Nerd Nite: Archives Edition – October 7, 2015

NEW-NN-Logo-2015October 7, 2015. Doors open at 4pm, show starts at 7:30pm.

Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
$5 cover gets you admission plus happy hour specials all night

Archivists take over the popular bar-based monthly lecture series, Nerd Nite Philly.

Lisa Berry Drago [Chemical Heritage Foundation] will present “You’ve Got Some Gall: Early Modern Inks and Pigments”

So, you’re a monk in the fourteenth century, and you want to copy a few pages of your favorite hymnal. No problem! First, you catch a goat. Then you skin a goat. Then you find some gall nuts on an oak tree, and some good red wine… okay, you get the idea. Writing and book-making were highly specialized arts requiring patience and expertise. This Nerd Nite, you’ll learn about the process of making manuscripts, and even get to try your hand at writing with real iron-gall ink and feather quills.

Tara O’Brien [Historical Society of Pennsylvania] will discuss the history of cursive writing. Maybe we can get her take on the importance of teaching penmanship in Philly public schools?

And Matt Herbison [Drexel University College of Medicine Legacy Center] will talk about “She-Doctors and Shameless Non-Blushers: Women Physicians in the US”

Philly has always been a big medical school town, including the Female Medical College of PA, the first med school for women in the world, founded in 1850 by Quakers (naturally).  Women working outside their accepted sphere of home and family and getting elbows-deep into unwomanly medical situations was far from universally accepted – in fact, over 160 years later, the gender imbalance for doctors is still significant.  To do up Archives Month the way it deserves, we’ll get our own hands dirty with this turbulent history and uncover juicy original documents that reveal the struggles these women faced when they deigned to enter the men’s world of science and medicine

What is Nerd Nite?
Nerd Nite is a monthly lecture event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. It’s often about science or technology, but by no means is it limited to such topics. And it’s definitely entertaining. Our unofficial tag line is “It’s like the Discovery Channel – with beer!” There are Nerd Nites around the world, Philadelphia is just one of them. Take a gander at for more info.

The Place of Pennsylvania – Ongoing Exhibit, 2014

HSPpennaMapTuesday, 10/14/2014 – Friday, 11/7/2014

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
Free and open to the public.

Pennsylvania has long been known as the Keystone State, and not without cause. Its history and culture have been shaped by its place—geographically and otherwise.

In conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical Association annual meeting, HSP will display selections from its collections that look at Pennsylvania as a place, whether geographical, political, or imagined. Included will be items that depict the “place” of Pennsylvania in its region(s) (mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, Northeast, etc.), the nation, and the world as well as Pennsylvania places, large and small, throughout the commonwealth’s history.

Hours exhibit on view (10/14/2014 – 11/7/2014)
Tuesday: 12:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 12:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Thursday: 12:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

More information:

Canonizing Homophile Sexual Respectability: Archives, History, and Memory – October 02, 2014

drummagThursday, 10/2/2014 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
Free and open to the public.
Please RSVP here

Dr. Marc Stein will use Philadelphia LGBT history to explore the sexual dimensions of the past when historians, librarians, archivists, publishers, and others construct and reconstruct historical narratives.

Cosponsored by the Library Company of Philadelphia. Preceeded by a reception at Library Company of Philadelphia at 5:30, with the lecture to follow at HSP at 7 p.m.

More information:

Lost in the Great War, Resurrected from the Archives – October 15, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 6:00pm – 7:00pmWWI

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Please register in advance here

Over twenty-five hundred service people from Philadelphia lost their lives in the Great War, and each of them had a story. Some of their stories live on in the memories of their descendants, many of whom still live in the Philadelphia area today. But many left no descendants, having died young—often in their late teens or early twenties—before they had the opportunity to start a family. As a result, there was no one left to remember and share the story of their lives.

Now, a project is underway to identify and document the lives of those who fell. Inspired by a list of names and addresses discovered in the Pennsylvania State Archives, volunteers from the academic and genealogical communities have come together to create an online database, “The Fallen of the Great War.” Drawing on the energy and expertise of experienced volunteers, the project will produce a biographical encyclopedia, a social science dataset, and an interactive map of Philadelphia, displaying where the service people lived before they left for the Great War.

Learn more about the origins and future of the Fallen of the Great War project. Joyce Homan of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania and Ruth Martin of Heritage Reports will share some of the stories the volunteer researchers have uncovered so far and also discuss the perils and rewards of undertaking such a venture.

Link to more information on the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s website

‘Staches and Spirits – October 16, 2014

fullstacheThursday, 10/16/2014 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
Purchase tickets here

Brush, tease, and apply the pomade for a party all about hair! Guests will enjoy an evening of hors d’oeuvres, raffle prizes, a whiskey tasting from WhistlePig Whiskey, and an exclusive, one-night document display showing some of the best hairstyles through the centuries.

More information:

Historical Society of Pennsylvania: Treasures of the Collection – October 16-25, 2013

HSP’s Treasures of the Collection (Exhibition)
Gallery Open: October 16th-25th; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-5:00pm; Wednesdays 12:30-8:00pm; Fridays 10:00am-5:00pm
Portrait of William Penn by Francis Place

Portrait of William Penn by Francis Place

From October 16 through October 25, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania will display original treasures from its collection, including watercolor portraits of Hannah and William Penn, a handwritten draft of the U.S. Constitution, the journal of Underground Railroad conductor William Still, and more! Because of their national significance and sensitivity to light and temperature, these documents are rarely displayed. This display—free to attend—is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all of these national treasures at one time.  For more information…

History Affiliates Awards Reception – October 24, 2013

History Affiliates imageHistorical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Thursday, October 24, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM (EDT)

The American Helicopter Museum, Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, the Newtown Square Historical Society, and New Hope Historical Society volunteer Roy Ziegler are among the honorees for the second annual History in Pennsylvania “HIP” Awards. The awards will be presented at the History Affiliates Reception on October 24, 2013.

The awards, presented to small and mid-sized history and heritage organizations in Southeastern Pennsylvania, recognize excellence and innovation in the field. The reception, sponsored by PNC, will be held from 5:30–7:30 p.m. at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The keynote speaker will be Bill Marimow, editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at

Awards honor exceptional educational and public programs, community partnership projects, and stewardship and collections care. This year’s awardees come from all across Southeastern Pennsylvania, representing Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties. The 2013 honorees are:

·         Roy Ziegler, longtime volunteer at the New Hope Historical Society, author, and chair of New Hope History Day;

·         American Helicopter Museum for its University Public History Program in which West Chester University students worked with museum volunteers to write audio scripts for exhibits;

· for its partnership with the Delaware County Historic & Preservation Network, which fosters better communication and cooperation between historic societies all over Delaware County;

·         Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion for its Upstairs/Downstairs Interpretation, which focuses on the lives of women of all socioeconomic backgrounds during the Victorian era;

·         Grumblethrope for its youth volunteer program, which teaches students in 6tth grade through high school how to give tours, take care of a two-acre garden, run the farm stand, and other life skills;

·         Newtown Square Historical Society for its Paper Mill House School Tour, in which homeschoolers of all ages interpret history and act as tour guides;

·         Fairmont Park Historic Preservation Trust for its long-term leasing program, which finds innovative uses for historic buildings in the park by leasing them to commercial and nonprofit organizations;

·         Perkasie Historical Society for the restoration of its museum and reorganization and preservation of its collection;

·         Upper Darby Historical Society for its Collen Brook Farm School Tours, in which volunteer guides give tours every spring to 1,000 third grade students; and

·         Arrive Magazine, Amtrak’s bimonthly onboard magazine for the Acela Express train covering the Northeast Corridor that provides a unique and intelligent view of America’s most urban centers of commerce, government, and the arts

“We are thrilled to recognize these 10 individuals and organizations who are innovators in their field,” says Prudence Haines, director of History Affiliates. “These history and heritage organizations—some of them run entirely by volunteers—have done a tremendous job educating the public, caring for historic houses and collections, and working collaboratively. It is important to shine the spotlight on them and acknowledge them for their hard work and dedication to the preservation of history.”

The HIP Awards are presented by History Affiliates, a program created by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and supported by The Barra Foundation. History Affiliates includes more than 350 small and mid-sized organizations across Southeastern Pennsylvania dedicated to preserving local history. The History Affiliates program connects these organizations to one another and gives them the tools and support they need to reach their goals. By working together, we will raise awareness of the importance of local history, advocate with a strong and unified voice, and strengthen our entire community.

Membership in History Affiliates is free. Members receive a monthly e-newsletter, discounts to professional development events, and access to a members directory and industry resources. Learn more at

Grand Reopening of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania – October 16, 2013

HSP reopening celebrationHistorical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, October 16, 12:30-8 p.m.
Come to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania on Wednesday, October 16, to see the library’s redesigned lobby, library, and collection vaults. During the grand reopening celebration, the public can view Treasures of the Collection, a special document display featuring watercolor portraits of Hannah and William Penn, a handwritten draft of the U.S. Constitution, the journal of Underground Railroad conductor William Still, and more! Because of their national significance and sensitivity to light and temperature, these documents are rarely displayed. This display—free to attend—is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all of these national treasures at one time.Also on October 16, HSP will offer free behind-the-scenes tours of its library (on the hour). See firsthand how a document is mended and restored; learn how archivists organize and catalog historic materials, and walk in the footsteps of our librarians as you enter a collection storage vault. Visitors to HSP will also enjoy free refreshments, special membership promotions, and half-price admission to our research library.HSP began renovating its library, which was designed by architect Addison Hutton and dates to the early 20th century, last March. As part of the renovations, the Society constructed a 10-foot-high digital wall that displays images from the collection, modernized our lobby to make it more welcoming, improved HSP’s security system to ensure the safety of the library’s archive, and installed compact storage shelving to make more room for our growing collection.
RSVP info: Events are free, but pre-registration is requested. For more information visit