In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’s birth this coming February, the Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to present the Year of Dickens 2012, featuring special events, literary salons, and many creative ways to celebrate “The Inimitable,” as he liked to call himself.
Although we'll have an official birthday bash in February, special activities are beginning this November and will run throughout 2012. We're gearing up with our first two Dickens exhibitions in just a few weeks: “From the Desk of Charles Dickens” runs in the Rare Book Department from November 28, 2011 through May 25, 2012 and “Character Sketches from the World of Charles Dickens” runs in the Parkway Central Library’s West Gallery from December 2, 2011 through March 23, 2012.
The Rare Book Department at Parkway Central Library is home to one of the finest collections of Dickens’s first editions, personal letters, original artwork, and theater ephemera in the world, largely gifted to the Library by two generous benefactors, William M. Elkins and D. Jacques Benoliel. Unique highlights of the Library’s Dickens Collection include Dickens’s writing desk and his pet raven, Grip—the same bird that is said to be the inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem!
To find out more about the Rare Book Department's Charles Dickens Collection as well as details about the Year of Dickens 2012, click here!