Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia


In Memoriam: Gary Nash

We are so saddened to learn the news of the passing of our good friend and colleague, Gary Nash, a consulting editor of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. While Gary spent his career in California at UCLA, he never lost touch with Philadelphia, the city where he was born. Among many other works of scholarship, Gary's research opened new ways of understanding Philadelphia with Quakers and Politics: Pennsylvania 1681-1726 (published in 1968), The Urban Crucible: Social Change, Political Consciousness, and the Origins of the American Revolution (1979), Forging Freedom: The Formation of Philadelphia's Black Community, 1720-1840 (1988), First City: Philadelphia and the Forging of Historical Memory (2002), and many other books and articles.

An engaged scholar who promoted excellence in education and public history, Gary also played a pivotal role in significant Philadelphia projects. He amplified critical needs for inclusive history, particularly by intervening in the public interpretation of the Liberty Bell and the President's House site to assure the recognition of enslaved Africans and the complexities of freedom in early America. And in 2007, he amplified the need for a comprehensive, public, and inclusive history of Philadelphia -- The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, which continues as an active project today. In addition to serving as a valued adviser and advocate, he wrote essays about the Cradle of Liberty and the Liberty Bell.

To learn more about Gary Nash's life and career, we invite you to read the tribute published by the UCLA History Department, linked here. Moreover, we encourage you to honor his life's work by following his example of commitment to Philadelphia history.

Urgent Call for Authors, Summer 2021

We are approaching an exciting juncture for The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia project as we make plans to publish books derived from this digital platform. Scholars and other topic experts, you can help! Please review our list of most-needed topics so that we may fill gaps in our coverage. Your peer-reviewed essay will add to recognition of your expertise in your chosen field.

We seek to make assignments with firm deadlines of late summer or early fall, and modest compensation is available.

March 24: Your Chance to Help the Encyclopedia Grow!

You can make a difference in the future of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

Just once per year, we take the opportunity of Rutgers Giving Day to invite donations so that we may continue to employ students as fact-checkers and digital publishing assistants. With your help, we will continue to add to more than 700 topics already published. Any gift, large or small, is welcome and may help us win bonus incentives.

Special opportunity this year: First-time donations of $50 will be matched (up to $50,000 total for Rutgers)!

To help the encyclopedia, direct donations to MARCH (the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities), where the encyclopedia is produced.  Link here to give!

●     $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.

Additional anticipated needs include website repair and maintenance (estimated $30,000).

Thank you for helping us continue producing original scholarship and supporting the history practitioners of the future.

Top Ten Topics of 2020

Happy new year!  Our most-read topics for 2020 reflect a year of pandemic, unrest, stay-at-home learning, and searches for family connections:

10. Orphanages and Orphans, by Holly Caldwell.

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

8. Yellow Fever, by Simon Finger.

7. Columbia Avenue Riot, by Alex Elkins.

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

5. Murder of Octavius Catto, by Aaron X. Smith.

4. I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia, by Charlene Mires.

3. Row Houses, by Amanda Casper.

2. Native American-Pennsylvania Relations, 1754-89, by Timothy J. Shannon.

And the most-read topic for 2020 is, no surprise here:

Influenza ("Spanish Flu" Pandemic, 1918-19), by Thomas Wirth.

Have a happy and healthy new year, and thank you for your interest and support of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia.

Update: Our Website Functions

Frequent users of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia may notice that some features of our website are unavailable or not working properly.  The website is undergoing review and maintenance to improve functions and security, so thank you for your patience.  You will still be able to read the text for all topics.

If you wish to reach other features, such as texts in image galleries, you may be able to access them through the copy of the website in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:


Daily developments on coronavirus in the region

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Lauren Cooper

Lauren Cooper is the Interpretive Planner at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. She completed a master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, and has worked at cultural institutions throughout Philadelphia.

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