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Pittsburgh History

Selected Books

Pick up one of these recent books on the history of Pittsburgh and the Three Rivers region.

Dietrich, William
Eminent Pittsburghers: Profiles of the City's Founding Industrialists
HC108.P7 D54 2011
These biographical essays, many reprinted from The Pittsburgh Quarterly, describe the men who transformed Pittsburgh into one of the leading industrial cities in the world. Included are Westinghouse, A.W. Mellon, and Charlie Schawb.
Gangewere, Robert J.
Palace of Culture: Andrew Carnegie's Museums and Library in Pittsburgh
AS36.P79 G36 2011
In Palace of Culture, Robert J. Gangewere presents the first history of a cultural conglomeration that has served millions of people since its inception and inspired the likes of August Wilson, Andy Warhol, and David McCullough.
Glasco, Laurence Admiral and Christopher Rawson
August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays
PS3573.I45677 Z67 2011x
August Wilson lived in Pittsburgh from his birth in 1945 to 1978. He composed ten plays chronicling the African American experience and set nine of them in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. This book from the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation guides visitors to key sites in the playwright’s life and work in the Hill District and beyond.
O'Neill, Brian
The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-First Century
F159.P64 O54 2009x
Written by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Brian O'Neill and published by Carnegie Mellon University Press, Paris of Appalachia explores the problems and charms of our city.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, 1758-2008
PENNA F159.P657 P577 2008x
A short 127-page history of Pittsburgh's 250 years, from strategic fort in the wilderness to bustling industrial workshop to high-tech center for universities and health care. Among its many attributes, Pittsburgh is the birthplace of Carnegie libraries in the United States, wire cable suspension bridges, the gas station, the Ferris wheel, commercial radio, public television, and bingo.
Regan, Bob
The Names of Pittsburgh: How the City, Neighborhoods, Streets, Parks and more got their Names
F159.P63 R44 2009
Bob Regan, author of The Steps of Pittsburgh and The Bridges of Pittsburgh, explores the names of the men and women -- not to mention scientific paraphernalia, patents, astronomical terms, grape varietals, et al. -- from the region's history which dot the landscape.
Rishel, Joseph Francis
Pittsburgh Remembers World War II
PENNA D769.85.P41 P537 2011
In World War II, Pittsburgh Steel built Navy ships on the Youghiogheny and city mills produced more steel than Germany and Japan combined. In this book, Duquesne Professor Joseph Rishel has compiled interviews by Duquesne University students of Pittsburgh residents to tell the story of Pittsburgh during WWII.
Toker, Franklin
Pittsburgh: A New Portrait
F159.P64 T65 2009
Franklin Toker has updated his Pittsburgh: An Urban Portrait. Read the Wall Street Journal review A City At the Summit.
Trotter, Joe W. and Jared N. Day
Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh since World War II
F159.P69 N4888 2010x
Race and Renaissance presents the first history of African American life in Pittsburgh after World War II. It examines the origins and significance of the second Great Migration, the persistence of Jim Crow into the postwar years, the second ghetto, the contemporary urban crisis, the civil rights and Black Power movements, and the Million Man and Million Woman marches.


Pittsburgh Documentaries by Rick Sebak
Does anyone love Pittsburgh more than Rick Sebak? For a complete list of WQED documentaries about our city, be sure to check out the Pittsburgh History Series.
Allegheny Retrospective
(DVD) F159.P66 A4434 2007x
A brief history of Allegheny City, PA by the Allegheny City Society. Allegheny, on the North Side, eventually was annexed to the City of Pittsburgh.
Wylie Avenue Days
(DVD) F159.P69 N499 2007x
Christopher Moore narrates this WQED program remembering the heyday of Pittsburgh's Hill District, featuring music clubs, the Negro League baseball team, and neighborhood social life.

Pennsylvania Department Resources


Web Sites

These are sites external to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

  • Historic Pittsburgh
    Historic Pittsburgh is a comprehensive collection of local resources that supports personal and scholarly research of the western Pennsylvania area. From the University of Pittsburgh Digital Library.
  • Life in Western Pennsylvania 1840-1970
    This website was developed to create greater access to and awareness of the photographic collection of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. It consists of 300 photographs and related newspaper articles.
  • National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh, Oral History Project
    Over a span of 32 years, between 1968 and 2001, the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Pittsburgh Section, conducted more than 500 oral history interviews focused on the Jewish community – the history, the traditions, the contributions – of its members.
  • Pittsburgh Stamp Album
    A special stamp album created by the American Philatelic Society for the 2009 Stamp Show in Pittsburgh.
  • Western Pennsylvania History
    Originally published by the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (Heinz History Center) as Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, and in the 1990s as Pittsburgh History, issues of this journal from 1918-2007 are now available & searchable online for free.