Pittsburgh Historical Collections at CLP

Image taken from Bridging the Urban Landscape online exhibit

Image taken from Bridging the Urban Landscape online exhibit


The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has long been a repository for Pittsburgh’s rich cultural heritage. We have many historical collections, in many different formats.

Most of these special collections do not appear in our online catalog. The links provide information to access these materials.


Pittsburgh History

Pittsburgh History – many diverse and wide-ranging resources in the Pennsylvania Department at CLP-Main.

Allegheny City Historic Reading Room located at CLP-Allegheny – a special collection of rare materials dedicated to the history of Allegheny City and the North Side.

Pittsburgh Today / Historic Pittsburgh – All things Pittsburgh.


Art and Artists

The Pittsburgh Art Topics File – an extensive clippings collection containing information about art events, art galleries, art festivals, and art organizations.

The Pittsburgh Artists File – index cards containing names of over 4000 visual artists.


Architecture and Architects

The Pittsburgh Architecture File – index cards containing information about specific buildings, architectural styles, areas, building types, houses, and other structures built in the Pittsburgh region during the 20th Century.

The Pittsburgh Architects File – index cards with the names of over 1000 architects and firms.


Music and Musicians

Pittsburgh Music Archives – a group of finding lists that provides access to uncataloged archival materials in a variety of formats.

Pittsburgh Music Special Collections – The Music Department at CLP-Main has an extensive assortment of special collections. See this post for an overview of our major collections.


Oral Histories

Western Pennsylvanians and World War II – a collaboration of Duquesne University & Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Oral Histories  – a cross-section of Western Pennsylvanians: black and white, female and male, ranging in age from their 30s to well-into their 90s.

Oral History of Music in Pittsburgh – over 300 interviews. They currently can only be listened to in the Music Department at CLP-Main.

StoryCorps – more than 150 stories collected in Pittsburgh in 2006.

Oral Histories at CLP-Lawrenceville – collected and donated by the Lawrenceville Historical Society.


Digitized Collections

Pittsburgh Iron & Steel Heritage Collection – a digital collection of books, journals, photographs, trade catalogs, and other items related to the iron and steel industry in Western Pennsylvania.

Bridging the Urban Landscape – online exhibit of some 600 historical photographs and images accompanied by text, of Pittsburgh and its neighborhoods.


Famous Pittsburghers

These pages include links to finding aids for archival material.

Famous Pittsburghers

Pittsburgh Jazz Musicians



Pittsburgh Photographic Library



Pittsburgh Maps



Genealogical research in the Pennsylvania Department

Pennsylvania Department Research Requests


The William R. Oliver Special Collections Room

The William R. Oliver Special Collections Room is the crown jewel of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (in my opinion)! It houses rare and unique materials including books, manuscripts, personal papers and historic photographs, in a climate controlled room. The Oliver Room contains extensive holdings on the history of Western Pennsylvania. One of my favorites includes a collection of letters and papers on the Whiskey Insurrection, 1790-1800.


The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh also has non-local historical collections which I will detail in my next post.


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