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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.

April 24, 2023

In 1987, the first Black woman ordained in the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, used the term Womanist to explore an interpretation of the Bible that was concerned with Black women’s liberation. Her book that followed one year later, Black Womanist Ethics, helped launch the field of womanist ethics.

The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) is thrilled to announce that this year, 35 years after the publication of her groundbreaking work, the entirety of Rev. Dr. Cannon’s personal papers has been digitized and made freely accessible through...

April 24, 2023

Thanks to PHS Board member Michael Livingston, we've recently digitized a collection of the records of Edler Hawkins, the first Black moderator of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A (UPCUSA). Included in the digitized collection are two pocket-size commonplace books Hawkins read from when called upon to speak. One is chiefly his typescripts of Langston Hughes poems, the other a book of songs, including the "Internationale."

Born in 1908 in the Bronx, Hawkins...

April 24, 2023

In August 2022, PHS staff visited Alexander Library’s Special Collections and University Archives at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey to survey the records of More Light Presbyterians. Staff viewed around 10 cubic ft. of the 54 cubic ft. collection and...

April 24, 2023

I support the Presbyterian Historical Society because of what I didn’t know.

Although a life-long Presbyterian, I didn’t really know much about PHS when I joined the Board. I knew it was the National Archives of the PC(USA) with responsibility for preserving official congregational and denominational records.

However, among other things, I didn’t know that PHS actively seeks to expand under-represented portions of its collection with efforts like the...

October 24, 2022

Building Knowledge and Breaking Barriers is an archives-based learning project between the Presbyterian Historical Society and Community College of Philadelphia.


Briana is one of 7 current and former Community College of Philadelphia students who designed exhibits during the Building Knowledge and Breaking Barriers project.

An aspiring artist and historian as well as a fourth-generation...

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