A library can be a bewildering place. For many middle and high school students, libraries are a labyrinth of stacks, databases, and jargon. Those with homework or projects requiring research often ask: Where do I start?
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, one of the largest special collection libraries in the country, has the answer: Here.
We offer a student mentor program Tuesday through Friday after school October through May to help students one-on-one with their research or National History Day project.
Trained volunteers work with students to identify sources for their research in HSP’s collection of over 21 million items. With personalized attention, mentors guide students in all aspects of research: how to search for items, analyze and evaluate sources, develop an argument, and create bibliographies. Mentors also help students to transcribe documents and edit papers to ensure historical accuracy and clarity.
Plan Your Visit
- Grade 6-12 students are welcome to research in HSP’s historic library and archive for free.
- Student mentors are available Tuesday–Friday, 2:30–5:30 p.m., from October to May.
- No appointments are necessary! Just ask at the front desk or reference desk when you arrive.
- HSP is located at 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA. Our building is easily accessible from Septa’s subway and trolley lines, and Septa bus route 12 stops on Locust Street directly in front of HSP.
- First-time students will be paired with a mentor and given a research orientation.
Students with specific questions or those wishing to get extra help may contact Kim McCleary, HSP’s Education Manager, anytime (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Other resources for students and educators, including unit plans, primary sources, and professional development opportunities, are available here.