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Handwriting - Why We Should Care

Teaching and mastery of handwriting is under attack as being less relevant with today’s digital communication. In a program recorded at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania on January 28, 2015, Dr. Robert J. Mahar discussed a  brief review of the history and present status of handwriting, revealing the central role that cursive handwriting has served in society.

Voicing the Absent: Crafting History

In this video recorded at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, historian Jane Kamensky, filmmaker Louis Massiah and Ain Gordon discuss the ways historians try to describe past events as they really happened. They aim at faithful representation. Yet we cannot know what others feel and think, and so historians must always take license with their subjects.


Researching Your Irish Family

Irish family history has always been described as difficult because of the absence of 19th century census data.  In this video recorded at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania on December 3, 2014, professional genealogist Frank Southcott looked at the importance of basic family research in the United States and explore the various alternative resources to develop the Irish family in Ireland. 

Timothy Matlack: Scribe of the Declaration of Independence

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? In this video recorded at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, author Chris Coelho discusses Timothy’s life, the first Matlack presentation in the Philadelphia area in over 100 years.

Stories from the Archives: Frances Harper - Abolitionist

Tiffany Player, PhD candidate at Washington University in St. Louis, discusses an early black female abolitionist, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and her work during the 19th century.

Traditional Irish Music by Blackthorn

John McGroary, Michael Boyce, and John Boyce of Blackthorn performed traditional Irish music after the Leaving the Emerald Isle event on 11-11-14 at HSP.