Historical Societies: News and Highlights

Historical Societies: News and Highlights presents news and information about Pennsylvania's regional and county historical societies.

Annual Federation Meeting Report

The Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies (PFHS) held its 75th annual meeting, hosted by the Delaware County Historical Society, on April 30 – May 1, 1982 at the Ramada Inn, Ess­ington. The scheduled events began on Friday, April 30, with a provocative opening address entitled “300 Years of History: Now That We Have It, What Do We Do With It?” by Dr. Larry Tise, executive director of the PHMC and ex­ecutive secretary of the PFHS. Follow­ing the keynote talk, participants chose to attend one of three concurrent workshops. “Making Photographs Ac­cessible” centered on the identification, preservation, indexing and mounting of photographs, with an emphasis on long-range retrieval, while “Conservation for the Small Budget” suggested what could be done in-house to save paper and similar artifacts, as well as how to develop conservation and disaster plans. Both programs encouraged group involvement by working with materials which those in attendance had brought with them. The third session, “Building a Historical Constituency,” focused on ways to exert the most effective in­fluence on those state and national pro­grams which affect history. The day concluded with an interesting candle­light tour of early Delaware County sites, including the 1683 Caleb Pusey House, the 1704 Newlin Grist Mill and the Concord Friends Meeting, and a din­ner at the seventeenth century Concord Mill.

On Saturday, three more informative workshops were offered: “Hanging An Exhibit On a Shoestring”; “Scripting the Unlikely,” on the integration of disparate materials into a cohesive whole; and “The Pennsylvania Human­ities Council as a Funding Source,” which included recommendations on bow to prepare an effective grant pro­posal. The annual Federation business meeting followed with reports, resolu­tions, elections and the presentation of awards and recognitions, including the S.K. Stevens Award which this year went to the Zelienople Historical Socie­ty. (More on this and the other awards in an upcoming issue of PH.)

The luncheon address, “William Penn: Man and Monument,” an ex­amination of the founder’s relevance to­day, was given by Dr. J. William Frost of Swarthmore College. The meeting came to an end with optional tours to various sites in Delaware County, “Where Pennsylvania Began.”


Year of the House

Historical Bethlehem Incorporated, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to restoring and preserving Bethlehem history, is currently celebrating “The Year of the House.” The events connected with the celebra­tion, including lectures and tours relating to the home and home fur­nishings, are being presented in honor of the organization’s twenty-fifth anniver­sary. A highlight of the planned ac­tivities will occur on August 28 [1982] when HBI will hold the grand opening of the 1869 Luckenbach Grist Mill, which is currently being restored under a grant from the Commonwealth. On that same date, the 1762 Waterworks will also be officially dedicated as a National His­toric Landmark.

Special events connected with “The Year of the House” will continue in the fall, beginning on September 28 [1982] with a lecture on architecture through the nineteenth century, a tour of two early nine­teenth century mansions in Philadel­phia’s Fairmount Park and a look at Pennsylvania German An at the Phila­delphia Museum of Art. On November 9 [1982], reproduction wall coverings will be featured during a “Day in Historic Bethlehem,” an annual jubilee dedicated to the enjoyment of Bethlehem’s Historic District through tours, bouti­ques and food.

For information on these and other HBI programs write HBI, 501 Main St., Bethlehem 18018.


Historical Society Notes

Chester County has introduced a novel program as part of its Tercen­tenary observance – each county com­munity is being honored with a recogni­tion week in the order of its date of in­corporation. As part of the program, each community will receive special at­tention at weekly meetings of the county commissioners and will have the oppor­tunity to present an exhibit in the win­dow of the Mosteller building in West Chester. In addition, the Chester Coun­ty Historical Society is offering a special benefit to residents as their community is being honored. During “their” week the society will grant free museum ad­mission to community residents in the hope that countians will visit.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced September 1, 1982 as the next application deadline for Challenge Grants, which encourage humanities organizations to seek funds from non-federal sources. The NEH program requires that each organization which receives matching grants must raise $3 in increased donations for each federal dollar awarded. Among those in­stitutions eligible for the grants are museums, historical organizations, universities, junior and community col­leges, nonprofit associations and libraries. Applications should be submitted in accordance with guidelines which can be obtained by writing to Challenge Grant Guidelines, Mail Stop 3St, NEH, Washington, D.C. 20506.