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Phyllis Perchick papers


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Phyllis Perchick was born around 1932, the daughter of Julius and Shirley Perchick, in Philadelphia. Julius was born in Russia, immigrated to Philadelphia in 1905, and was employed as an electrician. Shirley was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of Russian immigrants. It appears that at least Julius was raised in a Yiddish speaking family.

Phyllis and her family lived at 3823 Poplar Street. She attended Joseph Leidy School at 42nd and Thompson Streets, and Overbrook High School (part of the School District of Philadelphia) from which she graduated in 1949. She appears to have been interested in politics and world events, literature and theater, and sports.

It appears that sometime after 1962, she married Harry Fisher (died 2009) and became stepmother to his daughter, Janice (wife of donor, Steven Rothman). Phyllis died in 2018.

This collection consists of material largely relating to Phyllis Perchick's childhood and education and her reactions to the tumultuous political world of the 1940s and 1950s, including newsletters, diplomas, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks.

Series I. School records includes issues of the Leidy Ledger, Perchick's yearbook, diploma, and commencement program from Overbrook High School, and clippings, largely related to sports at Overbrook High School. According to her yearbook, Perchick (called "Phyl") served as class banker. There are a few school items at the end of the scrapbook with politics and world events (box 2, folder 1).

Series II. Personal material includes a member's manual to the B'nai B'rith Girls, a library card, a letter from Charles who was serving in China at the time of the surrender of Japanese Forces in the China Theatre, and travel ephemera from a trip to California in June of 1966. Perchick's relationship to Charles is unknown--it appears that the letter was probably addressed to his family and given to Perchick because of the post script in which he sends her his regard.

Series III. Clipping and scrapbooks consist of two scrapbooks and a number of loose clippings that appear to reflect Perchick's interests. Information about authors fills one of the scrapbooks, with a focus on Maxwell Anderson, James M. Barrie, G.K. Chesterton, Philip Gibbs, Maxim Gorky, Sinclair Lewis, John Masefield, Eugene O'Neill, Luigi Pirandello, George Bernard Shaw, James McNeill Whistler, and William Butler Yeats. The second scrapbook relates largely to the politics and current events of the 1940s and 1950s. Clippings address the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, members and activities of the United Nations, the end of World War II and the celebrations surrounding VE and VJ Days, evidence of the Holocaust, and war crimes in Europe and Japan. This scrapbook which contains the news that unquestionably overshadowed much of Perchick's early teens, also contains some more lighthearted material, including reporting of the Miss Americas pageant.

This collection provides a small glimpse into the life of a young woman growing up in Philadelphia during the 1930s through the 1940s. Her interests and school experiences, while unique, are probably not atypical of the time.

Gift of Steven Rothman, 2018.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Holly Mengel
Finding Aid Date
2021 July 27
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Leidy Ledger, from the Joseph Leidy School, 42nd and Thompson Streets, 1942-1944.
Box 1 Folder 1
Overbrook High School, The Record (yearbook), commencement program, and diploma, 1949 June.
Box 1 Folder 2
Overbrook High School, Overbrook Beacon (probably saved for articles regarding the basketball team) and programs for the Philadelphia Public High School League playoffs and championships, 1947-1949.
Box 1 Folder 3

B'nai B'rith Girls Member Manual, published by the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, 1946-1947.
Box 1 Folder 4
Library card, Free Library of Philadelphia, Ridgeway Branch, circa 1951.
Box 1 Folder 4
Letter from Charles, addressed to "Folks," regarding surrender of Japanese Forces in the China Theatre (October 15, 1945); sent from Isingtao, China, includes paper money from Japan, 1945 October 29.
Box 1 Folder 5
Travel to California, souvenir brochure, airline ephemera, and postcards, 1966 June.
Box 1 Folder 6

"American Weekly: The Nation's Reading Habit," magazine section of the Sunday Bulletin-Philadelphia, 1948-1949.
Box 1 Folder 7
Authors, literature, and musicians, articles, circa 1938-1951.
Box 1 Folder 8
Literary subjects, scrapbook, circa 1933-1936.
Box 2 Folder unknown container
Politics, articles, 1946, 1952-1953.
Box 1 Folder 9
Politics and world events, scrapbook, 1945-1949.
Box 2 Folder 1
Sports (focusing on baseball), articles, 1947.
Box 1 Folder 10

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