Cathleen Miller

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

This Author's Posts

While I've made announcements to many people about my departure from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, I have not shared this news with you, readers of Fondly, Pennsylvania. Since blogging about archives at HSP moved forward because of my desire to see it happen, I feel a deep attachment to the community of readers we have reached through our efforts here.  I have been delighted to see how hungry people are for information about our collections and about our behind-the-scenes view of the work of archivists and conservators.  When I began the Chew collection blog in

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In my research on Jay Cooke, I read that Cooke had a private telegraph line.  When Matthew and I first surveyed the collection, we discovered several folders full of ticker tapes and queried one another about best practice for housing them.  It was helpful to have this piece of information to explain the quantity of telegrams in the Cooke papers.   They are rather fun to read, and add a bit of behind-the-scenes perspective on Cooke's voluminous formal correspondence.

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Finding aids are now available online for the following collections:

George G. Meade collection (#410) [This collection combines formerly separate collections 410 and 1407.

Grand Army of the Republic. Philip R. Schuyler Post No. 51 records (#1825)


Today marks the anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth.  While there is little need to recount the events of April 14-15, 1865, when Lincoln and members of his cabinet were mortally wounded, the echoes of mourning in correspondence from the days following are worthy of a look.

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Early on in the Digital Center project, I worked on a description for the Robert Knox Sneden collection of "Sketches of Confederate Prisons."  I discovered that not only did this collection have an obsolete call number, but it was not listed in either our OPAC or our graphics card catalog.  The only way to find this collection was by searching our Access database.  This still remains true, and will until we import our database into Archivists' Toolkit sometime toward the end of the DCA project.  It pains me to know that little gems like the Sneden drawings are unknown to


The Grand Army of the Republic was formed as a patriotic fraternal organization for veterans of the Union forces of the Civil War.   The GAR advocated for veterans' rights and offered aid to men who were honorably discharged and had never taken up arms against the nation.  Many men were disqualified from membership from the GAR, but were interested in the camaraderie and opportunities for service that the GAR provided.  To meet this desire, the Grand Army of the Republic decided to allow the creation of associations called the Citizens' Corps.  In its 36th national


We have written a lot about process here on Fondly, Pennsylvania to let you know what projects we have in the works, but I realized that we have not kept up with telling everyone what we've completed.  There are 51 collections included in the Digital Center for Americana project, and at this point, 22 collections have been processed, conserved and digitized (in part).  I thought I'd share a list of those collections as a way to celebrate our accomplishments, and to give interested readers the opportunity to peruse our new finding aids and descriptions.

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Listen to this WHYY radio spot about our Digital Center for Americana project.  Kudos to Peter Crimmins, who makes sure to mention that we cannot digitize all of our holdings.

Historical Society putting treasures on the Web