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Grant number like: PK-50023-07

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Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19107-5699)
Joan Lynn Saverino (Project Director: March 2007 to May 2010)
Beth A. Twiss-Houting (Project Director: May 2010 to June 2011)

Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership
Preservation and Access

[White paper]

$347,520 (approved)
$347,520 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2007 – 10/31/2010

PhilaPlace: A Neighborhood History and Culture Project

Development of PhilaPlace, an interactive Web resource on the history, culture, and architecture of Philadelphia's neighborhoods. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Department of Records, and the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design would work with neighborhood organizations to develop a prototype Web site focused initially on two neighborhood clusters. In addition to historical records, maps, and photographs, the site will include an in-depth Geographic Information System (GIS) model of Southwark, a neighborhood with a 300-year history as a center of industry, transportation, and immigration.

Exploring the role that place plays as a repository of urban memory and change, PhilaPlace is a collaborative humanities project that will develop a prototype interactive Web-based experience to explore the rich historical, cultural, and architectural landscape of Philadelphia neighborhoods through the lens of place. This Web resource will represent interwoven stories over time using innovative simulated Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping features and other Web-based components to allow diverse constitutencies to experience and contribute to the site. Building on the lessons and techniques of existing digital projects and public history and culture initiatives, PhilaPlace seeks to marry innovations in content management and information sharing with developments in GIS to adopt a flexible, responsive, hybrid approach to digitization that brings the historical record into dialogue with local knowledge, memory, and culture.