We're celebrating the 150th anniversary of beloved English children's book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter a little early up here in the Rare Book Department. The anniversary is not until July 2016, but we've kicked things off with a display of over two dozen treasures from our Beatrix Potter collection.
The Free Library of Philadelphia has the largest collection of Beatrix Potter materials outside of England, and this exhibition showcases a selection of her original drawings and watercolors, along with the original manuscript for The Tailor of Gloucester. Also on view are collectibles, photographs, and rare first editions—including the first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, of which only 450 copies were ever produced. Although hard to believe now, no publisher was interested in Beatrix Potter's wonderful story of Peter Rabbit in the garden, and she determined to have the book printed privately, after countless publisher refusals. We're happy Frederick Warne changed his mind after seeing the privately printed edition and took on Potter as a star author, reprinting The Tale of Peter Rabbit and every subsequent title.
We'd love you to stop by and enjoy some of Beatrix Potter's gems! The Rare Book Department is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more highlights from our spectacular collections!