First Two Weeks at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

First Two Weeks at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Going into the summer, I was constantly being asked what I intended on doing with my time. I told everyone that I would be interning for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the second largest historical archive in the country to the Library of Congress, but beyond that I wasn’t entirely sure myself.   I knew my job would involve a decent amount of writing and researching, both things I have come to enjoy throughout my time at Haverford as a political science major, but I didn’t know what I would be researching or for which kind of audience. Upon arriving, I soon realized why I was unsure of my job description. HSP doesn’t often assign it’s interns specific tasks with strict deadlines: rather I was given the freedom to tell my supervisor what areas I wanted to be most involved in, and furthermore, which topics I wanted to explore the most. Having worked in an office before, I am well aware of how rare it is that an undergraduate intern ┬áhas the agency to pursue subjects that are genuinely of interest, as opposed to running menial errands for everyone else.   So far I have been working on the interactive online map used for the public, wherein there are links containing historical information about hundreds of significant locations in Philadelphia. Thus far I have been researching two main topics–both of which are very relevant to things happening right now. The first is about the Reading Viaduct project–the expansive abandoned railroad that the city is trying to turn into a park, much like the New York City Highline. I am...