HSP Awarded Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

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HSP Awarded Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Friday, October 3, 2014

Philadelphia, PA– The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of Phase III of its Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR).  HCI-PSAR is a three-phase project to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of the numerous small, primarily volunteer-run archival and manuscript repositories in the Philadelphia area, including local historical societies, small museums, historic sites, and other institutions. The funding will allow HSP to continue bringing to light significant, underutilized archival resources in these repositories and will support development of a self-sustaining community of practice among the region’s small archival institutions.

Phase III will run from November 2014 through April 2016. Project staff will continue identifying area small repositories, writing descriptions of their archival collections for inclusion in an online catalog, and providing the participating repositories with assessment reports on their collections. The scope of the project will expand in Phase III to include more types of repositories with significant archival holdings, such as churches, fraternal and ethnic organizations, and community groups. Additionally, project staff will offer training programs, foster information-sharing opportunities, and work to create sustainable advances in professionalism and capacity among small archives in the region. Project staff will also promote HCI-PSAR as a national model, presenting on the project at professional conferences and working with archivists in other parts of the country to develop small repository initiatives in their areas.

During the first two phases of the project, which ran from July 2011 through October 2014 and were also funded by the Andrew M. Mellon Foundation, project staff visited 130 small repositories in the Philadelphia area and surveyed and assessed over 1,000 individual archival collections totaling more than 12,000 linear feet of materials. Finding aids to these collections are available on the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) finding aid website.

Project staff includes Project Director Jack McCarthy, Project Coordinator Andree Mey Miller, Senior Project Surveyor Celia Caust-Ellenbogen, and Project Surveyor Sarah Leu. HSP Director of Archives and Collections Management Matthew Lyons serves as Project Supervisor. Follow the project on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/HCIPSAR) to learn more about the interesting repositories and important collections being brought to light through this groundbreaking initiative.

For more information, contact the Society’s Communications Manager, Vincent Fraley, at (215) 732-6200 ext. 233 or vfraley@hsp.org

About the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) is a provider of education and information for the people of Philadelphia and beyond. With over 21 million documents – including manuscripts, graphics, and ephemera – HSP serves more than 4,000 on-site researchers annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources online at hsp.org. HSP offers extensive online resources including digital collections, curricular materials, and hosts educator workshops, public programs and lectures throughout the year. To offer this array of programming and services, HSP relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support our mission of inspiring individuals to create a better future through historical understanding at hsp.org

HSP is also a chief center for the documentation and study of ethnic communities and immigrant experiences in the 20th-century, and one of the largest family history libraries in the nation. HSP’s collections center on eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and parts of Delaware and Maryland, but they also include a wealth of materials on the eastern U.S., the founding of this country, and the diversity of ethnic and immigrant experiences across the nation, thanks to the addition of the holdings of the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in 2002.