11:30 am - 1:30 pm


Universty of PA Library
3420 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 19104

Event Type

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For the final meeting of the 2022-2023 program year, Mike McGratch and the History and Library Committee of PSPA will host members at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center of the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 11:30 am at the Library location at 3420 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 (see directions below.)

Primarily, the goals of this field trip relate not only to building awareness among PSPA of the archival resources that are available but also to spread the word about the breadth and depth of the resources as well as about using the modern research tools that are available.  Lynne Farrington, Director of Programs and Senior Curator, Special Collections will be our host and will help all of us to better understand the innovations that have enhanced research in the PSPA collection.

A major asset of PSPA, the Library of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture was deposited with the University of Pennsylvania in 1888, at a time when the Society’s activities had ceased and very few living members remained. It was the discovery of the Society’s papers stored in the basement of the new university library (now the Furness Fines Arts building) that led to the revival of the Society in the early twentieth century. Thus, the Library survives both as a monument to the past and as a source of new beginning.

Rich in artifactual value, the manuscripts of the early American period also provide uncommon resources for the study of the American farmer’s quest for improved farming practices. As the economy of the new nation became dependent on a scientific approach to farming that would develop agriculture into a strong basic economy, the records of the Society’s correspondence and activities document the results of new methods of planting, fertilizing, harvesting, and the breeding and care of livestock.

Program Schedule

  • 11:30 AM: Gather for networking and fellowship
  • 12 Noon:  Lunch
  • 12:45 PM: Presentation
  • Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity to view some outstanding items from our holdings at the Lea Library.


  • The Library is a short walk from 30th St. Station for those taking the train
  • Take the Market-Frankford El (“Blue Line”) at 34th & Market Streets or 40th & Market Streets. Get off at the 5th Street exit. Exit towards the Tourist Information Center. Walk away from Market Street towards Chestnut and Walnut Streets. The Library is 2 1/2 blocks from the entrance/exit of the subway.
  • Some regional trains stop at the “Penn Medicine Station’ which is a short walk from the Library.
  • Public parking garages are at the corner of 34th and Chestnut Streets, entrance on 34th, and 38th and Walnut, entrance on Walnut.


  • Thursday, June 1, 2023 with program beginning at 11:30 am.
  • Registration fee is $35 and pre-registration is required.  Lunch will be a sandwich buffet.  Register by contacting pspaonline@gmail.com with the name(s) of the people attending, their affiliations, and emails.
  • Make check out to Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture and mail to PSPA Treasurer, 1380 Wisteria Dr., Malvern, PA 19355.
  • Click here and follow the link to purchase your ticket for luncheon meetings with PayPal or Credit Card.

Contact Scott Sheely at pspaonline@gmail.com with any questions.  Registrations ends by COB on Friday, May 26, 2023.