Research at Elfreth's Alley
Research has always been an essential ingredient in the preservation and interpretation of Elfreth's Alley. Hannah B. Roach, one of Philadelphia's noted early historians and genealogists, conducted extensive research into the lives of early residents, and copies of her manuscript sources are available at the Alley Museum and in the Library of the American Philosophical Society.
In recent decades, some of America's most noted scholars of early American architecture have explored the buildings and documentary resources of Elfreth's Alley. Penelope H. Batcheler, one of the first women to serve as historic architect for the National Park Service, played an integral role in saving the Alley from destruction in the 1960s and helped create the Elfreth's Alley Museum.
More recently, Dr. Bernard L. Herman and a group of his graduate students from the University of Delaware conducted extensive research on each of the houses along Elfreth's Alley and Bladen's Court. The information they uncovered has been integral to an expanded, vital interpretation and preservation of Elfreth's Alley. We hope to publish this information for the general public in the days ahead.
We actively seek further information on the families, buildings, and visitors to Elfreth's Alley over the past three centuries. If you have stories, genealogical data, or photographs that you would be willing to share, please use our contact form.
American Philosophical Society