The Rosenbach's annual Bloomsday festivities will be held on Sunday, June 16, falling on Father’s Day this year!
What is Bloomsday?
Bloomsday is an annual event where the world celebrates Leopold Bloom’s fictional journey through the streets of Dublin, as imagined in James Joyce’s epic Ulysses. Lauded as the greatest novel of all time, Ulysses has been called everything from masterfully moving to hilariously obscene.
As the home of the complete manuscript of Ulysses, The Rosenbach has celebrated Bloomsday for more than 20 years! Our rollicking day-long reading will feature literati, artists, public figures, and familiar personalities along with musical performances that will bring the book to life.
Bloomsday 2019 features a beer garden, local food trucks, and the chance to enjoy free admission to The Rosenbach. Drop by any time between 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. For full details, visit our event page.
Do I need to get a ticket?
Bloomsday is free, but we encourage you to register for the event. By registering, you’ll be the among the first to know about important updates and announcements!
What if I haven’t read Ulysses?
You certainly won’t be alone! Joyce enthusiasts and novices alike are welcome. Bloomsday is a great way to encounter Ulysses for the first time: many readers agree that hearing the novel read aloud brings it to life in a new way. Read our Ulysses summary so you're up to speed before Bloomsday!
Why does The Rosenbach host Bloomsday?
June 16 has been known as Bloomsday since as early as 1924. This same year, Dr. A. S. W. Rosenbach purchased Joyce’s original manuscript of Ulysses from John Quinn, a lawyer and patron of Joyce who unsuccessfully defended the work against obscenity charges in 1920. (Dr. Rosenbach already owned a first edition of the banned book, which was smuggled into the country for him in 1922.) Selections from the manuscript, one of the premier treasures of The Rosenbach, are always on display at the museum, which has been celebrating Bloomsday since 1992.
Where is Bloomsday?
Once a year, the whole length of Delancey Place between 20th and 21st streets closes down for our Bloomsday celebration. The readings are performed on the front steps!
In the event of bad weather, a relocation announcement will be made at 8:00 a.m. on the morning of Bloomsday. The announcement will be posted to our website and social media, and registered guests will be contacted by email. Bloomsday will be moved to The Philadelphia School at 25th & South Streets.
Is Bloomsday family-friendly?
Families with children are always welcome at The Rosenbach! However, please note that this is a celebration of Ulysses, a novel which includes mature content. Consider Bloomsday to be PG-13 rated: parental discretion is advised.
Visiting families who wish to enjoy free museum admission on Bloomsday can pick up an interactive family guide and enjoy a marbled book making activity.
Can I bring my dog?
You sure can! Leashed dogs are welcome. Our furry friends have become a fixture at Bloomsday, as you can see from this collection of our favorite #DogsOfBloomsday. Dogs may not come inside The Rosenbach, however.
Where do I park?
Street parking is limited, but there are several parking lots nearby.
You can also avoid parking altogether by taking public transit. The Rosenbach is a short walk or cab ride away from Center City transit hubs such as 30th Street Station, and several SEPTA bus routes (17, 2, 7, 40) travel nearby.
What should I wear?
As Bloomsday is held entirely outdoors, we encourage you to dress comfortably for the weather. Dressing up is always strongly encouraged!
Special thanks to the Free Library of Philadelphia, The Rosenbach’s formal partner, and our Bloomsday sponsors: Consulate General of Ireland; Lenni Steiner and Perry Lerner; Irish American Business Chamber & Network; Villanova Center for Irish Studies.