Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia


In the News: Encyclopedia Author Featured on St. Patrick’s Day

The author of our essay about St. Patrick's Day, Mikaela Maria, appeared on CBS3 news on March 17 to provide historical background about the holiday. Reporter David Spunt posted a portion of the interview and his additional tracking of St. Patrick's Day in Philadelphia on the CBS3 website. (Reporters, contact us any time you need to reach our expert authors, and follow the @Backgrounders Twitter feed for additional context to the news.)

The Rise of the Market City — Event Featuring Encyclopedia Contributor

The first event of the spring semester for Penn Urban Studies will feature a talk by Timothy P.R. Weaver, the author of the essay about Enterprise Zones and Empowerment Zones in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. Weaver, who is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, will speak about his book, Blazing the Neoliberal Trail:  Urban Political Development in the United States and the United Kingdom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015). His talk, titled "The Rise of the Market City: Unfettered Capitalism and Urban Transformation in the U.S. and the U.K.," will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 19, at the Penn Bookstore, Thirty-Sixth and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia.

Project Milestone: 450 Topics Online

With the help of so many writers, editors, project partners, and financial supporters, The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia has reached a new publishing milestone of 450 topics online--an increase of more than 150 topics from this time a year ago. The distinction of being topic No. 450 goes to the new essay about Norristown, Pennsylvania, by Michael D. Shaffer.

The current phase of expansion is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mayor's Fund for Philadelphia, and Poor Richard's Charitable Trust. To watch us climb to more than 500 topics this spring, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or sign up for our list-serv by submitting your email address on the home page. Thank you for your support!

In the Cradle of Industry & Liberty: A History of Manufacturing in Philadelphia – New Book by Encyclopedia Contributor

Philadelphia's manufacturing history is the subject of a new book by archivist and historian Jack McCarthy, best known to readers of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia as the author of many of our music topics. In the Cradle of Industry & Liberty: A History of Manufacturing in Philadelphia, published for the Manufacturing Alliance of Philadelphia by HPN Books, traces local manufacturing from the colonial period to the transition to machine-based factory production methods, the development of manufacturing on a massive scale, and the dramatic downsizing in manufacturing that led to the city’s transition to a post-industrial, service-based economy. This month, McCarthy will talk about the topics of his book at a meeting of the Philadelphia Association of Tour Guides on January 11 and at the annual dinner of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archaeology on January 20.

Top Ten Topics for 2016

The most-visited topics for 2016 reflect the issues of the presidential year, topics of interest for students and teachers, and some perennial Philadelphia favorites.

The most-read topic of the year is:
Political Parties (Origins, 1790s)

2. City of Brotherly Love

3. Immigration and Migration (Colonial Era)

4. Native American-Pennsylvania Relations (1754-89)

5. Immigration (1870-1930)

6. Nativist Riots of 1844

7. Row Houses

8. Immigration (1790-1860)

9. Department Stores

10. Southwest Philadelphia

Watch for more new topics in the new year as we continue to expand The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. Thank you for your support!

Revolutionary Delaware: Independence in the First State – New Book by Encyclopedia Contributor

The American Revolution in Delaware is the subject of a new book by Kim Rogers Burdick, who also is the author of the essay about the gunpowder industry in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia.  According to the History Press, the publisher of Revolutionary Delaware: Independence in the First State:

Cover of the book Revolutionary DelawareIn 1776, Delaware declared independence from both England and Pennsylvania. Originally known as the Three Lower Counties of Pennsylvania, the First State was instrumental in the fight to form a new republic. The Marquis de Lafayette, Nathanael Greene and George Washington all made trips to the state. Caesar Rodney’s ride and the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge are legendary, but the state has many unsung heroes. Citizens from every village, town, crossroads and marsh risked their lives to support their beliefs. Author Kim Burdick offers the carefully documented story of ordinary people coping with extraordinary circumstances.

Kim Burdick will speak and sign copies of her book on Saturday, December 17, at 10:30 a.m. at the Kirkwood Library, 6000 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, Delaware.

Call for Authors: 2016-17

The editors of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia seek to make 50 additional assignments to complete our current phase of expansion. Now is the time to add your expertise to a resource used daily by teachers and students, journalists, scholars, and general readers.

To view the list of available assignments, link here:

Call for authors

To join more than 350 leading and emerging scholars who have already contributed to this peer-reviewed, digital-first project, let us know your choice of topics. Authors will have the opportunity to select feasible deadlines between January and March 2017 and will have the option of volunteering or receiving modest stipends. Prospective authors must have expertise in their chosen subjects demonstrated by previous publications and/or advanced training in historical research. To express interest, please send an email describing your qualifications and specifying topics of interest to the editor-in-chief, Charlene Mires, cmires@camden.rutgers.edu. No attachments, please. Graduate students, please include the name and email address of an academic reference.

The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia's expansion is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, and Poor Richard’s Charitable Trust. The scope of the project includes the city of Philadelphia and the surrounding region of southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and northern Delaware. 

Guidelines for writers:

Roster of authors:

Editors and staff:

On the Trail: A History of American Hiking — New Book by Encyclopedia Contributor

We are pleased to share the news of a new book by Silas Chamberlin, author of the essay about recreational trails in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia.  His book, On the Trail: A History of American Hiking, is a history of American hikers and their role in creating the nation's trail system.  According to Yale University Press:

Cover of the book On the TrailIn the mid-nineteenth century urban walking clubs emerged in the United States. A little more than a century later, tens of millions of Americans were hiking on trails blazed in every region of the country. This groundbreaking book is the first full account of the unique history of the American hiking community and its rich, nationwide culture.

Delving into unexplored archives, including those of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Green Mountain Club, and many others, Silas Chamberlin recounts the activities of hikers who over many decades formed clubs, built trails, and advocated for environmental protection. He also discusses the shifting attitudes of the late 1960s and early 1970s when ideas about traditional volunteerism shifted and new hikers came to see trail blazing and maintenance as government responsibilities. Chamberlin explores the implications for hiking groups, future club leaders, and the millions of others who find happiness, inspiration, and better health on America’s trails.

Chamberlin will discuss and sign his book at the Penn Book Center, 130 S. Thirty-Fourth Street, Philadelphia, on Thursday, December 8, at 6:30 p.m.  For more information, link here.

Document Links for Teachers and Students

National History Day Philadelphia logoClose readers may have noticed an addition to some of our essay pages: a special section of links for teachers and students preparing for next spring's National History Day competition.  We hope you all enjoy exploring these historical documents curated by our educational outreach coordinator, Melissa Callahan, through a partnership with the National Archives at Philadelphia and National History Day Philly.  The growing collection of topics related to this year's National History Day theme, "Taking a Stand," is available on this new category page: National History Day Topics.

Our Students Behind the Scenes

At the home base of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers-Camden, students and recent alumni play important roles in producing each new topic. In the process they gain a deeper understanding of regional history and build skills in digital publishing. Read more about these activities and other public humanities news on the MARCH website.

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