Historical Society of Pennsylvania print collection

The Society Print collection provides a rich visual catalog of various local, regional, national, and international areas, locales, institutions, and scenes. Despite the vast range of subjects under which the collection is arranged, the majority of the collection is centered on Philadelphia and Pen...

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Bibliographic Details
Corporate Author: Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Creator)
Collection:Historical Society of Pennsylvania Print Collection
Collection Number:V89
Format: Manuscript
Language:English
Subjects:
Online Access:Link to finding aid
Physical Description: 28.2 Linear feet 28.2 linear feet, 75 boxes
Summary: The Society Print collection provides a rich visual catalog of various local, regional, national, and international areas, locales, institutions, and scenes. Despite the vast range of subjects under which the collection is arranged, the majority of the collection is centered on Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. The images date from the early 1800s to the mid twentieth century. Items in the collection primarily include reproductions of prints, drawings, lithographs, etchings, woodcuts, and photographs, many of which have been clipped from newspapers, magazines, and calendars. There are also postcards, greeting cards, and invitations. Additionally, the collection includes scattered original artworks such as watercolors and drawings, as well as original photographs. This collection is divided into three categories according to size: small, medium, and large. It is further arranged alphabetically within each size according to subject. The small prints have been housed in boxes, while the medium and large prints are housed in oversized folders. A detailed inventory of the small prints is available in HSP’s library. Subjects within the collection are quite varied and include everything from banks, insurance companies, museums, and libraries, to stadiums, churches, bridges, mills, schools, and amusement parks. Images under the heading “foreign views” show mostly landscapes, cityscapes, and landmarks from European nations such as Germany, Italy, and France; however, there are also views from countries such as Cuba, Brazil, and Liberia. Those pictures under the “groups” heading depict groups of people in various civil, historical, and military situations. Another sizeable group of images are those under “residences,” which show primarily the houses of famous Pennsylvanians, such as James Logan, Robert Morris, and various members of the Penn family. There are also several folders of images of famous ships, such as the Alabama, the Constitution, and the Mayflower. Under the heading “stores and factories,” images are arranged according to what was being sold or manufactured: e.g., chemical supplies, dry goods, glass, iron, marble, pianos. Those seeking images related to Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, or Abraham Lincoln, will find them under the headings ‘Frankliniana,” “Washingtoniana,” and “Lincolniana.” Two other significant groups of images are listed under “Pennsylvania” and “United States,” which depict views across the state and most of the nation, respectively. Additions: Abbotts Dairies photograph and letter. Abbotts Dairies operated in Philadelphia for at least several decades and appears to have gone bankrupt in the mid-1980s. This donation consists of a circa 1910 photograph of three of Abbott's horse-drawn carts with three men, one of whom is holding a small trophy. There is also a circa 1975 letter and envelope addressed to Mike Wolf of Richard Rubin & Co., Inc., Philadelphia, PA, requesting that this photo be returned, and two photocopies of the photograph. Unaccession additions (as of 2/24/11) to this collection include three photographic prints of architectural drawings of the Academy of Music. Once accessioned, these prints should go with the originals that we already have in Medium prints -- Theatres.