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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

October 26, 2016

During recent installation of new brick for what will become the Stated Clerks Square, masons removed from inside the sundial in our front lawn a metal cylinder two feet high and eight inches in circumference. I had had no idea that we owned a time capsule, but naturally we do. The institution is 154 years old; it will continue to disgorge secrets.

Patrons occasionally ask us questions about time capsules: Where should we put our time capsule? What should it be made out of? What should we put in it? It's probably best...

December 11, 2012

Food and cooking may not strike many as an integral part of Presbyterian heritage. However, if you were to search CALVIN, our online electronic catalog, and type in “cookbook” under Key word, you would retrieve 24 results. Try “cook book” and you get 19 results. Search “recipes” and you get 43 items. Throughout Presbyterian history congregations have been publishing recipes, most often in church anniversary publications or histories.

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September 27, 2012

We're pleased to report that J. Oscar McCloud, notable Presbyterian minister and civil rights worker, has donated a large body of his personal papers to the Presbyterian Historical Society. Ten cubic feet of sermons and correspondence, journals from his travels abroad, historic photographs and other materials document McCloud's 50 years of service to the denomination.

Born in 1936 in rural Georgia, raised on a plantation, McCloud attended Boggs Academy and Warren Wilson College before graduating in sociology from Berea College. While pursuing a master's in divinity from...

August 21, 2012

The formative years of American Presbyterianism occurred between 1706 and 1789. During those 83 years, early Presbyterians founded the first presbytery in Philadelphia, organized the first synod in 1716 and the first General Assembly in 1789. In addition, American Presbyterians formed about 24 presbyteries.

Of the original presbyteries formed between 1706 and 1789, PHS holds records for 17 of them. The public services staff has created an early presbytery records guide that lists all the documents from these original presbyteries held at the Presbyterian Historical Society. From...

April 17, 2012

Shortly after celebrating its 60th anniversary in 1912, PHS president Henry Van Dyke articulated his vision for a future Presbyterian Historical Society.

The Society, he noted, “should have a home of its own [in Philadelphia], designed and fitted for its special use…ready to welcome all visitors and guests.” Van Dyke added, “Such a house would surely become…a meeting place for people of good will and loyal memories who do not forget the faith and deeds of their forefathers.”

It would take another 55 years for Van Dyke’s...

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