Founder’s Hall Museum
Experience the Founder’s Hall museum online through our new Virtual Tour. The entrance hall, Board Room, Stephen Girard collection, and Girard College history collection are all available to digitally walk through, using 360-degree, high-resolution images.
Navigation help can be found in the “help” link at the lower right of the model. To explore, click and drag to look around the space, click on the rings to move through the space, and use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out. Jump to a specific room by using the dollhouse icon or the floor selector and floor plan icons, all at the lower left.
Founder’s Hall also offers live virtual tours using the 360-degree model, led by Director of Historical Resources, Kathy Haas. Visit Eventbrite for more information and dates.
Clio is a free “educational website and mobile application that guides the public to thousands of historical and cultural sites throughout the United States.” Founder’s Hall museum has created three historical walking tours in Clio: one of the Girard College campus, one of sites associated with Stephen Girard across Philadelphia, and one of our North Philadelphia neighborhood.
These resources can be used solely online or as guides for on-the-ground walking or driving tours. You can access the website from home or on a mobile device, or download the free Clio app.
Because Girard College is an active residential school, the campus is only open to the public for advertised events and scheduled hours at the Founder’s Hall Museum. But if you’re in the neighborhood and can’t come on campus, this “outside the wall” audio tour provides a guide to the school and to the many buildings you can see from South College Avenue. Or it can be enjoyed online from anywhere in the world.
The Historical Collections Database contains records for the Stephen Girard decorative arts, papers, and books, and much of the Girard College History Collections. Additional segments of the historical collections will be added to the catalog as they are completed, if you have questions or can’t find what you are looking for, contact Kathy Haas, Director of Historical Collections.
Historic publications digitized by Girard College can be found on the Girard College Historical Collections page on the Internet Archive (archive.org); this currently includes all yearbooks published 1930-1979 and annual reports not digitized elsewhere.
Many other institutions have also digitized publications about Stephen Girard and Girard College, including many annual reports. The Founder’s Hall museum has created lists of these materials available through Internet Archive and Hathitrust Digital Library.
All of the architectural drawings from the competition to design Girard College in 1832 and the subsequent construction 1832-1847 have been digitized in collaboration with the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. High-resolution images area available through their Philadelphia Architects and Buildings site.
For information and resources about the desegregation of Girard College, please also visit “Civil Rights in a Northern City” from the Temple University Libraries. This excellent website focuses on Girard College as one of three case studies and includes an overview essay, timeline, as well as extensive digitized material from their holdings of newspapers, film footage, oral histories, Philadelphia NAACP records, and other collections.
Downloadable lesson plans on the desegregation of Girard College for elementary and high school students can be found on our Educators page.