In fall of 2011, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) was awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support 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 throughout Pennsylvania, including small historical societies, museums, historic sites, and other institutions.  The Mellon Foundation grant funds the initial fourteen-month pilot phase of the project, which focuses on Philadelphia and one suburban county, and is developing and refining methodologies for later phases of the project.  During the pilot phase, project staff are creating a directory of all the small archival and manuscript repositories in the two-county pilot area and are surveying the collections of twenty-five repositories as a representative sample.  Both the directory and survey information will be made available to the public on HSP’s website.

Project director for HCI-PSAR is Jack McCarthy, a certified archivist and archival/historical consultant who has many years of experience working with small archival repositories.  HSP Director of Archives and Collections Management Matthew Lyons serves as project supervisor. Additional staff includes two project surveyors, Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza, and a part-time project coordinator, Andreé Mey Miller.

This project will help bring to light the rich and important archival and manuscript collections held by Pennsylvania’s many small historical organizations.

For more information, contact project coordinator Andreé Mey Miller (215) 732-6200 ext. 234 or ammiller@hsp.org.

About the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Founded in 1824 in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania inspires people to create a better future through historical understanding. It is home to some 600,000 printed items and more than 21 million manuscript and graphic items. Its unparalleled collections encompass more than 300 years of America’s history—from its 17th-century origins to the contributions of its most recent immigrants. The society’s remarkable holdings together with its educational programming make it one of the nation’s most important special collections libraries: a center of historical documentation and study, education, and engagement.


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