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Take PhillyHistory Home! Now Available: Framed Photos, Mugs, Greeting Cards, and More! is excited to announce the launch of a brand new online store featuring an expanded line of items available for purchase!

The photographs on can now be purchased framed or unframed, in a variety of print sizes, or included on a souvenir gift such as a mug, tote bag, puzzle or more. In order to make these items available, has partnered with Pictopia, a photo commerce provider that often works with newspapers and libraries, to provide high quality prints of the historic images from the Philadelphia City Archives.

We have often received requests from users who wished to purchase prints of the photographs in larger sizes. In addition to 5x7 and 8x10 prints, we are happy now to be able to offer the photographs in 14, 20, 30 and 40 inch print sizes. Options for framing and matting the prints are also available, with a variety of frame styles and mat colors from which to choose. Your favorite photo can also be placed onto a souvenir gift such as a T-shirt, greeting card, or ornament.

To purchase a photo print or souvenir gift, click on the small thumbnail of any image to open a larger version of the image. Then click the 'purchase' icon (shown left) located above the photo. Options for print size, frame style, and souvenir gifts will then appear in a new window (shown below).

We hope you enjoy the new items available through Happy Shopping!


Images scanned in the last 3 months

Total maps and photos scanned and available online

Unique Visitors in the last 3 months

The Philadelphia City Archives are one of the country's largest municipal archives, with an estimated 2 million photographs that date from the late 1800’s. These gorgeous pictures paint a stunning portrait of Philadelphia and its industry, architecture, culture and people.

Focus on the Staff

Thanks to the dedicated staff, we keep adding new photos to the website and creating fun features. In this section of the newsletter, we'll give you a glimpse into who helps keep running. This month, say hello to Rachel!

What do you do on
I serve as Project Manager and work closely with Deb, whom many of you might know if you have ever sent error reports, comments about the site or emailed us at I am the point person between the staff at the archives, Avencia, the company that created the software the drives PhillyHistory, and the Philadelphia Department of Records who owns the project. At the Archives, I assist Deb with anything pertaining to customer service, requests from the public, decisions regarding what collection to scan, issues with some photos, etc. At Avencia, I am involved with decisions regarding what new features to create, and the directions we would like the software to take. I also oversee activities related to the publicity and marketing of the site and the software that runs it. For the Department of Records, I assist Commissioner Decker with hiring interns to work on the project.

Are there any great pieces of Philadelphia history that you've learned from working on PhillyHistory?
I absolutely never knew that there was a magnificent train station on the west side of City Hall. It used to be called the Broad Street Station and was the primary passenger terminal for the Pennsylvania Railroard. Trains would enter and exit the station on a viaduct called the "Chinese Wall." Just that name alone is fabulously epic, I think.

What's one of your favorite PhillyHistory photos?
It's hard to say, because there are so many. Any photo showing the construction of the city moves me, especially the shots with workers in them. We owe these people our beautiful city and it truly moves me to see their faces, like in this photo.

What are People Saying about Here's What Some of You Have Told Us!

"Great Job! Keep up the good work."

" has been a favorite of mine since it first went online and it's been fun to watch the site grow in features and of course photos. It really is a modern day treasure for the city."

"I also want to sincerely thank you for finding the pictures of … my father's luncheonette. Now I can show my children what it looks like as I have told them so many stories. Thank you again."

"I love your website. It's very interesting to see some of the places, before and after I lived there."

"I have to tell you how much I love the PhillyHistory site: it's my default opening homepage and I probably browse the collection a few times a day."

Thank you for all the kind words and for supporting!

Do you have something to say about Let us know at or go to and tell the world!

This message was sent to you as an enrolled user of, the City of Philadelphia Department of Records web-based photographic collection. To subscribe to this list, e-mail with the subject 'subscribe'

Tell the World How Much You Love Photos ... We're Now on Flickr! on Flickr.

The team is happy to announce that a select number of images from are now available on Flickr!

Flickr, a popular online photo sharing website, allows users to upload images and share those images with the public. With millions of users from around the world, placing photos on Flickr provides an opportunity to introduce many new people to the fantastic collection of images in the database. Sixty-six photos, including some of the oldest and most popular images from the City Archives, were hand-picked for inclusion on Flickr. The images are organized into four thematic sets that provide a visual history of Philadelphia's neighborhoods, schools, construction and transportation projects, and public services and celebrations. Each photo is accompanied by information about the image, the address where it was taken (if available), and a link to the photograph on

One of the most exciting features on the new Flickr photostream is the public commenting and tagging function. Since the PhillyHistory project began, we've received some wonderful stories and comments about the photographs from people around the world. Whenever possible, we try to share such feedback through this newsletter and other reports. The new Flickr photostream, however, gives you a chance to immediately comment about the photos, add notes directly to the images, tag the photos with keywords, and respond to comments left by other users. We're hoping this feature will let us and the whole community hear many more wonderful stories and remarks about the photos and what they mean to you.

The photos on Flickr are available at We encourage people to visit the photostream and add their comments, notes, and tags to the photos!

Philly ... Then and Now. Compare City Views Thanks to Google Street View

You may have noticed some interesting new features in the last couple weeks. We recently released the latest version of which includes a few additions to the website. One of those additions is the inclusion of Google Street View. You may be familiar with Google Street View if you have experience using Google Maps. Google Street View provides street level photographs of cities and neighborhoods around the world. Using Street View on Google Maps, you can take virtual tours of various cities, including large portions of Philadelphia.

Google Street View Button on

Street View provides a way to see the notable landmarks and general streets of a city without having to physically travel there. On we thought that using Street View might be a great way to offer the ability to compare the historic photographs with a present day view of the same location. The historic photographs on PhillyHistory are beautiful, but after looking at them, it's easy to start wondering if a certain building still exists or how the neighborhood has changed over 50 years. Short of actually going to the physical location where the photo was taken, however, it was difficult to view the modern location and contrast it to the historic photo.

Google Street View gives us a way to solve that problem. Thanks to the work of our software developers, we were able to add a link to Street View to many of the photographs in To see the Street View for a photograph, click on the small thumbnail of the photograph to load a larger detail view of the image. Below the historic photograph will be two small thumbnails - one of the historic image and one of a white box labeled "Google Street View." Click on the Google Street View box. You may need to navigate up and down the road or pan the view in order to see the exact location that matches the historic photograph.

The results provide an exciting visual demonstration of how the city has changed and developed over the course of its history. A 1914 photo shows a few people standing outside the Head House Market near 2nd and Pine Streets. The present-day Street View for that location shows the same market house with a few changes. A photo from 1918 of the intersection of Arch Street and 10th Street includes several businesses and a sign stretched across the street proclaiming that "Food Will Win the War." The same intersection in 2009 is still home to many businesses and restaurants. Instead of a war-time sign (oriented west-east), an ornate Chinese gate extends on the other side of the intersection (oriented south-north), reflecting the ancestry of many residents of an area which now makes up part of the Chinatown neighborhood.

Arch Street Looking West from 10th Street - 1918.

Same view - 2009.

While not every Philadelphia street is included in Google Street View, many streets are available. We hope you enjoy the opportunity to compare past architecture to the present landscape and learn more of the story of the city's past. Check out the Street View on, and let us know what you think at!

Slick and Shiny: on your iPhone

We're excited to announce that is now accessible via iPhone at While has been available on mobile phones for a while, we had not yet developed a web application that enabled the website to be easily accessed and searched using an iPhone. To solve this problem, we created an iPhone specific web application that makes easily accessible to iPhone users.

Since the display screen of an iPhone is obviously smaller than the screen on a computer, we chose to emphasize specific search criteria and photo display options to make the application as easy to use as possible. iPhone users have the option of searching for photographs by neighborhood or location, or by navigating through a map of the city. The location of a photo is identified on the map by a red flag, and clicking on a flag displays the photograph and more information.

With full maps and geographic search capabilities, on iPhone provides another great way to access historic photographs of the city. So if you're walking around Philadelphia and want to know what an intersection looked like 60 years ago, pull out your iPhone or cell phone and check out!. Budget Announcement

Due to cuts in the Department of Records budget, funding for staff time to support the PhillyHistory project will no longer be available as of July 1, 2009. Because of this, we will also no longer be able to publish the newsletter on a regular basis. will continue to be accessible at, and we encourage you to check out the many beautiful images from the City Archives. Thank you for all your support.