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  • Announcements

The Pennsylvania Historical Association is pleased to announce that an article appearing in the Spring 2017 issue of its journal, Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, has been awarded the 2017 Arline Custer Memorial Award from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC). “‘The High Price of Living’: The Lives of Insolvent Laborers in Jacksonian-Era Cumberland County,” by Dr. Michael B. McCoy of SUNY–Orange, makes great use of a wonderful primary source, the Cumberland County Insolvent Debtor Petitions, 1799–1860, housed in the Cumberland County, PA, Archives. The article considers the lives and economic conditions of the county’s poor by analyzing the reasons given for insolvency listed on the petitions. Dr. McCoy also tabulated the petitions, providing statistical analysis of them in seven tables. The article makes excellent and exhaustive use of this primary source, which is also on line at The Custer Award committee felt that the article was extremely well researched and written, expertly incorporated charts and tables, presented unique archival materials in a novel way, and was very easy to follow. The Arline Custer Memorial Award is awarded annually for a publication making the best use of archival materials and honors the memory of Arline Custer (1909–1975), MARAC member and editor of the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.

________’s National Endowment for the Humanities Preand Post-Dissertation Research Fellowship deadline is July 31, 2018. Contact, with more information available at Award Range: $500–$2,000. Notification of awards by August 31, 2018. Additional award cycle at end of [End Page 293] year. Pre- and Post-Dissertation Research Fellowships support research in’s collections. Their holdings of archival documents, printed manuscripts, three-dimensional objects, and historical photographs are capable of supporting research in a variety of fields and disciplines relating to the history of Lancaster County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and America from the late seventeenth century to the present. A sampling of special collections include: Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith Papers; the Jasper Yeates Colonial Law Library; the Heritage Center Decorative Arts Collection; the Esprit Pre-WWII Amish Quilt Collection; and over 500,000 Lancaster County and City government records from 1729 to the mid-twentieth century. is also the steward of President James Buchanan’s home, Wheatland, along with many original artifacts and documents belonging to the president and his family.


The Conference of Quaker Historians and Archivists will hold its next biennial conference at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst on June 22–24, 2018. The conference will be followed by an optional post-conference field trip to Quaker sites in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Questions?; Conference website:


William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Culture. A Symposium Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Visual Culture Program will be held at the Library Company of Philadelphia, October 5, 2018. In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Visual Culture Program at the Library Company of Philadelphia (VCP), a one-day symposium will explore the visual, cultural, and social themes elicited from the work of Philadelphia artist William Russell Birch (1755–1834). Inspired by the Library Company’s 2018 exhibition about Birch and his art, the symposium aims to promote discussions that reflect broadly on the continual resonance in American visual culture of the work of this premier enamel miniaturist, aspiring gentleman, and artist of the first American view-books. Contact:


Important Artifact Comes to Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Foundation and Gettysburg National Military Park have teamed up to complete the purchase of an important Gettysburg battlefield artifact: the personal saddle of Union Major General John F. Reynolds, a Lancaster, PA, native [End Page 294] and the highest-ranking officer killed during the Battle of Gettysburg. General Reynolds died on the first day (July 1, 1863) at the Herbst Woods on McPherson’s Ridge, when he was shot off his horse leading the first Union infantry on the scene into battle. His western-style...


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