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Preserving the Past: Stories from the Records of

Philadelphia’s Historic Congregations

2023-02-09 18:30:00 2023-02-09 19:30:00 America/Indiana/Indianapolis Preserving the Past: Stories from the Records of Virtual Genealogy -

Thursday, February 09
6:30pm - 7:30pm

Add to Calendar 2023-02-09 18:30:00 2023-02-09 19:30:00 America/Indiana/Indianapolis Preserving the Past: Stories from the Records of Join us for a FREE, virtual program on Thursday, February 9th at 6:30 p.m. EST! Virtual Genealogy -

Join us for a FREE, virtual program on Thursday, February 9th at 6:30 p.m. EST!

Long before Borough Hall, the State Archives or even Facebook gathered details on people’s daily lives, one’s church might be the only place making note of your birth, death, and milestones in between. The history held by these churches is a treasure, but a buried one. These houses of worship were designed to serve their congregants and a religious purpose, not the needs of academics and others searching for illumination of the past. Five years ago, Carol Smith and the Christ Church Preservation Trust undertook to unearth these treasures, hold them up to the light and place them where all could see it.

Carol’s work with Christ Church led to a major public-records project to publish the long-hidden records of more than a dozen of Philadelphia’s oldest congregations. She’ll recount these efforts and some of the stories discovered in her upcoming (virtual) talk.

Carol W. Smith is an independent curator and archivist who has worked with the Christ Church Archives since 2005 when she was hired to create a digital archives website.  Since then, that website, www.christchurch.org, through her efforts has made available to the public a wealth of information about the history, records and precious artifacts of that 325-year-old national treasure. She has worked to create exhibits, oversee the move and expansion of the archives, undertake an oral history program, oversee conservation treatment of artifacts and archival holdings and increase digital access to materials. 

Building on her work at Christ Church, she now heads a major public-records project that involves publishing the long-hidden records of more than a dozen of Philadelphia’s oldest congregations. To date, more than 82,000 records of burials, marriages, baptisms, and church-related events from the 18th and 19th centuries have been digitized and posted publicly. Together, they constitute a trove of hitherto-hidden material that will be a very valuable resource for genealogical and academic researchers. The five-year project, now nearing completion, was funded initially by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Council  on Library and Information Resources, with supplemental funding from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Connelly Foundation. The results of that project can be viewed at www.philadelphiacongregations.org . In 2022 she received the Sister M. Claude Lane award from the Society of American Archivists for her work on this project. 

Carol Smith has a BA in American Civilization and an MA in Material Culture from the University of Pennsylvania in American Civilization and is a certified archivist.  Other long-term clients include The Philadelphia Contributionship, Fireman’s Hall Museum and the Carpenters’ Company of the City and County of Philadelphia (Carpenters’ Hall). 

Register in advance for this program!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the program

AGE GROUP: | Middle School | High School | Adults |

EVENT TYPE: | Family History & Genealogy |

TAGS: | Genealogy |

Virtual Genealogy


Hours
Mon, Feb 06 9:00AM to 9:00PM
Tue, Feb 07 9:00AM to 9:00PM
Wed, Feb 08 9:00AM to 9:00PM
Thu, Feb 09 9:00AM to 9:00PM
Fri, Feb 10 9:00AM to 6:00PM
Sat, Feb 11 9:00AM to 6:00PM
Sun, Feb 12 12:00PM to 5:00PM

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