The Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography is a 32-volume collective biography that was published in irregular intervals from 1914 to 1967 by the Lewis Publishing Company. Virtually all of the biographies identify the subject's date of birth, parents, spouse and children, and some provide extensive genealogical notes.
Although each of the thirty-two volumes in the Encyclopedia is separately indexed, the value of a cumulative name index to biographies, for the purpose of expediting research in this rich source, seems self-evident. In 1932 a cumulative index to the first twenty volumes of the Encyclopedia, referring to 16,000 names, was published by the Lewis Publishing Company. No one saw fit to prepare an index to the remaining volumes, however, until 1994 when Walter D. Stock, a professional librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia, assembled a 26,000-name index to the balance of the series. Both cumulative indexes are published here in one volume for the convenience of the researcher. In both cases the indexes furnish the name, volume, and page number of every subject of a biography in the Encyclopedia. In this way, the Index constitutes a crucial new finding aid for persons with Pennsylvania ancestry. It will be of great use to the many institutions that already own the Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography. Similarly, researchers who buy the Index but have no access to the Encyclopedia can write to the Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Attn: Social Science and History Department, Philadelphia, PA 19103, for photocopies of short biographical entries whose subjects they uncover in a check of the Index.
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