Past Events

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Past Events

Tuesday, 4/18/17
Lecture/Panel Discussion

This joint Historical Society of Pennsylvania/Philadelphia Orchestra program, entitled Rachmaninoff’s Philadelphia, is being presented in conjunction with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s April 2017 Rachmaninoff Festival. The program will explore the special relationship between the Philadelphia Orchestra and the great Russian composer/conductor/pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1843).

Tuesday, 4/11/17

Between 1914 and 1918, much of the world squandered life and industry in a 500-mile trench gouged from Belgium’s North Sea coast to the Franco-Swiss border. The visual record of this conflict ranges widely, from patriotic propaganda to aerial photographs.

Saturday, 4/8/17
Special Event

On April 8th, the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) will host Where We Belong: Artists in the Archive, a day-long symposium bringing together artists, activists, academics, and archivists to explore ways to challenge the systematic erasure of stories of marginalized communities in America.

The symposium will be held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and will premiere works from five artists - musicians, visual artists, and dancers - who have engaged SAADA’s archives to find inspiration from overlooked histories of South Asians in the US.

Tuesday, 3/28/17
Lecture/Panel Discussion

During this year's Women's History Month, celebrate the Ralston Center’s 200th anniversary with a free workshop on Tuesday, March 28 at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, 3/23/17
Lecture/Panel Discussion

For Becoming U.S. – Age and Assimilation, the second program in HSP's latest series, we wish to explore the many ways age and generational status affect immigration and assimilation experiences. 

Saturday, 3/11/17
Special Event

Accompanying the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts' current exhibition, this two-day symposium examines the creative contributions of American artists and citizens before, during, and after World War I.

Thursday, 3/9/17
Lecture/Panel Discussion

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Join the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) for a free workshop on March 9, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. exploring a new digital resource available for genealogists researching African American ancestors.

Wednesday, 2/22/17

In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, character Christopher Boone is an eccentric and gifted young man who gains a deeper understanding of himself while solving a neighborhood mystery.

Central to the story is Christopher's discovery of a cache of old letters. Whether it’s uncovering family secrets or getting the dirt behind a historical rumor, primary sources often shed light on even the murkiest mysteries.

Saturday, 2/11/17
Teacher Workshop

Join the National Constitution Center and HSP for a workshop devoted to understanding the history behind – and modern implications of – the 14th Amendment. The workshop highlights classroom-ready resources from both organizations and provides scholarly analysis of the 14th Amendment. The workshop will be held in the Bogle Chairman’s Room of the National Constitution Center. 

To register, write to

Thursday, 2/9/17
Special Event

Susan Benjamin, candy historian and author of Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America's Favorite Pleasure (2016) will give a lecture on the history of the sweet stuff through the centuries while guests sample some of these iconic treats. Afterward, please join us for fun, refreshments, and one-night document display featuring love letters, vintage valentines, and more.

Friday, 2/3/17

Here at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), we care for more than 21 million documents. Our collections include books, letters, diaries, business records, photographs, newspapers, and large maps and graphics—like the beautiful illustration of Philadelphia’s eastern waterfront found in our newest diplay, "Make History Yours." This very rare graphic was once tattered, torn, and disintegrating.

Tuesday, 12/13/16

The 1763 Conestoga Massacre was the brutal murder of 21 Susquehannock men, women, and children by a vigilante group of Scotch-Irish frontiersmen from central Pennsylvania known as the Paxton Boys.

These frontiersmen and their families had settled on American Indian lands in violation of established agreements between the Quakers and various tribes. Several tribes raided frontier settlements in response to this encroachment and, in retaliation, the Paxton Boys attacked the Susquehannock, who they claimed had passed “secrets” to hostile groups.