Historical Society of Pennsylvania Project Collections

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania was founded in 1824 and serves as a research library and archive. Collection holdings include printed material, manuscripts, and graphics related to the history Mid-Atlantic region and national and ethnic organizations.

This site hosts digitized project-related material.  HSP's online catalog can be accessed here. You can also access more digitized material on our Digital Library.

In Her Own Right

The In Her Own Right project aims to showcase material related to women thinkers, philanthropists, and activists in the century leading up to the 19th amendment. Philadelphia was one of the most important centers of the early women's rights movement, and had a long tradition of women striving to participate in political, educational, and work-related activities. Since women were barred from engaging in electoral politics, voluntary associations were formed as a means of creating a separate spheres of educational, cultural, and philanthropic activity. In 1795, a group of Quaker woman formed the Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor, which was the first women-founded charitable society in the United States. Dozens of philanthropic assocations managed by Philadelphia women were formed thereafter. The region was also one of the most important centers of the women's suffrage movement. Many of the most prominent suffragists, such as Alice Paul, Dora Kelly Lewis, and Caroline Katzenstein, originated from the area.

The Historical Society's In Her Own Right Project collections include the Deborah Norris Logan diaries, the minutes of the  Woman Suffrage  Society of Philadelphia and Woman Suffrage Party of Logan, the Dora Kelly Lewis Correspondence, and the records of the Magdalen Society, the Philadelphia Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons, and the Indigent Widows' and Single Women's Society/Ralston House.

For more information on the In Her Own Right project, contributing repositories, and digitized material, see the project website.

Pemberton family papers - PRINT Project

The Pemberton family papers were digitized in 2018 in collaboration with Dr. Rosalind Beiler of the University of Central Florida and the PRINT Project. The collection includes two volumes of  correspondence of prominent English Quakers who migrated to Philadelphia in the seventeenth century. The documents provide insight to the persecution of the Quaker in England and the early religious, social, and economic history of Pennsylvania.