Area Resources

View of the skyline from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

View of the skyline from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The city

The city of Philadelphia has more than 1.5 million residents, making it the 6th-largest city in the U.S. Its diversity, recent growth, and active cultural scene contribute to a vitality that offers fellows many exciting experiences and opportunities beyond research and writing.

Main attractions in Philadelphia include:

  • The world’s largest collection of Impressionist art, and America’s first art museum.
  • A music scene that ranges from opera and classical to original jazz, rock, folk, and hip-hop.
  • Renowned international film festivals and fringe arts festivals.
  • Open-air markets and shopping districts.
  • Fairmount Park, the largest urban park in United States, which is great for running, cycling, and horseback riding, and the Schuylkill River, which is excellent for boating (boats are available for rent).

Manageable cost of living

Philadelphia is more affordable than New York City, Boston, and San Francisco. Given its relatively small size, most fellows find places to stay within Philadelphia, including University City, the area around the University of Pennsylvania just west of downtown. Fellows might also live in nearby suburbs in Pennsylvania or New Jersey and commute to CHF via the extensive regional train system. Public transportation is widely available, so CHF is easy to get to from anywhere in and around the city.

You can learn more at Philadelphia’s official visitor site. Interesting details about the city can also be found on Wikipedia.


Philadelphia presents first-rate opportunities for research with dozens of libraries and historical centers in the city and surrounding areas. Twelve leading research institutions have teamed up to form a consortium known as the Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science (PACHS). Fellows are encouraged to use PACHS and other local resources for research, if appropriate, and also to visit PACHS exhibitions and public events. A calendar of events is available on the PACHS Web site. The PACHS institutions other than CHF are:

Other research collections in the area can be found by visiting the website of another important consortium, the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL).


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Brown Bag Lecture Series

Enjoy a bring-your-own brown-bag lunch while listening to CHF scholars share their research.

Hear It Firsthand

CHF’s Center for Oral History captures and preserves the stories of notable figures in chemistry and related fields. Many of the oral histories in the collection belong to recipients of CHF awards, including


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