Past Events

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Past Events

Wednesday, 11/9/11
Teacher Workshop

Presented in partnership with the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, this workshop will look at the rise of industry in Philadelphia in the 1800s and the people who made it happen. This workshop is open to teachers and pre-service students. Attendance qualifies for three hours of Act 48 credit.

Wednesday, 11/2/11
Lecture/Panel Discussion

Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation was neither the beginning nor the end of the emancipation process. Join us for a panel discussion to explore ideas of emancipation in the United States in the 19th century, before and after Lincoln. Teachers may receive Act 48 credit. Cosponsored by the Moonstone Arts Center.

Wednesday, 10/26/11

At this year's Haunted Tours, HSP is pleased to welcome spiritual medium, Marisa Liza Pell. Pell recently toured the Historical Society's 100-year-old building, and will discuss her findings and experiences. After Pell's presentation, guests will take a tour behind the scenes to hear about the ghosts that haunt HSP.

Thursday, 4/29/10

At its annual Founder’s Award dinner, HSP will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its building. This year the Founder’s Award will be presented to Cokie Roberts, senior news analyst for NPR News and a political commentator for ABC News. The Founder's Award will also be presented to Jerry Shestack, a prominent lawyer and advocate for human rights, and Marciarose Shestack, a former primetime news anchor and award-winning talk show host. Henry Lafayette Collins III, a former member of HSP’s Board of Councilors, will receive the Heritage Award.

Monday, 4/26/10

In 1882 the Historical Society of Pennsylvania purchased a mansion at the corner of 13th and Locust streets. It soon became clear that the society needed a fireproof structure and more space to house its growing collection. In the early 1900s, the society constructed a new building on the property, designed by Addison Hutton. As part of the building’s 100th anniversary celebration, we invite the public to experience HSP as they never have before. Learn about the building and take a behind-the-scenes tour focused on the architectural history of HSP.

Thursday, 3/18/10
Lecture/Panel Discussion

You are invited to participate in the Greater Philadelphia Roundtable, a series of meetings to promote dialogue and greater understanding of the Philadelphia region’s recent history. These discussions will help shape the content of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia.

Striving for Equality: LGBT Activism in Greater Philadelphia -- 6-8 p.m., March 18 at the William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce St., Philadelphia

Wednesday, 3/10/10
Teacher Workshop

Mapping projects allow students to connect with local history as they gather, analyze, and interpret information about their neighborhood. This PhilaPlace workshop will suggest approaches for developing local history mapping lessons and discuss ways to incorporate immigration and oral history into such projects. To learn more about PhilaPlace, visit Attendance qualifies for two hours of Act 48 credit.

Thursday, 2/25/10
Lecture/Panel Discussion

As part of the Philagrafika 2010 festival, five Philadelphia organizations with historical collections were paired with contemporary artists, and this partnership spawned unique and varied works of art. This panel discussion will bring together artists, historians, curators, and community leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities of these innovative collaborations.

Friday, 2/5/10
Special Event

Join HSP for the opening of a unique art installation created by contemporary artist Duke Riley. Riley uses old maps and documents about Petty’s Island from HSP’s collection as inspiration for his project. Riley will explore the little-known history of Petty's Island and “reclaim” the island on behalf of Ralson Laird, an Irish immigrant who once called the island home. This event is part of Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia’s international festival celebrating print in contemporary art. The exhibit will continue through April 11.

Thursday, 1/28/10

Everyone has a story to tell. Learn how to share yours at, an interactive Web site that connects stories to places across time in Philadelphia neighborhoods. At this workshop, PhilaPlace project director Joan Saverino will discuss PhilaPlace and show visitors how to log their own memories, use the interactive map, access audio and video clips, create tours, and view historical records.

Wednesday, 12/9/09

Join the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Honorable  Mayor Michael A. Nutter as we celebrate the launch of PhilaPlace.

Thursday, 12/3/09
Lecture/Panel Discussion

December 2 marks the 150th anniversary of the hanging of John Brown, a radical abolitionist who organized a raid on an arsenal in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. After his death, John Brown’s body traveled through Philadelphia. The mayor worried about riots in the streets, so a plan was devised to sneak Brown’s body away safely. Learn about this story and commemorate the anniversary of this pivotal moment in the struggle for civil rights. The guest speaker will be Dr. Louis A. DeCaro Jr., author of Fire from the Midst of You: A Religious Life of John Brown.