Our Work in the Archives, First Quarter 2019
The archivists at PHS have had an active winter and spring -- bringing in content, building digital collections, reaching out to new constituents -- and it's our pleasure to tell you more about our work.
For the first quarter of 2019, archivists answered a total of 845 reference questions, which included serving 114 in-house patrons for a total of 227 patron days. In-house researchers visited PHS from 17 U.S. states, and Chile, China, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. We were busier in the first quarter of 2019 than for the same period last year.
PHS is working with four classes from the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP): African American History to 1877; 19th Century American History; Philadelphia History: Architecture and Planning; and Creative Writing. CCP student Marcus Baldwin is also joining us as an intern for the semester. Marcus is primarily working with archivist Jenny Barr on processing photographs from the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. Congo Mission.
During the first quarter, records held at PHS from First, Second, and Third Presbyterian churches in Philadelphia were scanned at the Athenaeum as part of a the Council on Library and Information Resources Digitizing Hidden Collections grant on early Philadelphia congregations.
At PHS, work continued on the Religious News Service Photographs grant project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Allison Davis and Cecilia Figliuolo began scanning and describing select images and applying metadata, and Gabriela Zoller began uploading images to the Religious News Service Photographs Collection in Pearl.
In March, Janet Lowery, a retired PC(USA) pastor came to PHS to work on records of the Voices of Sophia with Pam Byers Memorial Fund Project Archivist Elizabeth Wittrig.
Elizabeth processed other PBMF related collections, conducted oral histories, and created a timeline of LGBTQIA+ history in the PC(USA) for the Pam Byers Memorial Collecting Initiative page on the PHS website.
Allison and Cecilia scanned 30,803 images this quarter, completing 65 orders. Records Archivist David Staniunas transferred 14 audio-visual items to digital formats.