Historical Society of Pennsylvania

1 Dec 2016


The Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s façade at night, with the digital wall in view. Photo by Vincent Fraley.


Photograph ca. 1991 depicting the Estampas Colombianas dance company, from the Estampas Colombianas photographs (PG380). Photo courtesy of Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


Dr. Anonymous at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting in 1972. Photo by Kay Tobin, courtesy New York Public Library Collections.


The Historical Society of Pennsylvania's digital display wall and exhibition cases. Photo by Vincent Fraley, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


A scene from If She Stood by Ain Gordon. Photo by Nadine M. Patterson.

Founded in 1824 in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) is home to over 600,000 printed items and more than 21 million manuscripts and graphic items. Its collections encompass more than 350 years of America’s history. A 2010 Center grant supported HSP’s efforts to plan for improved physical and technological access to its records by rethinking its historic building, constructed in the 1830s. HSP received Center support for its 2014 project An Artist Embedded in History, an immersive, two-year project in which Obie award-winning playwright Ain Gordon “embedded” himself in the organization’s daily functions in order to reflect on the complex processes of how history gets documented and preserved. In 2017, the organization received a Center grant to present Audience Embedded, engaging Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community in developing new programming, inspired by the history preserved in the collections of HSP and Taller Puertorriqueño.