Philadelphia Studies is curated by Michael Krasulski. Michael is a librarian and professor at the Community College of Philadelphia and a congregant at Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany. He is visiting the various parishes in Philadelphia documenting their hidden archival collections and sharing them with the world as well as sharing materials from his own collections (with the requisite permissions, of course!). Special focus is paid to the “dialogue of decline” in the Episcopal Church prior to the ordination of women priests in 1974. More about the project can be found here.
Why the name? Well because Michael jokingly calls his book collection “The Library of the Philadelphia Studies Association.”
Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer or congregation.
I’m enjoying your blog! Do you ever come across ephemera related to the early Philadelphia New Church (Swedenborgian)? I’m curious about that big New Church building on 22nd and Chestnut, and also about the stories I’ve heard of a short-lived William Strickland building called the “New Jerusalem Temple”.
I have not. But I also have not looked very hard. I will keep an eye out. Should I find anything, I will post it.
You need to post something about the unfortunate departure of Rev. Alfred G. Mortimer, sometime Rector of St. Mark’s! Great work Michael, I love the blog!
Mike, what a wonderful project and what a lot of work! I’m looking forward to reading more of your articles.
I came across your blog while researching architectural work by my grandfather, Walter H. Thomas (1876-1948). Walter Thomas’ father, Richard Newton Thomas, was an episcopal priest in Philadelphia from 1868 to 1905, who served a number of parishes, including Branchtown, St. Matthias, Trinity Maylandville, and St. Simon the Cyrenian. More importantly, Walter’s uncle was George C. Thomas, whose financial beneficence not only contributed significantly to the growth of the diocese, but also launched my grandfather’s architectural career. So far, I have been able to connect architectural work at the following churches directly to George C. Thomas: St. Simon the Cyrenian, Holy Apostles, Holy Communion, St. Paul’s Memorial (15th & Porter), and Chapel of the Mediator. Walter Thomas was also involved with architectural work at: St. Paul’s Overbrook, All Hallows Wyncote, St. Paul’s Elkins Park, All Souls, St. Martins in the Fields, St. Martins Oak Lane, St. George’s Richmond, St. Nathaneal’s Kensington, Grace Church Mt. Airy, as well as numerous other churches of other denominations.
Several of your posts have offered information about some of these, for which I am extremely grateful. Any other information you may find in your libraries about any of these parishes will be appreciated as well.
Thanks for the informative, and very useful, work.
How are you? I am not sure if you have checked the blog lately but I have a great deal of information about most the parishes named above. If you are looking for something specific let me know. If i have it, I will post it asap.
Great blog. Love the history of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. My family association with the Diocese goes back to the founding of St. Monica’s, West Philadelphia(now the Church of SS Andrew and Monica). I would love to see some information about the original St. Monica’s and the Rev. Fr. Richard Bright, a priest at the church during the 1920’s. Maybe a copy of “The Church News” from that time would have something about the parish. My mother always told stories about Fr. Bright’s visitations to my grandparents home where he promptly spilled the beans on all the misbehavior of my mother and her siblings during Sunday school.
I was about 6 when the old St. Monica’s building closed and the parish merged with St. Andrew.
Any pictures of the old St. Monica’s would especially be welcomed.
Thanks and keep up the good work.
The documents from Church of the Epiphany (Germantown) are wonderful. My father, Rev. Milton S. Leber, was the priest at Epiphany from the mid 60’s through the mid 80’s. I grew up in the rectory at Epiphany. We lived through the arson fire that took the original building in 1975, and the rebuilding using the parish house. Seeing the old yearbooks that document the building of the church and the rectory was a real treat. I’m overjoyed that you have preserved these documents and placed them online.
Tom – and there are more Epiphany yearbooks to come. I will be posting them thru 1965 or so.
I found a cache of material from Epiphany during your father’s rectorship at Epiphany. So stay tuned!
My grand uncle, Monsignor Henry Koenes, was the pastor and found of St Henry’s (Catholic) Parish (1916-1983) at 5th and Cayuga Streets, Philadelphia. This was the last ethnic (German) parish founded in the city. I wish there was a vehicle like this to archive all my inherited material from his parish, but, to date, no one is interested. Your site is a tribute to dedicated priests/ministers like my grand uncle.
How are you? Thank you for your comment. If you are interested in how I do the blog I would be happy to share you all the details. Its sounds like you have a great archive at your disposal that needs to see the light of day.
Michael, I read your article in the Historiographer, Summer 2016. I grew up at Church of the Resurrection, Mayfair, and enjoyed your posts about its history. I now live in Florida and am the historiographer at Holy Trinity in Gainesville. Resurrection is closed. Where are there old records found?
How are you? The records will be found at Emmanuel/Resurrection in Holmesburg, Philadelphia.
Michael (if I may),
Your St. Stephen’s stuff is awfully useful to pastoral, historical and architectural research by the new team (including me), and I wondered if you had anything from pre 1823 re the planning of the parish and building? I see mostly printed matter and some letters here. That early material is so often invoked through 1958 that I’m frustrated and puzzled that I can’t find it.
Congrats and thanks for all you’ve done and continue to do!
I am very excited to find your blog as my Grandfather worked briefly at St. Luke’s Germantown in 1924-26. I’m keeping my fingers crossed a photo of him will pop up here one day! Thank you!
I recently acquired the Clinton H Meneely bronze bell that was used at the Memorial Chapel of the Holy Communion at 27th and Wharton Streets. Thanks to your posted information I can preserve some of its history on a plaque. Do you know when the Chapel was decommissioned?
Thank you for your note. The parish closed in 1995, and it was a very contentious closing.
I enjoyed your article on the Church of the Crucifixion in The Historiographer, summer/fall 2017 and the materials from the church posted here. I am doing research on Esther Armstrong, who was a soprano in the choir in the mid to late 1860s. Did you find anything on the church’s music program at that time? I have seem the materials at HSP, which are helpful but don’t talk about music.
Hello This is a fascinating and important collection of Philadelphia history, long forgotten. I am specifically interested in information about L’Emmanuello (Italian Episcopal Mission). I learned my grandfather received confirmation there in 1930. Have you found any documents, maybe an Annual Report, from that time? Thank you.
I wish. I have not seen any annual reports that late from the mission.
Hello, Mike – I grew up in St Thomas Church, at 52nd and Parrish, in West Philadelphia. Founded in 1792. – But my question is a stretch – I am working with a group to rescue one of the Episcopal HBCUs – – St Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. – – St Paul’s had strong connections to Philadelphia. – There were many St Paul’s Alumni in Philadelphia. – We are looking for financial partners to help make this restoration and transformation, succeed. – – Thanks Richard F. America, Reston, Virginia 703 437 7151 email@example.com http://www.americaconsulting.net
Can someone help me to find an archived marriage listing from 1880 for a Charles McMurray and Josephine Machete on or around June 9, 1980 at St John’s Northern Liberties. The Rev was T A Fernley.
Thanks so much
The records of St. John’s Northern Liberties seem to have been lost to the ages.