City Life

Fisher Fine Arts Library Gives Hidden City Daily Eternal Life

August 21, 2018 | by Michael Bixler


Pictured here are 75 of the 200 writers and photographers who have contributed to the Hidden City Daily since 2011. 

Hidden City Philadelphia is pleased to announce that our website, the Hidden City Daily, has been chosen for inclusion in the Fisher Fine Arts Library Web Archive at the University of Pennsylvania. The program collects web content deemed valuable to disciplines in the arts and historic preservation in Philadelphia. The Web Archive provides permanent public access to support future academic research and to prevent selected websites from disappearing from public record. Hidden City Philadelphia is one of the first organizations chosen to be included in the Fisher’s Web Archive and joins ICA Philadelphia, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, and Ulises bookshop and gallery.

The Hidden City Daily officially launched in 2011 as a new journalism arm of our parent organization, Hidden City Philadelphia. Since its humble beginnings, the Daily, an independent, nonprofit media outlet, has published over 2,000 features, photo essays, and news articles by our ever-growing community of 200 contributors. With a current annual operating budget of just $95,000, the Hidden City Daily continues to deliver weekly articles, ad-free, at no cost to the public. Thanks to our staff and the help of our readers, today we are going strong, while we work towards becoming a sustainable operation. But if the Daily eventually suffers the same fate as the Philadelphia City Paper, which ceased publication after 34 years and terminated its website in 2015, our dense catalog of articles and research will live in perpetuity within the Fisher Fine Arts Library Web Archive.

Coral Salomón, Digital Strategies Librarian and Web Archive program manager at Fisher Fine Arts Library, said that staff at Fisher plans to capture pages from the Hidden City Daily at regular intervals using web archiving tools, which will provide online access to the public with versions of the original articles. For the project, the library has partnered with the Internet Archive to collect the site using Archive-It. Once captured, the web archiving team at Penn will perform quality assurance of the content before the material goes live. Salomón said that as months go by, the Daily’s archive will grow in size. “One of my goals for this web archive is to create an in-house discovery layer, similar to the digital collections platforms hosted by other libraries and archives, where users can find archived websites captured using different types of tools and not just through Archive-It. This digital collection will be available to all users and not just Penn affiliates,” said Salomón.

Hidden City Daily was selected for Fisher’s Web Archives by two Art History PhD candidates at Penn. The nomination was then reviewed for inclusion in the archive by Hannah Bennett, Director of Fisher Fine Arts Library, Laurie Allen, Director for Digital Scholarship, and Coral Salomón.Penn faculty, students, staff, affiliates, and the public are welcome and encouraged to recommend websites and online resources. Content creators and owners are also welcome to nominate their own websites,” said Salomón.


About the Author

Michael Bixler is a writer, editor, and photographer engaged in dialogue and documentation of the built environment and how it relates to history, culture, and the urban experience. He is the editorial director and chief photographer of Hidden City Philadelphia.


  1. Kathy Dowdell says:

    Well done – congratulations.

  2. Jim Clark says:

    Congratulations, you all deserve it.

  3. Justin Detwiler says:

    Proud of you all…as always!

  4. Marianna Thomas says:

    Excellent news. Congratulations

  5. Betsy Harvin says:

    Just starting to Google Hidden City. This, my friends, is a terrific start

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