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Two of the oldest and most frequently used photograph collections at the SCPC come from the Jane Addams Collection (DG 001) and from the Universal Peace Union Records (DG 038). In the former, only those images that showed Jane Addams, members of her family, or Hull-House were scanned for this project. Additional images reside in the SCPC, including those of Addams' classmates at Rockford Seminary [now College] and Addams' later colleagues in the international peace movement. All images from the UPU Records owned by the SCPC have been scanned and are included in this database. 

In 2012, the photographs and lantern slides from the Devere Allen Papers (DG 053) were added, and more from other collections will appear here in the future.

969 items

Black and white photograph of a crowd of people on a dock holding a large banner saying "PEACE"

Penn Sewing School was founded in 1868 as the Friends Sewing School. The name was changed in 1871 and classes suspended in 1899. Known first as the “Friends Sewing School,” Penn Sewing School was organized with the help of Dillwyn Parrish and William C. Biddle by two young Quaker women, Annie Caley and Augusta Taber. Friends of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (Hicksite) held at Fifteenth and Race Streets granted the use of a room, and the children were gathered from the neighborhood. The first four teachers were Augusta Taber, Mary Biddle (later Wood), Sallie Cooper, and Annie Caley (later Dorland). 

13 items

Printed text saying "Report of the Penn Sewing School of Philadelphia, For 1894-1895"

This collection contains minutes of the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Hall Association, 1838-1847, financial and legal papers, and other related materials concerning the financing and opening of the Hall and the events and litigation which followed. The destruction of Pennsylvania Hall marked the extreme of anti-abolition violence in the City of Philadelphia.

44 items

Engraving showing the Capitol building and above it some flowers and the text "The Property of Samuel Webb"

In 1847, a committee of Philadelphia Quakers conducted a census of the city’s African American population. Their intent was to document the existence of an “industrious and thriving” portion of that population, and also to discover what sectors of the community may have been in need of attention and assistance. The manuscript volumes they produced contained forty-three elements of information for each of more than four thousand households in Philadelphia. Their survey was distilled into a forty-four-page report titled A Statistical Inquiry into the Condition of the People of Colour of the City and Districts of Philadelphia (1849). 

The census volumes have been transcribed, and the raw data is available on GitHub. For more information on the census, as well as visualizations of the occupation data, see the Philadelphia African-American Census 1847 website.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by a 2021-2022 Pennsylvania Abolition Society grant.

6 items

Map of Philadelphia divided into four color-coded regions

The Quaker Broadsides and Pamphlets collection consists of over 800 titles from the collections of Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College and Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. It includes works from 1657 to the present. Some of the items in the collection are composed of a single, unfolded sheet with printing on only one side. Many others, however, are multiple pages and smaller sizes. Topics of the broadsides include: exhortations by Quakers against the slave trade; testimonials regarding deceased Friends; petitions to government authorities for recognition of various Quaker testimonies, including conscientious objection to war and refusal to take oaths; advice and caution to Quakers regarding their conduct of life; and theological arguments both within the Society of Friends and regarding other religions.


891 items

Close up of the printed beginning of "William Penn's Answer to John Faldo's Printed Challenge"


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