Digitizing the Records of Philadelphia’s Historic Congregations: Providing Documentation for the Political, Social and Cultural Developments in Philadelphia

Material Description


Settled by William Penn in 1681 as a center for religious freedom, Philadelphia provided refuge for newcomers of many faiths. In the 18th century, Philadelphia served as the epicenter for political thought and action, as delegates to the Continental Congress and Constitutional Conventions met, debated, and worshiped together here. The religious organizations built by early Americans offer windows into colonial life through baptismal, circumcision, marriage, burial, and pew rental records: along with meeting minutes and correspondence, these documents act as transcripts of a time before census records and city directories existed. Unfortunately, as few congregations have active archival programs, access to these documents is limited. Philadelphia’s historic congregations will create a digital database of shared records for a worldwide audience.


Digitizing Hidden Collections

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Christ Church Preservation Trust


Ms. Carol Smith
Christ Church Preservation Trust

Ms. Barbara Hogue
Christ Church Preservation Trust

Mr. Allan Hasbrouck
Christ Church Preservation Trust

Collaborating Institution(s)

Athenaeum of Philadelphia


  • 41968 Manuscripts