NHPRC Civic Engagement Project

HSP has begun a 26-month processing and preservation project that will provide in-depth access to 14 collections documenting civic engagement in Philadelphia and the United States as a whole. This project was made possible through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), with additional support provided by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries’ “Hidden Collections” project, and private donors.

The collections in this project document a rich array of events and activities, encompassing political debates, philanthropy, government and military service, race, gender, sexuality, and community organizing across more than 120 years. The 14 collections consist of a total of 1,376 linear feet and 693 sound recordings. This project will build upon HSP’s current initiative to make basic, collection-level descriptions for all of HSP’s archival holdings available to researchers online. It will also improve the public visibility of HSP’s post-Civil War collections, a rich but lesser-known part of our holdings.

Greenfield Digital Project

HSP has begun a new digital history project that will highlight one of our flagship collections related to the history of Philadelphia in the 20th-century: the Albert M. Greenfield papers (collection 1959). The project will interpret a historical theme from Greenfield’s papers through a selection of several hundred primary source documents, contextual essays, and teacher resources. We will be digitizing, transcribing, and annotating the primary source documents using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) guidelines, which allow sophisticated searching and analysis of digital documents.

The Greenfield Digital Project is part of a larger effort funded by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation to highlight HSP’s 20th-century holdings. We will also be awarding a new research fellowship in 20th-century history, creating a web portal focusing on HSP’s 20th-century collections, and completing additional archival processing work on the Greenfield papers.

Digital Center for Americana

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the establishment of the “Digital Center for Americana,” a project made possible by the generous support of The Barra Foundation, Robert L. McNeil Jr., Collin Farquhar McNeil, The McLean Contributionship, and The Raab Collection.

The pilot project focused on cataloguing 51 of the Historical Society’s significant 19th-century collections and digitizing letters, photographs, artwork, and other documents in time to commemorate the Civil War’s sesquicentennial in 2011-2015.  Among the items to be digitized are Civil War-related graphics and manuscripts including the papers of President James Buchanan, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, General George Meade, General A. A. Humphreys, financier Jay Cooke, and watercolors and related works by the self-taught artist David Kennedy. The Historical Society holds many nationally significant documents from the Civil War, including information about the 1864 Sanitary Fair, Union Army muster rolls, enlistment certificates, diaries, maps, cartoons, and photographs.

Though the processing of these collections is complete, the DCA is continuing to make strides in digitizing selected items from our collections.

PACSCL Hidden Collections Processing Project

HSP is one of 22 institutions participating in this exciting project to improve access to many hidden collections in the Philadelphia Region.  Project staff will process 512 linear feet of HSP’s unprocessed collections, including the Penn Family Papers, the Logan Family Papers, the World War II Collection, the League of Women Voters of Philadelphia Records, the Dr. Harold E. Cox Transportation Collection, and the Belfield Papers.

For more information about the PACSCL Hidden Collections Processing Project, see their blog.