Visit the Free Library While the DNC Is In Town!

By Julie B. RSS Fri, July 22, 2016

With the Democratic National Convention descending on the city next week, political partying and election events are taking over the town. Joining in on this moment for the city, the Free Library and the Rosenbach also have some patriotic flare on tap for locals and visitors alike.

The Rare Book Department’s Presidential Letters
Parkway Central Library
The Charlotte Strouse Collection of Letters of the Presidents is on display in the Rare Book Department, on the 3rd floor of Parkway Central Library. This distinguished group of letters was collected by Norman H. and Charlotte Strouse and donated to the Free Library in 1960. Beginning with a letter of George Washington, written in 1780 during the final stages of the Revolutionary War, the letters document events of historical, political, and personal significance in the lives of the presidents and the history of the United States.

The Rare Book Department is open from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. While the public may visit at any time during those hours, a guided tour of the department’s general collections is available at 11:00 a.m. every day.


The American Presidency Series
Parkway Central Library
This ongoing lecture series offers compelling, provocative programs inspired, in part, by this year’s presidential election and Philadelphia acting as host for the Democratic National Convention. Both educational and entertaining, this series aims to promote civic literacy among Philadelphians of all ages and political interests and is the first of its kind for the Library. You can also find more info, facts, and trvia about presidential history through our American Presidency Explore Topic, featuring booklists, podcasts, and more!

This Wednesday, July 27, journalist Larry Tye will be discussing his new book, Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon. Join former Philadelphia mayor Bill Green and others in the Skyline Room at Parkway Central Library at 7:30 p.m. for this FREE event.


Freedom Train 1947–1949: Exhibiting America's Past to Shape America's Future
The Rosenbach
From 1947 to 1949, the Freedom Train brought 126 of the nation’s most iconic documents to 3.5 million people across the United States to promote national pride and encourage civic participation. This exhibition reunites selected documents from the original Freedom Train, including Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Lincoln’s Baltimore Address, and will explore the image of America it presented and the questions it raised about history and freedom in an era on the cusp of the Cold War and the struggle for civil rights. You can also view our Freedom Train Explore Topic that includes supplimental booklists and web links.

Running through November 1 at the Rosenbach.


Donkeys Around Town – Oklahoma!
Parkway Central Library
Donkeys have taken over the city’s stoops, including the front perch of Parkway Central Library. Artist Lynnette Shelly’s Oklahoma-themed Donkey sculpture is part of Art Jawn’s city-wide Donkeys Around Town program honoring the 50 states and 7 territories, colonies, and diffuse topographies that are sending delegates to Philadelphia for the convention. Come show your library pride and snap a picture with our four-legged friend!


Common Ground
Parkway Central Library
Common Ground is an art installation by artist Meg Saligman and was recently featured at the Cleveland Public Library from July 18 - 21 during the Republican National Convention. Common Ground is described as a non-partisan "artistic intervention" that will create a space surrounded by tall 'beacons' in a circular pattern. It explores how civic engagement and politics contribute to the public good. The installation will be open to the public from Monday July 25 through Thursday July 29 from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

For more information about the last time Philadelphia hosted the Democratic National Convention, check out the Rosenbach’s look back on the 1936 convention.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016