Case | HBS Case Collection | November 1996 (Revised February 1997)

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, The

by Stephen A. Greyser and Stephanie L. Woerner


The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) runs one of the nation's most important research libraries and a museum focusing on colonial history. Financial analysis shows that the society has absorbed increased costs of operation over the past decade through slow but steady depletion of its endowment and deferment of capital investments. Now the board is faced with three options: 1) continue to operate both the research library and the museum on a dwindling resource base; 2) continue to operate the research library, but deaccess the museum, using proceeds to fortify the research library; and 3) continue to operate the research library, but turn over the artifact collection to a new Philadelphia-wide museum to be created in collaboration with three other organizations.

Keywords: Finance; Cost; Human Resources; Leadership Style; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Managerial Roles; Mission and Purpose; Corporate Strategy; Pennsylvania;


Greyser, Stephen A., and Stephanie L. Woerner. "Historical Society of Pennsylvania, The." Harvard Business School Case 597-062, November 1996. (Revised February 1997.)