“Augmented Reality” Cell Phone App Launches

We’re proud to be involved in the prototype augmented-reality cell phone application for phillyhistory.org, the online database of historic photographs and maps from the City Archives, the Water Department, the Office of the City Representative, the Free Library, and the Library Company of Philadelphia, originally built by Azavea Inc. The app is available at no cost for both iPhone and Android smart phones. The Encyclopedia’s editors participated as advisers to the project and coordinated text for a group of photographs, with Doreen Skala researching and writing the text.

“City of Brotherly Love” at the FringeArts Festival

The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia will play a small role in this year’s FringeArts Festival with publication of our “City of Brotherly Love” theme essay, by Chris Satullo, in a commemorative booklet for the production 100% Philadelphia. As described by FringeArts:

Join us at the 2014 Fringe Festival for an unforgettable experience that’s part-theater, part-data analysis — and 100 percent Philadelphia. Developed in collaboration with FringeArts, German artist collective Rimini Protokoll’s 100% Philadelphia will bring 100 carefully selected Philadelphia citizens (non-actors) onstage to represent the city’s population of 1.5 million and our unique demographic imprint: More than 40 cast members will be African-American, half will be women, approximately 20 will be children — and that’s just the beginning. At times funny, uplifting and strikingly dramatic, 100% Philadelphia is always enlightening, a mirror of ourselves that will forever change the way we see our friends, neighbors, and strangers on the street.

For more information about the production and to buy tickets, visit the event website at Fringe Arts.

“City of Scholarly Love”

The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia project appears in the Works in Progress section of the Autumn 2011 issue of The American Scholar, the magazine published by the Phi Beta Kappa Society.  Writer Chloe Taft calls attention to our project’s widespread public participation and to our web site as a growing gateway to the region’s digital resources.

“William Penn’s Vision for Philadelphia”

When we first announced plans for an educators’ workshop, little did we know that it would fill up with 30 teachers in less than two days, with a sizable waiting list besides!  We have now expanded the “Penn’s Vision” workshop on June 23 to accommodate 10 more educators from the waiting list, and we encourage others to consider attending the evening program, “Cradle of Liberty,” that same evening at the National Constitution Center.  The evening program also offers 1.5 hours of Act 48 credit for teachers.  For information and to register for “Cradle of Liberty,” visit our events page, or register with the National Constitution Center.

Additional educators’ workshops will be organized, and one way to be sure you receive information promptly is to sign up for our list-serv.  Thanks to our partners in this effort, including the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia History Museum at Atwater Kent, the National Archives in Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center, and Independence National Historical Park.

@Backgrounders in Action: Girard College

This week’s news presented an ideal opportunity to connect history with the news, using our Backgrounders feed on Twitter to reach journalists and other interested readers.  When WHYY posted its report that Autumn Adkins Graves, the president of Girard College, will step down at the end of the school year, we added background with our Girard College essay as well as a link to Temple University’s outstanding “Civil Rights in a Northern City” project.  These resources, combined with the news account, call attention to the significance of the service of President Graves as the first female and African American head of this landmark Philadelphia institution.

A Full Slate of Fall Events

We began the fall with a full house at the “Athens of America” roundtable at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Please join us also for the following events:

This Saturday, October 1, we are a co-sponsor for the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides’ second annual “Great Twelve-Hour Tour” of Philadelphia. It’s a River to River, Pine to Vine, Rain or Shine event, and it’s free – join any segment or spend the day. For more information, go to:  http://www.phillyguides.org/great-tour-2011.aspx .

Registration is open now for the next two programs of the Greater Philadelphia Roundtable discussion series:

  • “Workshop of the World” on Wednesday, October 19, 6:30-8 p.m., at the Tacony branch of the Free Library.
  • “Corrupt and Contented” on Tuesday, November 15, 6:30-8 p.m. at Philadelphia Media Network Headquarters (the Inquirer Building, 400 N. Broad Street).

For information and advance registration – strongly advised! – go to:  https://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/events

Teachers, an additional educators’ workshop will be offered on the theme of “Workshop of the World” on Tuesday, November 9, 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. To sign up for this free workshop, go to: http://www.hsp.org/node/2311

We are so pleased by your interest and participation in creating The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. Thank you!

A New Milestone: 350 Topics Online

We are pleased to share the news that The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia has reached a new milestone: 350 topics online. Thanks to the many people who are making this project possible: authors, editors, reviewers, fact-checkers and page-builders, and the archival partners who provide illustrations. Our current phase of expansion is made possible by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, and Poor Richard’s Charitable Trust.

Topic #350 is Surveying (Colonial), by Michael Pospishil.  Stay tuned for more this summer!

A New Resource for Teachers

National History Day Philadelphia logoIn partnership with the National Archives at Philadelphia, we’re pleased to announce a new guide for teachers and students, “Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources,” which is newly published on the website for National History Day Philadelphia. Created to help students with their research for National History Day projects, the guide was prepared by Melissa Callahan, an experienced social studies teacher who is the education outreach coordinator for The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia and a graduate student in history at Rutgers-Camden. This work was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH), which produces The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia.

Connecting the Past with the Present, Building Community, Creating a Legacy