Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia


The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia provides a variety of ways to search and explore the history and experience of the Philadelphia region, including southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and Delaware.

How to search the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Keyword searching

  • The search box is in the upper right-hand corner. Type in your topic and hit the “Search” icon.
  • A results page will display and you can click on the article that you would like to read.

Browse Options

In the top row (under the search box) are a number of options for browsing the Encyclopedia:


You can browse topics by clicking on the “Contents” tab. This will give you an A-to-Z list of all the titles currently in the Encyclopedia. The Contents page also provides links to featured subjects, time periods, geographic areas, and themes.


When you click on the “Theme” tab you will have the opportunity to explore Philadelphia’s distinctive characteristics (such as “City of Brotherly Love” or “Cradle of Liberty”) as well as the city’s connections to the region, the nation, and the world. By clicking any of these themes, you will open a special feature page that includes related topics, image gallery, map, timeline, and suggestions for further reading.


Explore the Encyclopedia by geographic area.


The interactive timeline will guide you through important eras in the region’s history. You can then select a time period to see a more detailed timeline, read articles pertaining to that era, or to explore the era further through an image gallery and map. Each time period is accompanied by suggestions for further reading.


Explore Greater Philadelphia through a virtual museum of artifacts. Each object links to related topics.

Note:  On the home page, these browse options are repeated (with easy-to-use icons) underneath the Encyclopedia’s masthead.

Additional Special Features

  • “Backgrounders” provide context for current news by linking to related topics in the Encyclopedia.
  • “Featured” and “What’s New” guide you to the topics most recently published.
  • “Blog” provides news about the Encyclopedia project and commentary from our editors and authors.
  •  “Sources” provides access to a database of articles and websites about Philadelphia published since 1982.
  •  “Nominate a Topic” allows you to suggest new subjects for the Encyclopedia. Click this link also to see nominations submitted by other users.
  • “Events” provides a list of public events sponsored or co-sponsored by the Encyclopedia as well as an archive of past events.

About the Project

Links in the footer of every page allow you to learn more:

  •  “About the Project” describes the Encyclopedia’s goals and provides a list of editors and advisers.
  • “Civic Partners” lists more than thirty organizations in the region that cooperate with the Encyclopedia in various ways.
  • “Funders” lists sources of financial support.
  • “Authors” provides short biographies of the authors of essays in the Encyclopedia. Click on the authors’ names to find links to the essays they have written.

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