Special Issue of Pennsylvania History on "Harrisburg, Digital Public History, and the "City Beautiful" now available!

Linda Ries's picture
March 7, 2020
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Digital Humanities, Public History, Urban Design and Planning, Urban History / Studies

Pennsylvania History has produced a special theme issue on: “Harrisburg, Digital Public History, and the City Beautiful.” The two guest editors are James LaGrand and David Pettegrew of Messiah College, who run the Digital Harrisburg Project there: https://digitalharrisburg.com/about/. The issue has over twenty articles about how new information can be teased from traditional historical resources such as the census and maps combined with digital datasets to give a whole new perspective on Harrisburg and the City Beautiful Movement at the turn of the last century. The project involves teaching tools for students as well. 

The entire issue is available electronically via JStor and Project Muse. For information on obtaining print copies, contact Linda A. Ries at jaggers1952@verizon.net 

Three articles (#1, 15, and 19, listed below) are available for free on the Pennsylvania Historical Association’s website: www.pa-history.org


Table of Contents

Part I. Reframing Harrisburg’s City Beautiful: History, Theory, Practice

Harrisburg, the City Beautiful: Recasting the History of Urban Reform in a Small American Capital (David Pettegrew and James LaGrand)

Understanding Urban Progressivism and the City Beautiful Movement (Jim LaGrand)


Part II. Rethinking City Beautiful: The Social and Spatial Backdrop of Improvement

The Digital Harrisburg Project: Placing the Population of a Progressive-Era City (David Pettegrew and Albert Sarvis)

Mapping Urban Change in Harrisburg 1900-1930 (Albert Sarvis)

The Greek Communities in Harrisburg and Lancaster: A Study of Immigration, Residence and Mobility in the City Beautiful Era (Kostis Kourelis and David Pettegrew)


Part III. Remembering City Beautiful: Urban Reformers and Civic Spaces

Before the City was Beautiful (Michael Barton) 

Faith in Beauty and Progress: Temple Beth El (Matthew Singer)

Mira Lloyd Dock and the City Beautiful Campaign (Susan Rimby)

“The Crusade Against Ugliness”: J. Horace McFarland and Photography (Linda Ries)

The Correspondence of J. Horace McFarland and Mira Lloyd Dock (Molly Elspas and Anna Strange)

“Charms Which No Other Ground Possesses”: Wildwood Park in Harrisburg’s City Beautiful Movement (Joseph R. McClure)

Bellevue Park: The Suburb Beautiful and Enduring (Matthew Singer)

The 1918 Influenza Outbreak in Harrisburg (Sarah Carter)

The Brunner Plan for the Harrisburg Capitol Complex (Samuel D. Gruber)


Part IV. Reimagining City Beautiful

History and Memory of the Old Eighth Ward (Rachel Williams)

The Trek Uptown: The Migration of Harrisburg’s Jewish Community in the Twentieth Century (Bruce Bazelon)

Reimaging the Old Eighth Ward through Poetry (Jean Corey)

Look Up, Look Out: Discrepant Stories from the Old Eighth Ward (Andrew Hermeling)

Harrisburg’s Historic African American Community: An Interview with Mr. Calobe Jackson (James B. LaGrand)

The Commonwealth Memorial: A New Sculpture on Capitol Grounds (Becky Ault)

Part V. Response

Reframing, Rethinking, and Remembering: Considering the Digital Harrisburg Project (Lisa Krissoff Boehm)




Contact Info: 

Linda A. Ries

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