Museum Spotlight: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Guest post submitted by Brian Hannagan of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Museum: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP)HSPlogo

Founded: 1824 (Making it one of the oldest historical societies in the United States)

Mission: To inspire people to create a better future through historical understanding

Known For: One of the most prolific and comprehensive collections of genealogical, ethnic, and early American resources in the nation, consisting of over 21 million documents including the first draft of the United States Constitution, an original printer’s proof of the Declaration of Independence, and the earliest surviving American photograph. HSP is a membership-based nonprofit research library, but is especially dedicated to sharing history with the Philadelphia region’s schools and educators.

Popular Programs: HSP hosts many engaging programs including genealogical workshops, teacher workshops, and lecturer series from prominent authors. Past lecturers have included such notable figures as Cokie Roberts.

Fun Fact: HSP’s recent renovations focused on better public accessibility to the library’s collections. This included new display cases available to see for free for the public. Conveniently located at 13th and Locust, it’s easy to pop in for a quick, free peek at some of this nation’s most prominent history. Currently on display through June 6th: Drawn and Quartered: Political Cartoons from the Collections

Future Plans: While the library is primarily a research library, HSP has an emerging Young Friends group that hosts terrific events. The next event will be on June 13th, 2014 –A WWII Stage Door Canteen Party.

Guests will enjoy an evening of hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and get in the spirit with live entertainment from the renowned Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus!  Then compete in a caption contest using our collection of original photos from the Stage Door Canteen for a gift certificate provided by Lucky Strike Lanes!

Everyone will have the chance to enter the raffle – items provided by Barnes Foundation, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Eastern State Penitentiary, Lucky Strike, Modern Eye, Mural Arts Program, Paper on Pine, Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia History Museum, the Rosenbach Museum and Library, the Stoogeum, and Uber.

Tickets are $25 ($30 at the door) and are available to purchase at stagedoor or by calling (215) 732 – 6200 ext. 243. Space is limited. Must be 21 or over. Proceeds will support the Adopt-a-collection program at HSP.

Philly EMP Pro Tip: Make this June twice as fun when you purchase the joint-ticket for the HSP’s Canteen Party and the Philadelphia History Museum’s Cocktails in the Courtyard: A Black & White Garden Party, Thursday, June 26! Your ticket grants access to two fabulous evenings at a special discounted price, with proceeds going to HSP’s Adopt a Collection program, and Philadelphia History Museum’s Young Friend’s mission to educate Philadelphia’s youth about their city by raising funds to support school groups visiting the Museum.


To submit a guest post for the Philly EMP website, send an email to phillyemp[at]gmail[dot]com


One response to “Museum Spotlight: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

  1. I have been following these PEMP events with interest and wonder if someone at HSP is documenting, evaluating participation and following up with reports or disseminating the long-term results of these programs. This would be very valuable information for museums and other cultural institutions to have. What difference are these events having in young people’s lives and how are they affecting the tenor and thrust of the institution?

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