For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


Local authors, historians, and scholars bring Philadelphia history to life.

PHILADELPHIA, April 16, 2013 – The Free Library is proud to conclude the spring season of its ongoing local history lecture program, “History Alive! History and Genealogy Programs” with several exciting events. This series aims to bring Philadelphia’s rich history to life inside the walls of the library.

This season’s remaining presentations will take place at 7:00 p.m. in Room 108 at the Parkway Central Library on the following dates:

Wednesday, 4/24/13: "Urban Archeology at Elfreth’s Alley”: As our nation’s oldest residential street, Elfreth's Alley has a rich history of urban life and culture dating back to the turn of the 18th century. Recent archaeological investigations have focused on the immigrant community that flourished on the street in the 19th century. Join Deirdre Kelleher, PhD Candidate at Temple University, for a discussion of immigrant life on Elfreth’s Alley. View artifacts recovered from excavations and learn how you can become a part of the small street’s history!

Wednesday, 5/15/13: "Research Family History State by State" and Wednesday, 5/22/13: “Genealogy Basics: How to Research Your Family Tree” with Karin D. Berry:
Getting started with genealogical research isn't as intimidating as it may seem. Curiosity about your heritage is your most important tool. Local archives and libraries are great resources for African-American genealogy research. Several state archives' websites have sections that show how to research African Americans in that state or provide direct access to state family records. Ms. Berry is a freelance journalist who specializes in writing about African American genealogy research methods.

Wednesday, 6/5/13: "Behind the Walls of The Eastern State Penitentiary”:
Meet the Eastern State Penitentiary programming staff and learn lesser-known facts about this historic site. Discuss the challenges of addressing today's mass incarceration prison system within the walls of this ancient prison, and share your views on possible programming ideas moving forward.

“At the Social Science and History Department, we are delighted to bring these informative as well as entertaining events to the Free Library. These presentations will inspire adults and young people alike, instilling in them a love for our city’s amazing history,” said Helen Azar, a librarian and one of the hosts of History Alive.

This current second season of the series has already welcomed high profile presenters like Chef Walter Staib, the host of the Emmy Award-winning PBS show “The Taste of History”; author and historian Edward Mauger (Philadelphia Then and Now and Atlantic City Then and Now); and archivists from the American Philosophical Society.

Program Note: All our presentations are free, but we ask that attendees register in advance.

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than 6 million in-person visits and 9 million online visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850