Last week, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania announced that it would be laying off one-third of its staff, citing financial instability and operating deficits.
The society has been looking to partner with one of Philadelphia’s academic institutions, but have had no success—talks with UPenn fell through, and talks with Drexel have been slow-going.
HSP was founded in 1824 and houses over 600,000 printed items and nearly 20 million manuscripts. The society’s operating budget is around $3 million, with an operating deficit of $400,000. Prior to the layoffs, HSP was staffed by about 35 people.
CEO Charles T. Cullen stated, ““My thoughts and sympathies are with the staff members whose roles were eliminated today […] employees bring talent and heart to their jobs, and I am deeply grateful for their service. With a leaner team in place, we will be refocusing our efforts on the core of our mission: serving as a research library and archive.”
Regular library operating hours and research services will be unaffected by the lay-offs.