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This guide focuses on secondary and primary sources useful in researching the history of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Reference Works
Most Philadelphia-related books are at call number F 158.18. Unless otherwise noted, links below lead to Franklin, which will tell you where the book is located. More books can be found by searching in Franklin for Philadelphia History as a Subject.
Philadelphia: A 300-Year History by
Call Number: F158.3 .P5664 1982
Publication Date: 1982
Modern one-volume history of Philadelphia. Chapters arranged chronologically by subject experts. Not too easy to find material on neighborhoods or city regions.
Invisible Philadelphia by
Call Number: F158.18 .I58 1995
Publication Date: 1995
Surveys the history of voluntary organizations in Philadelphia. Provides some bibliographic information as well as disposition of archival materials.
The Planning of Center City Philadelphia by
Call Number: NA735.P5 P58 2007
Publication Date: 2008
Three centuries of the planning history of the city, from William Penn’s original concept to the design of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the renewal efforts that made Philadelphia a national leader in city planning and urban revitalization.
The Buried Past by
Publication Date: 1992
The most significant archaeological discoveries, based on more than thirty years of intensive archaeological investigations in the greater Philadelphia area.
WPA Guide to Philadelphia by
Call Number: F158.18 .P46 1988
Publication Date: 1937
One-volume older history of Philadelphia, produced through the Federal Writers' Project, Works Progress Administration. Divided into two parts: "The city and its background" and "Roads and rambles in and around the city".
Encyclopedia of Philadelphia by
Call Number: F158.3 .J15
Publication Date: 1931-1933
Brief entries on persons, places, institutions, and events in Philadelphia history. Some entries have bibliographic references.
Librarian for U.S. History