Artifacts After Dark – October 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29, 2020

Locked safely away in Eastern State Penitentiary’s climate-controlled darkroom, hundreds of artifacts rest in neatly organized drawers. Thousands of photographs fill museum storage boxes. Rare books line the shelves. Each object is an irreplaceable historic treasure that tells part of Eastern State’s complex story. Continue reading

Behind-the-Scenes Tours of the Archives – Mondays, October 7, 2019 through October 21, 2019, & October 31, 2019

To celebrate Archives Month Philly, Eastern State Archivist Erica Harman will lead several special 15-minute Hands-On History tours of the penitentiary’s collection storage area that houses Eastern State’s generally unknown, fascinating, and sometimes creepy collection of prisoner-made objects, photographs, and documents. Continue reading

Eastern State Penitentiary: Archives in Action – Ongoing Exhibit, 2013

Archives in Action
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, 2027 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Every day 10 am to 5 pm (last entry 4 pm)

Eastern State Penetentiary ARCHIVES Map

Eastern State Penitentiary ARCHIVES Map

In honor of Archives Month, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site offers a SPECIAL MAP highlighting the use of mug shots, historic photographs and videos, and oral histories with former inmates and guards in its public programming. The map is included in the regular admission price – just ask for it when you purchase your ticket or download a copy to bring along.

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. While this results in ideal conditions for discussing the complex history of the building, it creates a less than ideal environment for the historic site to display its collection of irreplaceable photographs, prison documents, and inmate-made objects. Currently hundreds of artifacts rest neatly organized in drawers, locked safely away, but visitors can still see them in action through site signage, exhibits and the self-guided tour. These collections play a critical role in repopulating empty cellblocks for our visitors, helping them envision the building as a bustling prison community. This map will highlight areas where you can find Eastern State’s collection of photographs, video, and more than 100 oral history interviews with former guards, inmates, and staff members.

Highlighted stops include: video footage from inside the prison in 1929, women at Eastern State, Death Row, The William Portner Memorial Exhibit on Jewish Life at Eastern State and TowerCam! exhibits.

No reservations necessary. The map is included in the regular admission price – just ask for it when you purchase your ticket or download a copy to bring along.