Precious Places Community History Project Vol. 6

Produced by: 
Scribe Video Center and Various Community Organizations

Precious Places Compilation Price:

Higher Education Institutions & Government Agency DVD | $139.00
K-12 & Public Libraries DVD | $79.00
Home Video DVD License – Restrictions Apply | $20.00



While tourists head straight for the city’s official “Historic District” and native Philadelphian’s think they have seen it all, Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Community History Project reveals bypassed neighborhood sites as bright landmarks that surprise and inspire residents and visitors alike. Using the video documentary as a storytelling medium, neighborhood residents have come together to document the oral histories of their communities. Over the past three and half decades Scribe has collaborated with community groups from Philadelphia, Chester, Ardmore, and Camden to produce over 100 community histories. Precious Places is a regional history, an occasion for neighbors to tell their own stories about and the people and places that make their communities unique. This DVD features 8 films.


Films Included In The Compilation:

Brothers & Sisters: Sharing our Legacy by Calhoun Family and Philadelphia Alumni Chapter of the  Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc

The house at 1007 Belmont Avenue was a cornerstone for its neighborhood and the city during fifty years of civil rights struggles (00:12:22). Read more

Bury Me in a Free Land: The Story of Eden Cemetery by Friends of Historic Eden Cemetery

As a sacred burial space for African Americans, Eden's rich history includes a complicated relationship with neighboring residents (00:12:03). Read more

King's Highway Bridge, Holmesburg, Pennsylvania by Friends of Pennypack Park and Holmesburg Civic Association

A 334-year-old bridge has witnessed the Revolutionary War, the founding of Holmesburg and countless seasons in the Pennypack (00:10:33). Read more

High School Park by Friends of High School Park

After a fire destroyed a former high school in Cheltenham, neighbors came together to restore the site's native ecosystem (00:08:27). Read more

Making a Homeplace: The Historically Black Neighborhood of Swarthmore by Historically Black Neighborhood of Swarthmore Precious Places Team

A community remembers the character and traditions that have shaped their neighborhood since the Great Migration (00:10:43). Read more

La Mott Community Garden: A Very Precious Place by La Mott Community Garden Group

La Mott's colorful history is remembered, as neighbors fight to save their 80-year-old community garden from developers (00:12:36). Read more

The Philadelphia Lazaretto by Lazaretto Preservation Association of Tinicum Township

Neighbors, historians and decendants of immigrants who were held at the Lazaretto, reflect on the former hospital's years as a quarantine facility (00:09:51). Read more

Nile Swim Club by Nile Swim Club

Facing discrimination at the local swimming pool, African Americans in Yeadon built a new, non-segregated swim club in 1958 (00:11:03). Read more


Quotes From Educators:

"It [Precious Places] moves documentary practice away from the individualistic and idiosyncratic, typified in projects likeSupersize Me (2004, by Morgan Spurlock) and Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004, by Michael Moore), towards collaborative interactions between neighborhoods, filmmakers, and scholars who create new histories. As a result, the project constitutes more than an intervention into the conceptualization of documentary. Importing concepts from postcolonial studies, the project shows how to embody difficult and sprawling polyvcalities and microhistories as a way to reclaim and revitalize ideas about the archive, history and memory.

Rather than creating a single authorial vision, Precious Places advances the collaborative ethnographic and historical model, where community participants become the authors and not simply the objects of community history."

-- an excerpt from Patricia Zimmerman's article "Imbedded Public Histories" published in Afterimage, March/April 2006

Film Stills