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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.

March 18, 2020
Oil painting of Lydia Bailey by Jacob Eichholtz, 1827. Courtesy of Wikicommons.

Bound tight in a wrap of worn scarlet-leather, the thin little book hid snug, sandwiched between an assortment of larger, to-be-cataloged books with unexceptional covers and designs. I’d plucked the random selection off the mint-green shelving unit where they, like hundreds of other books, stood staged, awaiting my cataloguing attention. As I’d done every workday prior, I planned to...

March 16, 2020
Belle Hawkes, Iran, 1883. [Pearl ID: 159892]

In celebration of Women’s History Month, PHS is happy to announce the digitization of four collections that spotlight Presbyterian women’s experiences in the late nineteenth century.

PHS was able to digitize these stories as part of In Her Own Right: Women Asserting Their Civil Rights, 1820-1920, a pilot-project executed by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries...

October 25, 2019

--by Deanna Ferree Womack

Church archives can be treasure troves for research on missions and Christianity around the globe. I found this to be true when working on my first book, Protestants, Gender and the Arab Renaissance in Late Ottoman Syria.

Missionary Treasure Troves

The “treasures” that I sought when researching Protestantism in...

July 11, 2019

--by Julia Flynn Siler

Donaldina Cameron (1869-1968) captured the nation’s imagination at the turn of the 20th century by running a “safe house” for vulnerable girls and young women on the edge of San Francisco’s Chinatown. She was a tall, auburn-haired woman with a Scottish lilt who fascinated headline writers and the public alike.

Cameron wasn’t the founder of the Presbyterian Mission House in Chinatown, nor did she run it single-handedly. The home opened in 1874, more than two decades before Cameron first arrived as a sewing...

April 7, 2019

“At a time where feminist values were disparaged, marginalized, and trivialized as ‘politically correct,’ Voices of Sophia called the PC(USA) to its historic commitments to women, to justice, and to reformation. It encouraged spiritual growth, renewal, and interpersonal connections around women’s theologies and justice issues.” –-Janet Lowery

In 1993, the feminist Re-Imagining Conference caused an uproar throughout the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The PC(USA) had...

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