The Penn Libraries have announced Philadelphia Neighborhoods: Histories, Plans and Futures, a database of neighborhood-based reports issued by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission between 1946 and 1990. This database, which contains text, maps, and photographs, is available at http://sceti.library.upenn.edu/PhilaNeighborhoods .
There are several ways you can explore this exhibit. You can browse the reports, get a map overview and explore that, or search by keyword. I don’t know much about Philadelphia so I browsed the map, picking Mount Airy neighborhood in the Upper North district. There were five reports on this area. I picked one of them at random and got a link to a new window with a image set of the report. paging through it, I could read most of the text on the report, but had to click on the images to get details and handwritten notations.
For people who might want to get research off this site for historical purposes, I’d add one tool: the ability to enter a Philadelphia e-mail address and get pointers to which district and neighborhood that is.