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Temple University Libraries

Library Overview

The Special Collections of the Temple University Libraries encompass several significant collections. The Urban Archives study center was established in 1967 to document the social, economic, and physical development of the Philadelphia metropolitan area from the mid-19th century to the present. It is the home of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Collection. It also serves as a repository for the organizational records and materials of more than 250 community and political organizations, including the Housing Association of the Delaware Valley, an organization founded in 1909 to address the deteriorating housing conditions in Philadelphia, and the Gray Panthers, an advocacy group that was formed to bring about positive attitudes towards aging. Another collection documenting Temple's rich local heritage is the Philadelphia Dance Collection, which documents the diverse dance legacy of the region.

The Contemporary Culture Collection, primarily documenting the protest era of the 1960s and 1970s, contains 4,000 journal, newsletter, and newspaper titles and 5,000 books and pamphlets. It was established in 1969 and has grown to include microfilm collections, audiotapes, posters and broadsides, ephemera holdings, and manuscript collections, such as the records of the Liberation News Service, the Committee of Small Press Editors and Publishers, Youth Liberation, Seven Days, and the personal papers of poet Lyn Lifshin.

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection includes early, rare, scarce, and valuable books, as well as the Prints, Drawings, Photographs, and Artifacts Collections. The Conwellana-Templana Collection consists of the published books and sermons, manuscripts, correspondence, and memorabilia of Temple University founder Dr. Russell Conwell.

The Blockson Afro-American Collection is one of the nation's leading research facilities for the study of the history and culture of people of African descent. It contains over 500,000 items on the global Black experience in all formats, including books, manuscripts, pamphlets, journals, broadsides, posters, photographs, and rare ephemera.

Temple University Libraries
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Paley Library
1210 West Berks Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122-6088
(215) 204-4371 (t)
(215) 204-5201 (f)