Fondly, Pennsylvania

Fondly, Pennsylvania is a joint blog of HSP's archives, conservation, and digitization departments.  Here you will find posts on our latest projects and newest discoveries, as well as how we care for, describe, and preserve our collections.  Whether you are doing research or just curious to know more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes on at HSP, please read, explore, and join the conversation!

Author: Cathleen Lu

Coffee is such a normal, frequent occurence both inside and outside the walls of HSP that we often don't think twice about it beyond our daily morning pilgrimage. It ensures that those who drink it stay awake, functional, and most of all, pleasant enough to conquer the day, so much so that among the Folgers and Nescafé commercials and the Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks bus ads, marketers have tapped into our need of coffee to make it commonplace, routine, and universal.

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Author: Hillary Kativa

If an event takes place, but leaves no evidence of having occurred, did it really happen? Recently, I found myself pondering this historical variation on the age-old question “If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?” when I digitized several items from HSP’s collection of Theater Posters [V06]. As historians and archivists, our understanding of the past is so dependent upon the evidence left behind and some events are so ephemeral they are simply lost to the passage of time.

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Author: Cary Hutto

Of all the adopted collections that have come through the ranks, my favorites remain the ones that offer windows into Philadelphia's rich cultural history.  The John Neagle papers and related items (Collection 2112), which I recently processed, is one such collection.

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Author: Faith Charlton

Because Dana and I are primarily viewing the history of Bankers Trust Company through the eyes of Albert M. Greenfield- since we’re using his papers- we have come across other story lines relating to Greenfield and his numerous other ventures that continually weave in and out of the story of the bank.

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Author: Willhem Echevarria

We recently finished processing the John Fryer papers (Collection 3465) and are very proud to have among his documents the original manuscript of the speech Fryer gave at the 1972 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The event is considered one of the most significant moments in the history of the gay-rights movement, persuading the APA to remove homosexuality from the list of diseases listed in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM II).

Topics: 20th century
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Author: Matt McNelis

An earlier blog post gave a brief introduction of the Oliver H. Bair Company collection, which is now properly preserved and accessible to users at HSP. This collection is comprised of nearly 83,000 burial records that span the time of 1920 to 1980. There were many surprises within these records, and this post is going to highlight some of the most interesting people that were located within these records.

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Author: Matt McNelis

In the fall of 2011, through a generous grant by I was given the task of re-housing the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s largest funeral home collection, the Oliver H. Bair Company collection. The collection consists of over 1050 boxes of burial records that the company had amassed over six decades of operation, from 1920-1980 to be exact.

Topics: 20th century
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Author: Mary Tasillo

The Cassel Collection (Collection 1610) is one of twenty-one collections documenting immigrant and ethnic history receiving processing, digitization, and conservation treatment as part of the Digital Center for Americana Project Phase II. Abraham H. Cassel (1820-1908) was a collector of books and materials related to Pennsylvania German religious history.

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Author: Sarah Newhouse

I’m sure many of you have seen the “What I Do” meme that did the rounds a while back. The meme itself is old news, but I recently stumbled across a “What I Do” image for archivists this week on the Syracuse University’s Special Collections Research Center blog.

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