The 2015 NHD theme is Leadership and Legacy in History.
In broad terms, leadership is the act of leading: providing motivation, guidance, or direction, usually in a position of authority. Leadership takes many forms. You may immediately think about presidents and kings as leaders, but what about local community representatives and organizers? How about religious leaders, governors, mayors or business owners? Some leaders are elected, others are appointed, and some seize a position of authority.
Just because something happened and someone did something, however, it does not necessarily mean a legacy was created. The key is to think about the leader’s significance in history. So what? Does this person really matter? Was there real change that occurred because of his or her leadership?
We have compliled some topic ideas for which the Historical Society has a wealth of resources. There are many other topics which HSP can help with; this is just a sampling of suggestions. Check them out.
We might use the word "library" but the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has so much more than just books!
HSP has millions of items….around 22 million! And all kinds of things, including:
- Books and pamphlets
- Newspapers and magazines
- Letters, diaries, account books, deeds, minutes, and scrapbooks
- Prints, watercolors, and other works of art on paper, architectural drawings, photographs, broadsides, maps, posters, and other images
- Event programs, brochures, invitations, advertisements, trade cards, certificates, and menus
- Newspapers, genealogical resources, manuscript collections, and other materials on microfilm and microfiche
HSP collections cover 350 years of America’s history—from its 17th-century origins to the contributions of its most recent immigrants. Most of the collection focuses on the founding of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as eastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia and surrounding parts of New Jersey and Delaware.
There's so much here, how do you find what you actually need? Check out an overview of how to find things at HSP.
Once you've searched online and know what is here, you are ready to come to HSP and look at the materials. Before you jump on the bus, read our Student Guide to Visiting HSP.
The best time to come is on Wednesdays between 12:30 and 8:30 p.m. when we have Student Mentors - "research buddies" - to help you. No need to register, and always free.
The Student Mentor program is underwritten by Enterprise Holdings Foundation.