Philadelphia University: A Rich History, 1884-2007

Lavishly illustrated university history books with captioned photographs and artifact images. Sidebars and stock photo touches tell a high-impact story. Services included:

  • Research in institutional archives
  • Extensive photographic research
  • Oral history consulting
  • Close coordination with client’s book designer


In 2006 Philadelphia University (now part of Thomas Jefferson University) was completing a transition from a textile school to fully accredited academic institution. The administration sought to convey the legacy to new generations of faculty, students, and the public.


The university gave Dr. Durr full access to its archive. Research included primary works, student and alumni publications, and faculty papers. An oral history project provided insights and color. Next, Dr. Durr crafted a story of the evolution of textile education in the United States. He detailed the transformation of the all-men’s school to a coeducational institution and outlined the transition of a textile school to modern university. Ken worked closely with the designer to create pages that convey the tone of the times, from the late nineteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century.

Philadelphia University described the history books as “a fascinating look at the institution, the economy and the culture that has forged our identity over the years. Not only is the history a must-read, but it is packed with photos, some from the earliest times, and contains stories about the leaders who guided our development and some extraordinary students, faculty, and staff members as well.”

Project Specifications

  • 9″ x 9″
  • 110 pages
  • Full color, Glossy pages
  • Multiple images per page