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History Book Festival

May 15, 2022 @ 1:00 pm 6:00 pm

A young woman is walking along a plank near a beach hut as another reads a book and the children play in the sand. Chromolithograph after John Leech, 1865. Courtesy of the Wellcome Collection.

The Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation invites lovers of Philadelphia area history to attend its first-ever History Book Festival Sunday, May 15, at 916 S. Swanson Street (Columbus Blvd. & Christian St.), Philadelphia. Authors of both non-fiction and fiction for adults and children will be on site to meet with readers and discuss their books. A full afternoon of activities is planned.

The Festival will take place at historic Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Food and refreshments will be available. Attendance is free. Both children and adults are welcome. It will be held rain or shine and will move indoors in bad weather.

Schedule of Events

The Church and graveyard will open for visitation throughout the day. Snacks and beverages will be available for sale inside Riverside Hall.

1:00pmGates open; authors at tables for meet and greets.
1:30pmGuided tour of Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church with historian Jeanette Woehr.
2:00pmBook reading by Pat Jeanne Davis, author of When Valleys Bloom Again.
2:15pmInterview with Natalie Pompilio, author of This Used to Be Philadelphia and Walking Philadelphia.
2:30pmBook reading with Lynn Miller, author of Salut! France Meets Philadelphia and City in a Park: A History of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park System.
2:45pmInterview with Jim Murphy, author of Real Philly History, Real Fast.
3:00pmBook reading with Cordelia Frances Biddle, author of Biddle, Jackson, And A Nation In Turmoil.
3:15pmInterview with Jeff Finegan, author of the “I Knew George Washington” book series.
3:30pmBook reading with Jennifer L. Green, author of Dark History of Penn’s Woods.
3:45pmInterview with Harry Kyriakodis, author of Philadelphia’s Lost Waterfront and Northern Liberties: The Story of a Philadelphia River Ward.
4:00pmInterview with Joel Spivak, author of Underground Philadelphia, Philadelphia Trolleys and Philadelphia Railroads.
4:15pmInterview with David Schwartz, author of A VIP Day at Independence Park.
4:30pmInterview with Hal Taylor, author of The Illustrated Delaware River: The History of a Great American River and Before Penn: An Illustrated History of the Delaware River Colonies, 1609-1682.
4:45pmInterview with David S. Traub, author of Philadelphia City of Homes, Searching for Philadelphia: The Concealed City and Discovering Philadelphia: Places Little Known.
5:00pmInterview with Joseph Minardi, author of Historic Architecture in Northwest Philadelphia: 1690 to 1930s and City of Neighborhoods: Philadelphia, 1890–1910.
5:15pmInterview with Michael Schreiber, author of Unsinkable Patriot: The Life and Times of Thomas Cave in Revolutionary America.
5:30pmGuided tour of Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church with historian Jeanette Woehr.

Featured Authors

Cordelia Frances Biddle is an author with a passion for history. Her most recent book, Biddle, Jackson, And A Nation In Turmoil: The Infamous Bank War, was shortlisted for the Athenaeum of Philadelphia Literary Award. She has also written a number of other works of fiction and non-fiction. Learn More →

Pat Jeanne Davis has a keen interest in early 20th Century United States and British history, particularly World War II. Her interest in that era goes back to the real-life stories she heard about family members in England and the US who served during the war. When Valleys Bloom Again is a debut historical inspirational novel set in WWII. Learn More →

A collector of George Washington manuscripts and other important early American documents, Jeffrey Finegan is the creator and author of the “I Knew George Washington” series. All three books in this series have been enthusiastically received by both the historic and literary communities. Learn More →

Jennifer L. Green graduated from University of Delaware with majors in anthropology and history, and earned her Master’s degree in American History at West Chester. She has written for ExplorePAHistory.com and the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, and has worked at historic sites throughout Chester and Delaware counties. Learn More →

Harry Kyriakodis is a founding/certified member of the Association of Philadelphia tour guides and gives presentations on unique sections of Philadelphia. He has accumulated what is likely the largest collection of books about William Penn’s city by the Delaware River: almost 3000 titles. Learn More →

Lynn Miller is the author of works on varied subjects, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as a painter whose dominant style is that of abstract expressionism. His co-authored book (with Therese Dolan) Salut! France Meets Philadelphia, won the 2021 Art and Architecture Award from the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Learn More →

Joseph Minardi is an award-winning photographer. He is a recipient of the 2007 Preservation Initiative Award from the University City Historical Society and the 2014 Annual Award for Service to the Preservation Community from Save Our Sites. He has also hosted walking tours and lectures about Philadelphia’s historic architecture. Learn More →

Jim Murphy is a certified tour guide who’s been walking Philly streets and writing about it in community publications since 2010. Encouraged by reader comments who liked the short articles, fascinating facts and interesting oddities, he put them in a book that people really seem to like. Learn More →

Natalie Pompilio

Sisters Natalie (writer) and Tricia (photographer) Pompilio have collaborated on This Used To Be Philadelphia (2021) – recently named best non-fiction book by the Pennsylvania Press Club – and Walking Philadelphia (2018), an updated version of which will be released this Fall. They live six blocks apart in Queen Village. Learn More →

Michael Schreiber is a writer living in Queen Village. During his research, he encountered a much earlier neighbor, Thomas Cave, who lived there over two centuries ago. Six years of writing and research resulted in the publication in 2016 of his book Unsinkable Patriot: The Life and Times of Thomas Cave in Revolutionary America. Learn More →

David Schwartz served in the Army during the Vietnam War as an interrogator for military intelligence. He spent his career as a Philadelphia lawyer. In retirement, David became a certified Philadelphia tour guide, works as a volunteer park ranger, and has led walking twilight tours at Independence National Historical Park.

Joel Spivak, a native of Philadelphia, has had a varied career in architecture and the arts. His community service is legendary: he was a founder of the South Street Renaissance and helped defeat the crosstown expressway. Joel was awarded ‘citizen of the first rank’ by City Council for his lifetime commitment to the city of Philadelphia. Learn More →

Hal Taylor has been a graphic artist for over 30 years, devoting much of his recent efforts to combining a love of history with illustration. He has been a typographer and hand lettering artist for advertising and design agencies, an illustrator, and an adjunct professor at Drexel University. Hal makes his home in historic New Jersey. Learn More →

David S. Traub is an architect, author and playwright based in Philadelphia. He studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania in the Master Class of Louis I. Khan. He is the author of several books and many articles concerning architectural preservation. He is also the co-founder of SOS, Save our Sites. Learn More →


May 15, 2022
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Free – $25.00


Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation
(215) 645-2755‬
View Organizer Website

Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church

916 S Swanson Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147 United States
View Venue Website