Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia


Return of the Greater Philadelphia Roundtable

Many will recall the program series that launched The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia -- the Greater Philadelphia Roundtable. This spring we are pleased to again invite you to a series of conversations about our region's history and contemporary issues.

Sanctuaries: Past Into Present

Throughout American history, people have come to the Philadelphia region seeking opportunity, while others have been fleeing persecution, and still others have been forced here in chains. When have these migrants been granted the right to feel safe, and when have they been denied safety? How do we come to grips with our country’s contradictory history of celebrating the diversity these many migrations produced, while denying rights to many?

This spring, join friends and neighbors for a series of free public seminars across greater Philadelphia. Learn from local experts about Philadelphia’s immigration and migration history, hear from activists working in the region now, and grapple with how our complicated histories shape today’s social and political landscape.

In Search of the Underground Railroad: Connecting People, Places, and Things
April 2, 2019
Pop-Up Exhibits at 6 p.m., Lecture at 7 p.m.
Rutgers-Camden Campus Center
Featuring archaeologist Cheryl LaRoche and community partners.

Discover how historians and archaeologists connect people, places, and things to better understand the lives of enslaved people who sought sanctuary with the Underground Railroad. Link for further information and registration.

Sanctuary Now, Sanctuary When?
April 23, 2019, 6 p.m.
Arch Street Meeting House
320 Arch Street, Philadelphia
Featuring Domenic Vitiello (University of Pennsylvania) and Blanca Pacheco (New Sanctuary Movement)

Learn how the idea of “sanctuary” became part of immigration justice lexicon in the United States and what we can all learn from the experiences of refugees and activists, past and present. Link for further information and registration.

Sanctuary in Sickness, Sanctuary in Health
June 4, 2019, 6 p.m.
Philadelphia Lazaretto
Second Street and Wanamaker Avenue, Essington, Pa.
Featuring David Barnes (University of Pennsylvania)

Explore the Philadelphia Lazaretto, discover the critical role it played in Philadelphia’s immigration history, and contemplate the past, present, and future of health care for our most vulnerable. Link for further information and registration.

Sanctuaries: Past into Present is a Greater Philadelphia Roundtable program series of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, produced at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers-Camden. "In Search of the Underground Railroad" is supported by the Office of the Chancellor at Rutgers-Camden and co-sponsored by the following departments and programs: History, Africana Studies, Liberal Studies, and Forensic Science.

Encyclopedia’s Expert on Root Beer History Featured in Segment on 6ABC

The author of our essay about root beer, Theresa Altieri Taplin, has been interviewed for a segment on 6ABC about a new root beer float offered by Bassett's Ice Cream at the Reading Terminal Market. Watch the segment here, and prepare to be hungry!

Thank You for Supporting the Encyclopedia Builders!

On March 21 during Rutgers Giving Day, scholars, students, community members, and staff came together to support The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, produced by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers-Camden.

The dedication of all who donated and promoted our cause through social media is truly inspiring. Your generous contributions will be used to employ the students who help to make digital publication of The Encyclopedia possible. Keep an eye on our website or like us on Facebook to watch our essay collection grow!

We are so grateful for the opportunity to continue producing original scholarship and making it accessible to readers like you. Thank you!

P.S. Missed your chance to donate on Giving Day? Make a gift to support The Encyclopedia today!

An Invitation: Support Scholarship,
Build Community, Create a Legacy

Wednesday, March 21 is Giving Day. Join a community of scholars, students, and history lovers, and make a gift to support The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia.

We need your help! The Encyclopedia is a digital resource produced by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers-Camden. It offers the most comprehensive, authoritative reference source ever created for the Philadelphia region, and with your help it will continue to grow.

Your donation of any amount will be used to employ the students who help to make The Encyclopedia possible! The first $200 donated on March 21 will be matched by a generous supporter. Act early, and help us continue to move the project toward completion.

●     $15 employs one student for one hour of research assistance or digital publishing.

●     $30 pays for fact-checking one new essay.

●     $90 pays for building one new topic page.

●     $150 employs one student for one ten-hour work week.

●     $2,100 employs one student for one semester. 

Donate on March 21 and help us to continue producing original scholarship and supporting the history practitioners of the future. Thank you!

How to Give:

●     Visit GivingDay.rutgers.edu on March 21 to make a tax-deductible donation.

When you donate, select Research, Institutes & Cultural Programs and then MARCH (Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities) from the drop-down menu.

●     Or, call 732-839-GIVE (4483) and direct your gift to MARCH (Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities) today!

Spread the word on social media with #RUGivingDay and @MARCHRuCamden

Like Us? Help Us Reach the Next 1,000

At The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, we have a lot to celebrate this month. We have the long-awaited Super Bowl victory, now added to our page about professional football. One of our co-editors, Howard Gillette, has been selected to receive the 2018 Visionary Historian Award from the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.  In addition, throughout this February we are celebrating Black History Month by highlighting more than thirty of our articles on African American history in the Philadelphia area, including essays about the region's role in the Civil Rights movement, prominent black Philadelphians, and contributions from black communities in the region. We have at least one essay a day lined up to be shared on our Facebook page for the whole month of February. We have a diverse collection of essays on African American history covering a wide range of topics--our social media feed for this month of celebration will never be boring!

We're also pleased to announce that we have reached a milestone of 1,000 followers on Facebook. We can’t wait to reach the next thousand with you! As we work to add to our essays available as well as our number of fans across social media, we’d love to hear from you about what your favorite articles have been or if you have a topic you’d like to nominate for an essay.

We love engaging with our fans across social media with comments, shares, and suggestions. If you haven’t already, please like us on Facebook at the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia and follow us on Twitter @Backgrounders for daily essay postings and notifications about new articles up on the site. We look forward to reaching the next thousand followers and sharing some great essays with you this year!

Top Ten Topics for 2017

As we begin a new year, we invite you to revisit the most-read topics of 2017.  Did your favorite make the list?

10. Medicine (Colonial Era), by Martha K. Robinson

9. March of the Mill Children, by Gail Friedman

8. Department Stores, by David Sullivan

7. Row Houses, by Amanda Casper

6. Immigration (1870-1930), by Barbara Klaczynska

5. Nativist Riots of 1844, by Zachary M. Schrag

4. Political Parties (Origins, 1790s), by Brian Hendricks

3. Immigration and Migration (Colonial Era), by Marie Basile McDaniel

2. City of Brotherly Love, by Chris Satullo

And the most-read topic for 2017 is:

1. Native American-Pennsylvania Relations (1754-89), by Timothy J. Shannon

Happy new year from The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia team!  Visit our website or follow us on social media for more new topics in 2018.

Call for Authors, Editors, and Advisers:
Winter-Spring 2018

With nearly 600 topics already online, The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia is seeking authors to help complete priority subject categories. To view available assignments, link here for the list of topics.

To join more than 400 leading and emerging scholars who have already contributed to this peer-reviewed, digital-first project, let us know your choice of topics and choice of deadline from January through May 2018. Prospective authors must have expertise in their chosen subjects demonstrated by previous publications and/or advanced training in historical research. The scope of the project includes the city of Philadelphia and the surrounding region of southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and northern Delaware. 

To express interest, please send an email describing your qualifications and specifying topics of interest to the project editorial assistant, Mikaela Maria, mikaelamaria3@gmail.com. No attachments, please. Graduate students, please include the name and email address of an academic reference.

Call for Associate Editors and Advisers

We also invite expressions of interest from scholars or experienced editors interested in becoming associate editors for our next phase of expansion or supporting the project in other ways. These voluntary professional service roles might include any of the following:

  • Reviewing subject categories, recruiting authors to fill gaps, and editing submissions.
  • Preparing proposals for thematic books incorporating existing content.
  • Reviewing submissions.
  • Developing public events with community partners.
  • Fund-raising.
  • Improving the project's WordPress website (programming knowledge required).

To express interest in becoming an editor or adviser, write to editor-in-chief Charlene Mires, cmires@camden.rutgers.edu.


Guidelines for writers and editors:

Roster of authors:

Editors and staff:

Vietnamese Scholars Visit The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

The editors, authors, and staff of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia are honored to welcome scholars from Vietnam on November 29. Under the auspices of the Social Science Research Council, the delegation has come to the United States to learn about encyclopedia projects in preparation for producing an Encyclopedia of Vietnam. Read more about the visit on the website of Rutgers-Camden, where The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia is produced.

Project Milestone: 550 Topics Online

The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia has been growing rapidly this summer, and we are pleased to announce that the project has reached a new milestone: 550 topics published online. The 550th essay to be published is Dispensaries, by Steven J. Peitzman, a longtime contributor who participated in one of our early Greater Philadelphia Roundtable programs, "City of Firsts." He has written two previous essays for The Encyclopedia: City of Medicine and Typhoid Fever and Filtered Water.

Project Milestone: 500 Topics Online

This week The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia reached 500 essays online -- a major milestone for the project. The editors extend thanks to all of the authors, editors, project partners, and staff members who have contributed their time and talents to creating this unparalleled resource for understanding the Philadelphia region's history and experience.

Topic #500 is Italians and Italy, by Stefano Luconi. Click here to read the essay and explore links to related reading, collections, places to visit, and websites.

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