The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies

of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania


Recent Exhibits | History of the Museum | Museum Guide | Past Exhibits

Recent Exhibits

Extended Lives: The African Immigrant Experience in Philadelphia



The History of the Museum

Born in the wake of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and in the midst of the ethnic revival of the 1970s, The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies actively promotes understanding and respect for America's ethnic, racial, and immigrant diversity. Since its founding in 1971 with trusts established by the Balch family of Philadelphia, The Balch Institute has sought to reduce and prevent intergroup tensions and violence.

With education as its primary focus, The Balch Institute is devoted to the ongoing collection and interpretation of materials focusing on our American ethnic, racial, and immigration experiences from an historical and contemporary perspective through its museum exhibitions, library and archives resources, and educational programs. More than 100,000 people visited exhibitions or participated in programs at The Balch Institute in 1995 to learn about the immigrant experience and cultural traditions that are unique to American history.

In the last 25 years, The Balch Institute has presented more than 70 museum exhibitions, some of which have traveled nationally; and the library and archives has developed the country's largest multiethnic collection that supports student research, curriculum development, and advanced research.

The Museum Guide

Selections from the Museum Collections

Past Exhibits

Ahlan wa-Sahlan!

Live Like the Banyan Tree

Armenian Rugs: Fabric of a Culture

Building the Gold Mountain: Philadelphia's Chinatown

Ethnic Images in the Comics

Ethnic Images in Advertising

Ethnic Images in Toys and Games

Ethnic Weddings in America

Italian-American Traditions

The Japanese American Experience

Preserving Polonia in America

Rites of Passage in America

Sense of Self: Contemporary Ethnic Women Artists



 Home | About | Information | News 


The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies
of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Copyright © 1996-2002 The Balch Institute. All Rights Reserved.