Ashley Harper

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

This Author's Posts

For the last several weeks and for the next several weeks I'll be working with the Cassel Collection # 1610. So far, cataloguing and digitizing them for online use has been challenging.

Handling these often fragile volumes is something that requires delicate attention. They have fragile pages and tight binding which doesn't lend to being photographed easily. I often have to use a book cradle which, is two wedge shaped pieces of foam, to support the book. The cradles go underneath the book and when photographed from above the book usually looks slightly angled.

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Wednesday March 7th, Sarah and I hosted an experimental tour for a small group of high school students. This tour, funded by HPP/Pew Charitable Trusts gave us the opportunity to explore a rather routine area of our work (student tours) with a new creative eye. Our task was to improve this tour in ways that ordinarily didn't seem possible due to constraints like time, money, people, etc.

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Today I was reminded of HSP's digital project called the DCA or the Digital Center for Americana. Last year this project focused on the processing, digitizing and archiving of collections related to the Civil War. We have a great wealth of information in this area and it wasn't surprising that a couple months ago someone came into HSP and showed us a belt of their ancestor who fought for the Union Army, Company E, 53rd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.



Yesterday, April 5th, 2011, we at HSP hosted an event for the new, Musical Finding Aid. What does this mean, you ask? Do not fret, if all your questions aren't answered in the next paragraphs please leave a comment!



Here at HSP we are excited about a project that is currently brewing in our back offices and bringing music to our ears! It stems from the rich collection of Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt.



Last Thursday evening marked the well anticipated opening of Duke Riley's exhibition about Petty's Island. For a long time this exhibition has created a buzz here at Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP). This is no doubt due, in part, to the multi-faceted nature of Riley's work which combines, historical research, creative interpretation, multi-media installations as well as trespassing and defacing of property.

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This week I spent some time working on the Joshua Humphreys papers (Collection 306). Born in Haverford, Pa. in 1751, Humphreys would go on to be the nation’s foremost naval architect in the post-Revolutionary era.

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