Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Home to more than 21 million manuscripts and items, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania is second only to the Library of Congress in holdings of historic documents concerning the heritage of the country.  Located in a landmark 19th century building, the Society needed a major refurbishment to enhance the visitor experience, restore the building’s crumbling facade, expand collection storage, and upgrade building systems and security for the priceless collection. The lobby and reception desk were redesigned to improve staff sightlines, enhance the view of the Society’s grand staircase and link with a new patron lounge.  Entrance and egress are monitored by state-of-the-art security equipment while a ten-foot digital wall, visible from the street, displays a rotating array of graphics illustrating the Society’s extraordinary holdings.  In the Reference Room, visitors enjoy an Information Commons, including computer stations, new microfilm readers and digital copier, improved lighting and large vitrines that display original documents from the collection. Multiple floors of collection vaults now have improved climate controls and a compact, high-density storage system that allows for growth.