Archival Adventures in Small Repositories

The End of a Year and a Farewell

Wednesday, 9/19/12

Well our one year pilot program is coming to an end. We have visited 47 repositories and surveyed 513 collections. That equals 4,666 linear feet of materials. That’s enough to fill 11,190 document boxes!  That’s the equivalent of 58 Blue Whales (the largest mammal on earth), or 175 school buses in length! 

Needless to say Celia and I have been busy over the last 12 months. We have been able to visit almost every small repository in both Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. We have met all types of people from all walks of life with one common goal: To preserve their local history. They do this by saving historic buildings or creating historical societies to document the history of their communities.

Through working with this project I have had the opportunity to see all types of amazing historical and cultural gems which are lovingly protected by the hard working volunteers and staff of small archival repositories. Some of my favorites have been the shivs at Eastern State Penitentiary, the diverse and sometimes heart wrenching collections of the William Way Community Center,  and the colorful costumes and photographs of the Mummers Museum to name only a few.  I have also witnessed the extraordinary amount of work and ingenuity that these people put into their work. It has been a pleasure to take a small part in helping them to document these materials.

It is with a bit of sadness that I will be leaving the project as the pilot phase comes to an end. I will be leaving with the hope that the project will continue to support and document all of the hard work and historical treasures throughout the five county area.




You and Celia Caust-Ellenbogen have done great work with this very interesting project, and the blog has been great in introducing the history community to exciting but unfamiliar resources. The directory you have compiled will be of great use to future researchers. Congratulations on your successful completion of this important work.

Thanks for your kind words,

Thanks for your kind words, Frank. But don't worry, the HCI-PSAR project isn't over! Here's the press release about Phase II of our project: We'll miss Michael (who is going on to bigger and better things elsewhere), but the project will continue on for two more years.

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