Prandial Diplomacy

David Nichols Blog Post

Thanksgiving evokes complex emotions for many Americans. The holiday has much symbolic and emotional work to accomplish: it is a celebration of families (however dysfunctional), a harvest festival, an occasion for civic parades, a last rest before entering the Christmas shopping gauntlet, and an official holiday (for most of us) from work and school. Buried beneath these functions, and distorted by kitsch, lies Thanksgiving's status as the United States' closest national equivalent to an Indigenous People's Day.* The holiday allegedly commemorates the first formal act of friendship, a 1621

Chester County Archives

Joseph-James Ahern Blog Post

On January 24, 1737 Joseph Parker petitioned the Commissioners of the County of Chester expressing his concern for the safety of the public record.  The newly erected court house being ill-suited to store these valuable records,

It is apparent to Every Person that will make use of his Eyes that the Doors are

most commonly  Left open for Horses and cattle to go in and out at Pleasure

the Furniture broke and Exceedingly Diminished and the place made a comon

Stage whereby Rude people Breaks the windows … which if not timely Prevented

must End in the Ruin thereof


This early petition set the stage for

Shippensburg University, located in Shippensburg, PA, was founded in 1871 as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School. In 1926 Shippensburg became the first normal school in Pennsylvania to receive a charter enabling it to be classified as a state teachers college. In 1960, Governor David L. Lawrence singed Act No. 788 into law, which changed the names of the fourteen state teachers colleges, and Shippensburg became known as Shippensburg State College. The institution acquired university status in 1983. Shippensburg University still maintains an elementary school on campus, which is part of

The Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church resides on a parcel of land located on the corner of Sixth and Lombard Streets, that was purchased in 1791 by Richard Allen. The first structure was an old blacksmith shop which was converted into a place of worship and dedicated in 1794.  In 1805, a second larger structure and additional land were needed to accommodate the growing membership. By 1841, the third church was newer and built of bricks and stone. The fourth church, a finer structure, was dedicated in October 1890.  Over time the church has been refurbished and upgrades have been

University Archives and Records Center, University of Pennsylvania

Joseph-James Ahern Blog Post

The University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1755 by Benjamin Franklin as a nonsectarian local institution with a focus on educating the future leaders of business and government in Philadelphia. In the 259 years since its creation, the University of Pennsylvania has grown to include a Medical School (1765), Law School (1850), and a School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (185) – to name a few – and is an eminent, world-class institution for the creation and dissemination of knowledge, serving as a model for colleges and universities throughout the world. The University Archives and