Eventually, visitors will be able to search through historical newspaper clippings, hospital records, photographs, reports, and other primary sources related to life in the Old Seventh Ward.

This feature is still being developed.
Original Du Bois Map Original Map
We anticipate providing images of scanned historical maps, historical photographs, and other primary documents in the future.
Newspaper Clippings Newspaper Clippings
We have photographed hundreds of newspaper clippings relating to public health in Philadelphia in the 1890s. We are currently cropping them and creating key words to allow for searches.

Your Story

Add to our collection of information about the Old Seventh Ward by sharing your stories and family photographs with us.

We hope to develop this feature for our mapping application that allows visitors to add stories and photographs that can become a part of our Seventh Ward GIS. In the meantime, please contact project director Amy Hillier if you are interested in being interviewed or contributing material to the website.

Board Game

No fancy technology here, just a good old fashion board game. Assume the identity of an African American resident and move through the Seventh Ward answering questions and facing the challenges of day to day life in the 1890s.

We expect the board game to be completed by Spring 2009.
Game Card Game Cards
Board Game
The board for the board game is modelled after Du Bois' famous map.

Walking Tour

Use our walking tour brochure to guide you through the Old Seventh Ward or request a guided tour for you and your group. To date, we have given tours for the PennDesign Black Student Alliance "Unspoken Borders" conference, PennDesign new student orientation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program.

Brochure Brochure
Jimmy Jimmy
Jimmy Calnan lives in the Old Seventh Ward
and serves as the local historian for his block.


Our 30-minute documentary, filmed and narrated by high school students, introduces people of all ages to the story of W.E..B Du Bois and the forgotten Seventh Ward. Mayor Michael Nuttter, sociologist Elijah Anderson, and others describe how Du Bois's work is relevant to us today.

The documentary will be framed by the chance meeting of Ronnie, the grand-daughter of an African-American woman born in the Seventh Ward in the 1910s, and Jimmy, the current white resident of the house where she was born. It will address the following questions:

  • Why did Du Bois come to Philadelphia?
  • What did he find?
  • How has the Seventh Ward changed over time?
  • Why is The Philadelphia Negro relevant to us today?

The documentary is being filmed by West Philadelphia Catholic High School students Haftom Khasai and Malik Neal. Both of them learned to make documentaries through National History Day . To date, we have interviewed:

  • Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia
  • Dana King, Lead Coach for African American History, School District of Philadelphia
  • V Chapman-Smith, director of the Mid-Atlantic branch of the National Archives
  • Tukufu Zuberi, Du Bois scholar and Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Elijah Anderson, Professor of Sociology at Yale University
  • Carolyn Cannuscio, Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Anthony Monteiro, Du Bois scholar and lecturer at Temple University
  • Amy Cohen, high school teacher at Masterman High School
  • Veronica Hodges, granddaughter of "Miss Veronica," born in the Seventh Ward in the 1910s
  • Jimmy Calnan, current resident of the Seventh Ward
  • Louis Massiah, film-maker and director of SCRIBE Video
  • Rev. Jeffrey Leath, minister of Mother Bethel AME Church


This section is still being developed.
It will soon also showcase work by students and others about Du Bois.
Amy Hillier Amy Teaching
Amy teaches local High School students about The Philadelphia Negro.

Students and teachers will be able to find materials to use with middle school, high school, and college students to teach them about Du Bois and The Philadelphia Negro. Assignments will include recommended readings from The Philadelphia Negro, discussion questions, and mapping exercises based on the Seventh Ward GIS. We will also showcase the work of students who use our Mapping Du Bois resources.


This section is still being developed. It will contain an archive of presentations.

Our team members regularly give presentations about the Mapping Du Bois project. Feel free to download and use the presentations linked below or contact Amy Hillier to arrange for a presentation.


We are currently developing a new version of our Profiles feature. This will allow students to develop profiles of historical people from the Old Seventh Ward using 1900 US Census data, other primary sources, and your imagination. Use your profile to create a blog, board game character, and network with other residents of the Seventh Ward.

New version coming soon!

Profiles is modeled after MySpace and Facebook, the online system for developing personal profiles and social networks that is all the rage with young people. We would like to harness the tremendous enthusiasm and creativity they are investing in developing these personal pages for learning about history and historical research. Why not let kids show off their computer skills, develop new skills, and have fun with history?

How does it work?

Students must research a historical person to complete a profile on Profiles. The 1900 U.S. census data for residents of the Old Seventh Ward is available through the Seventh Ward GIS (provide link to mapping application) and provides basic information about all of the people who lived in the Old Seventh Ward: name, age, sex, marital status, household members, place of birth, parents' place of birth, schooling, occupation, and ability to read/write/speak English. Eventually, we will also make available historical photographs and records relating to housing, health, and crime available on the Mapping Du Bois site. Students will be expected to develop their profiles based on the information from the website, from the book, The Philadelphia Negro, and other historical sources they identify.

For each piece of information they post on their profiles, students will need to identify the specific source that they consulted and whether this is a primary or secondary source. In most cases, there will be limited information available about an individual, but based on the information from the census, students may conduct research to find out what that person may have been like. For example, they might know that their person was a domestic servant, but they may not know exactly what kind of work they did or for whom they worked. Using historical sources, they might determine that it was likely that the domestic servant did laundry, cleaning, and cooking for a wealthy family that lived nearby.

Once students have developed profiles, they can start to network with other historical people. These might be friendships among peers, working relationships with colleagues and bosses, or other social ties. Students will be able to describe their daily life and relationships through a blog. This will require historical imagination and historical sources. It will allow them to imagine being a resident of the Old Seventh Ward at the end of the 19th Century. As students imagine other representations of daily life, such as videos and animations, we will try to keep up.

What are the benefits for students and teachers?

Profiles provides teachers with all the material they need for a homework assignment that teaches students about the lives of everyday people. It will also help teach historical research skills, including background reading, data collection, proper citations, and recognition of primary and secondary sources. Profiles presents students with a fun outlet for their creativity and computer skills, combining 19th Century historical content with 21st Century technology.

Du Bois Standing We The People Logo
Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.