The Penn Libraries holds over 25,000 Philadelphia imprints--books printed in Philadelphia. Many of these books are rare and, given Philadelphia's prominence as a center of publishing in the 19th century and earlier, extremely important. The Library is gradually digitizing a subset of these books to make available to the Public through HathiTrust.
Although these books cover all fields of study, one interesting aspect is the books about Philadelphia itself. Books about Philadelphia published in Philadelphia are often written by organizations based in Philadelphia such as the Philadelphia City Government, the University of Pennsylvania, and independent cultural and research organizations. This material provides important insight into the workings of the city. Our catalog makes it particularly easy to search this collection by allowing one to limit results to particular decades or authors. For instance, the link below provides results that can easily be limited to publications of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.
Both physical and online books are available from many Libraries at and associated with Penn.