The archives of Eastern State Penitentiary are packed with historic treasures that the public rarely sees. Thousands of photographs, stacks of inmate-written magazines, and even shanks (homemade weapons) are numbered and tucked carefully into museum-grade storage in the site's administrative offices. Historic site visitors often see photographs of these treasures, but the building's lack of museum-quality climate control makes it impossible to exhibit the artifacts year-round. For 10 days only, Eastern State Penitentiary presents its sixth annual Pop-Up Museum! The 2018 theme is "Walls Make Good Neighbors," celebrating the one-century birthday of the Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Objects on view will focus on connections between this ancient prison and the vibrant neighborhood that eventually came to surround it. Pop-Up Museum is included with admission. Tickets are available online or at the door, subject to availability.
This event is part of Eastern State's ongoing Searchlight Series of events addressing issues in contemporary corrections. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required.