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 top center of each page. 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 drop-down menus for Featured Subjects, Time Periods, Themes, Locations, and an Alphabetical Index.


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.


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.
  •  “Nominate a Topic” allows you to suggest new subjects for the Encyclopedia. Click this link also to see nominations submitted by other users.

About the Project

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

  •  “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 have cooperated with the Encyclopedia in various ways.
  • “Authors” provides access to biographies of individual authors and the essays they contributed.
  • “Funders” lists sources of financial support.

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