please write to Membership Manager Keith Lyons at klyons@hsp.org to receive your code. 


Newsbank - America's Historical Newspapers

Searchable American newspapers enable users to explore America's past. Available here: Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection, 1799-1971 and Selected Historical Newspapers.

To access Newsbank remotely, click here or visit infoweb.newsbank.com. A free Newbank account is required.


Click here to visit our members-only section to access these records.