Temple Times Online Edition
    November 7, 2006
NewsEventsArchivesPhotosStaffLinksTemple Home

Temple University Libraries’ Urban Archives receive $250k endowment

Temple University Libraries' Urban Archives
Thirteenth Street, looking toward Market St.,
winter 1951.
(Photo courtesy Temple University Libraries'
Urban Archives)

Historic photographs culled from Temple’s archives of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin have appeared on numerous book covers, in hundreds of academic works, and even in television documentaries. 

In fact, according to Vice Provost for Libraries Larry P. Alford, files from the Libraries' Urban Archives, which include the Bulletin, represent the single most comprehensive archive chronicling life in 20th century Philadelphia.

Now, thanks to a large endowment from the Bulletin’s former owner, these images will be made available to a worldwide audience.

This fall, Temple University Libraries received a $250,000 endowment from the McLean Contributionship to help preserve, digitize and create finding aides for the Bulletin archive, making it more accessible to scholars, journalists and the public at large.

“This endowment allows for a new margin of excellence in maintaining and digitizing Temple’s special collections,” Alford said. “This will be an extraordinary resource, and will expose our collection to the world.”


Temple University Libraries acquired the Bulletin’s photograph and clippings files after the 135-year-old paper, which in its heyday during World War II was America’s fourth-largest, closed its doors in 1982.

Temple University Libraries' Urban Archives
Protests of the ’60s and ’70s, outside Independence Hall.
(Photo courtesy Temple University Libraries' Urban Archives)

The files, which are housed in the Urban Archives in Paley Library, contain five million photographs and the newspaper’s indexed clipping file.

Thirty-six thousand photographs, including many depicting Philadelphia neighborhoods, buildings, community organizations and street scenes through the years, have already been digitized and made accessible via the Libraries’ image catalog, Digital Diamond (http://diamond.temple.edu:81/search).


The endowment will be spaced over five years, and the last $50,000 is considered a challenge grant.

In order to fully utilize the endowment, the Libraries must raise enough money to match the last $50,000, bringing the total to $300,000.


Those interested in helping the Libraries meet this challenge can contact Brooke Walker, director of library development, at 215-204-3762 or brooke.walker@temple.edu, or visit the library’s Web site at http://library.temple.edu/friends.

Alix Gerz




Since 1970, the Temple Times has been Temple's weekly newspaper for the University community. Learn more about the Temple Times.