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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

August 24, 2015

A church will often keep its membership data--including addresses, phone numbers, emails, demographics, and all kinds of things that would never go into a register as a matter of polity or history--in membership management software, whereas its permanent record of membership--including baptisms, marriages, deaths, suspensions, and so on--will be committed to paper, often in register volumes spanning 25 or 50 years. Membership software facilitates a great many short-term actions, such as sending a mass mailing. The paper register is persistent across the long term and lets...

July 10, 2015

In today's digitally saturated world, we're creating more data than ever before. Records of known importance we save in preservation friendly file formats, ensuring findability and security. But what about digital ephemera--the by-product of our digital interactions with each other? What's being done about those data points?


April 10, 2015

As I prepared for the recent arrival of a new baby in my family, and my maternity leave from work, I prepped lots of tools to ensure that the people and processes I support can continue smoothly while I'm away. Even though much of my work can be done remotely I wanted to ensure that only select information comes to me; others on staff are trained how to access the tools that I'm responsible for. This built in redundancy is good for the institution, as it allows for less disruptive transitions, but it's also for employees, who get more time to focus on their lives away from work...

February 10, 2015

Fifty years ago, PHS was in the process of planning for a move from Philadelphia's Witherspoon Building to a new (faux Colonial) building at 425 Lombard Street, our current location. Below is a brief write-up that appeared in the Presbyterian Key, our newsletter at the time, showing the planned-for second floor. The write-up and image were located and scanned by Stephanie Becker, the Society's reformatting technician.

There are plans, and then there are plans that get made. Former staff...

February 10, 2015

For the first installment of our Staff Spotlight series, we sit down with Public Services Assistant Taja Jones to learn about her roles at PHS and what makes her tick. 

What do you do at PHS?

I draft letters for the Reference Archivists and retrieve materials for visiting researchers. I also conduct many of the Genealogy Research Service requests and manage the Facebook page. 

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a native Philadelphian and avid concertgoer (I’m...

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