By: Dylan Robertson
From: Digging Up History
Series: Museum Mysteries
Author: Sheila Connolly
I had kind of mixed feelings when I applied for a summer internship at the Society for the Preservation of Pennsylvania Antiquities. Oh, it had a good reputation, and everyone told me that their collections were great, but did I really want to be cooped up in a musty library in Philadelphia all summer? Still, I figured it would look good on my application when I was trying to find a job after I finished my degree in library science.
I never guessed it would be so exciting! Okay, how could I have known? Nell Pratt (the President of the place), her friend Marty Terwilliger and I spent a week or two discovering things that most people in the museum and library community didn’t have a clue about, even though Philadelphia has been studied for centuries. Even Marty was surprised, although she knew a couple of things that she had never shared with anyone, but which came to light during our “investigation.” Yes, I did mean to say investigation, because there were bodies involved—lots of them—and they didn’t all die peacefully.
There was history and mystery and murder all tangled up together, and I loved figuring things out. And I learned a lot—about archaeology, and genealogy, and what Philadelphia was like two hundred plus years ago. And I also learned how library and museum collections could teach everyone a lot about people and places—not just scholars and college professors. The details about how people lived in seventeen-whatever are hiding right below the surface of the modern city, and all you have to do is dig a little, and then history comes alive to you.
I’ll admit it—I’m hooked. And I’ll never look at this city in the same way again.
Still no cover yet, but soon! At least the book has a title at last, and a pub date in June. Or July. Stay tuned!