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Historical Resistance Collections in Greater Philadelphia highlights letters, photographs, reports, scrapbooks, and other materials that document over 300 years of resistance history in Philadelphia and the surrounding region. Philadelphia has a rich history of resistance, but historical materials about these movements are not always easy to find. They may also be described in ways that do not center the actions of the people doing this resistance work.

This site is a first step in making these resistance materials more available to those interested in them. Themes which appear here include African-American rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, environmental justice, and socially conscious art. The website is not comprehensive, but is intended as a starting point for anyone interested in these issues.

Where possible, we have linked to further information about these materials at the libraries or archives were they are held. Some of these larger descriptions are old or use historical language, whether from the time of the documents’ creation or the 20th century, that is offensive today; so, too, do some of the documents themselves, which may include references to traumatic topics.

If you have suggestions for other information that should be included here, or have questions, please contact us at resistance@pacscl.org.

This website was created as part of the project “Chronicling Resistance” in 2019. Support for the research and development of “Chronicling Resistance, Enabling Resistance” has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. The site is a project of PACSCL, the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries.