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HSP, LCP Welcome December 2016 Fellows

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) and The Library Company of Philadelphia (LCP) jointly award approximately 25 one-month fellowships for research in residence in either or both collections during each academic year. Fellows hail from across the country and around the world, utilizing both institutions' collections in contemporary scholarship.  

HSP and LCP proudly welcome the December 2016 fellows:

New Books Now Available in the Genealogical Collection

 

Below is a sampling of some of the new genealogical and family history books that were recently added HSP's library. Check them out on your next visit, and click the links for further information from our online catalog Discover.


Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: John Alden

REF F 63 .M39 v.16 p. 5


Who Was Who in America, v. 26

REF E 176 .W64 v.26


A Dictionary of Yorkshire Surnames by George Redmonds

REF CS 2470 .Y675 R43 2015


Colonial Records of the Swedish Churches in Pennsylvania, v. 6A-B

UPA E 184 .S23 S94 v. 6A-b


Porter Genealogy by Janice Roden

Fa 929.2 P844r 2016


My Somerset County Heritage by Clyde Irvin Coughenour, Jr.

Fa 929.2 C854c 2016


The Aisenbrey Family by Heinz Aisenbrey

Fa 929.2 A299a 2012


Fostering Family History Services by Rhonda L. Clark and Nicole Wedemeyer Miller

REF Z 688 .G3 C58 2016


Intelligible Heraldry by Christopher Lynch-Robinson and Adrian Lynch-Robinson

CR 21 .L9 1948a


The Hereditary Register of the United States 1973

E 172.7 .H47


 

Tune-in as HSP's Lee Arnold explores the history of Thanksgiving

In the run-up to this year's holiday season, Lee Arnold, HSP's Senior Director of the Library & Collections and Chief Operating Officer, spoke with Kids Corner's Kathy O'Connell about discussing family history around the Thanksgiving table, as well as with NewsWorks Tonight's Dave Heller about the history of the holiday and unique Philadelphia Turkey Day traditions. 

Tune-in:

Amid holiday tumult, library director recalls hidden Thanksgiving "history"

Amid holiday tumult, Lee Arnold, HSP's Senior Director of the Library & Collections and Chief Operating Officer, takes a humorous look at hidden Thanksgiving "history."

The story we have all been told, about a happy confluence between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians, really didn’t happen.  In fact, the Wampanoag, on that crisp 4th Thursday of November, just wanted to have a nice quiet feast without all those foreigners peppering them with silly questions: Where are we again?; Is there any place to get a nice cuppa’ tea?; What do you think of Brexit?, etc.  Every time one of the Pilgrims would come to the Indian village, hinting for an invitation (“Don’t have any T-day plans…” or “Sure would be nice to be with loved ones on the holiday…”), the Wampanoags would just close their windows, turn off the lights, and pretend they weren’t home—just like they had to do with the Pilgrims the month before on Halloween.

The only Wampanoag who actually set foot in Plymouth Plantation was a Native cat which the Pilgrims called Francine but her Indian name was Fri-Tṑ-Lay-Fḗt (which roughly translates to “She whose toes smell like corn chips”).  She didn’t come to Plymouth because she liked the Pilgrims; she was usually just looking for voles.  But this day a hungry Pilgrim named Vivica bribed Francine with two freshly shucked quahogs.  Francine not only led them to the Wampanoag smokehouse where they found ample supplies of venison and wild turkey, but she also led them to the Wampanoag pantry where they found cases of canned cranberry sauce and enough Sam Adams Pale Ale to fend off the cold till at least the New Year.

In the end the Wampanoags did set extra plates at the table (but did not put out the good silver) and taught the Pilgrims how to make a wish using the, aptly named, turkey wishbones; the Pilgrims taught them how to belch and re-notch their belts after over-eating. [We all know what the Wampanoags really wished for.]  Francine, ultimately, was felis-non-grata in both communities.  The Wampanoag changed her name to Bi-Valv-Kit-Tḗ (which roughly means “Cat who sells soul for small shellfish”); the Pilgrims soon forgot her heroic service that fall day and kept yelling “scat” and clapping their hands whenever she was seen in the Plantation with a vole in her mouth.  They also wouldn’t let her play with any yarn on the Sabbath and she had to sit still during 3-hour sermons at Wednesday evening services.  And then there were the mandatory choir rehearsals on Thursdays, and…well, Francine had simply had it and moved to Rhode Island.
 

New Issue of PMHB Free to Read Online

PHILADELPHIA, PA - The October 2016 issue of the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (PMHB), "Immigration and Ethnicity in Pennsylvania History," has now been published.

How do people from different cultural backgrounds and identities coexist, interact, and flourish together, and on what terms? In this special issue of the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, we bring together scholars of Pennsylvania history to revisit some of these questions using current approaches to immigration and ethnicity.

Latest Issue of Pennsylvania Legacies Explores Citizenship in the Keystone State

What does citizenship mean? What are its rights and obligations? Who should be welcomed as a citizen and who excluded? These questions have come to the forefront of the current presidential race, but anxiety and controversy about what citizenship means have been a common refrain in America’s—and Pennsylvania’s—history. This issue of Legacies explores how Pennsylvanians have understood, exercised, and fought for citizenship from the earliest days of the republic to the present day. 

Philadelphians, Chinese, and Chinese Philadelphians: A Look at the Faces

For my third and final blog post, I had originally planned to profile several individuals living in Philadelphia’s Chinatown at different points in its history. As I sifted through boxes of documents and folders of photos, however, I found this task nearly impossible. 

Despite having gone through stacks of Christmas cards and business letters, newspaper clippings and various personal collections, I felt as if I barely understood these individuals better than those anonymous faces featured in black and white photographs published in period newspapers. 

Rather than attempting to speak on behalf of the individuals contained in these collections, I have included some of their photos and items that struck a personal chord. It is my hope that these images will allow others to put faces and names to individuals from these historical eras and events, in an effort to make them come alive as much more than mere "history book facts."

An image of Henry Loo, a successful restaurateur in the Philadelphia area, as a young man. From the Henry Loo personal papers and business records (#MSS140).

 

 The letter above is addressed to Henry Loo from his brother and details the situation surrounding their mother’s sickness. With Loo in the United States and his brother in Singapore, the duty of taking care of their mother fell to their sisters. From the Henry Loo personal papers and business records (#MSS140).

 

 Amidst the rest of his papers, I found this document showing that Henry Loo had at one time been considered for deportation. The sentence was later overturned. From the Henry Loo personal papers and business records (#MSS140).

 

This Alien Registration Certificate does not belong to Henry Loo, but I have included it as something to compare to the modern day equivalents (say, for example, a green card). From the Henry Loo personal papers and business records (#MSS140).

 

As I flipped through the folders containing the various items in Henry Loo's personal papers, I had to include his impressive menu collection. I've taken a photo of just a few of the more colorful menus here. From the Henry Loo personal papers and business records (#MSS140).

 

From the Henry Loo personal papers and business records (#MSS140).

 

 Amid his many other accomplishments as a successful business owner, Henry Loo was also a skilled painter. I found this little sketch of bamboo, done on a paper towel, amidst his personal papers. From the Henry Loo personal papers and business records (#MSS140).

 

From the Henry Loo personal papers and business records (#MSS140).

 

A photograph of Henry Loo celebrating his 80th birthday. From the Henry Loo personal papers and business records (#MSS140).

 

From the Jung Family photographs (#PG084).

 

From the Jung Family photographs (#PG084).

 

From the Jesse K. Spritzler Photographs of Chinatown in Philadelphia (#PG233).

 

From the Jesse K. Spritzler Photographs of Chinatown in Philadelphia (#PG233).

 

From the Jesse K. Spritzler Photographs of Chinatown in Philadelphia (#PG233).

 

From the Jesse K. Spritzler Photographs of Chinatown in Philadelphia (#PG233).

 

From the Mary E. Scott Chinese Sunday School photograph collection (#PG262).

 

From the Mary E. Scott Chinese Sunday School photograph collection (#PG262).

 

As I mentioned in the introduction to this blog series, I’ve had quite a few firsts during my time here at HSP, but I’ve also seen quite a bit of change and growth, too. Over the course of a summer, I’ve gone from being terrified of handing in a call slip and causing irreparable damage to the documents, to being proud of my call slip collection and eager to see what the next box held in store (though, of course, I never stopped being careful with what I handled!). With my time as an intern at HSP drawing to a close, I am grateful for being able to have had the opportunity to see a community history so personal to me in a new light, and I look forward to carrying that perspective with me to whatever new journeys I embark upon next. 

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