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Vintage Scenes of Philadelphia, PA

With such an old and established city in American, many individuals may have ancestors who called Philadelphia home. The Free Library of Philadelphia now has online a wonderful collection of photographs in a digital format, making it available on the Internet. One of the earliest photos dates back to 1841.

There are several methods to view and search for a photo. At the top of the site there is the section titled ‘Neighborhoods’ with a listing of the numerous Philadelphia neighborhoods. Select any one and up appears a thumbnail sized grouping of images, each with a location name. There will be businesses, schools, churches, offices, street scenes and individual homes in the selection. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge it and additional information about the site as well as the location pinpointed on a street map is provided.

The tab on ‘photographers’ gives a brief history of each of the photographers. You can click on that individual photographer to view just their body of work. This is a good location to check for any photo portraits done.

The ‘media’ tab features about the different type of photographic materials and when they were used. Click on each of their types to reveals some of that photography. There is also a tab titled ‘collections’ with the three major collections labeled.

Lastly you can use the search box. Here look by a street name, or by a subject title or place in a keyword. Here is the place to search for a family surname. It might produce a family home or a building, park, street, business, river, etc with that surname. The surname Franklin produced 37 images, Walton had 4, Johnson had 7 and Smith with 15 images. What might be discovered could prove to be enormous in your family research, plus viewing the places your ancestors once called home.

Photo:  Street scene – 9th and Market St.-early 1900.

< Return To Blog That is a great photo.. and a great caption. It is easy to feel that way in Philly soeimetms, you really need to LOOK up to get past all the tall buildings these days! Sometimes I don't think Philly gets the credit it is due, stuck between DC and NY!
Fay 7/09/12

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