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In 1909, concerned Philadelphians and reformers looked around their fair city, and saw terrible slum conditions. That very year, the Philadelphia Housing Commission was formed, and over the years they would lobby to create a comprehensive housing code. In 1915, the enforcement of this code began, and the organization later became the Housing Association of the Delaware Valley. Their photographic archive became part of the collections at the Temple University Libraries. Recently, staff members there digitized over 3,100 photographs that document housing interiors, exteriors, streets, privy vaults, housing projects, and sanitation conditions from 1897 to 1972. Visitors can search the complete archive by keyword, or they can just browse around as they see fit. As a whole, the collection documents the story of Philadelphia's 20th century experience, and the images are quite eye opening.
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