Design in the Archives: A Free Evening of Fun and Learning for All Ages!

By Joe S. Mon, October 21, 2019

Archives shield us from a world saturated with fake news and misinformation. But what are archives? How are they different from libraries? Where are they? How do they work? How are they used? Are they free to use? Can anyone use them? These questions and many more will be answered in this year's Design in the Archives, to be held on Wednesday, October 30 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. in the lobby of Parkway Central Library.

This year's theme, Design in the Archives, was chosen in recognition of Parkway Central Library’s newly designed spaces. Over 17 local universities, libraries, and archives will unite to display pop-up exhibitions relating to the theme of design. Artifacts to be displayed will vary by institution, from the 1833 architectural competition that determined Girard College’s design to the history of LGBTQ+ pride flags in the United States. Among the many activities to be offered, visitors will be able to make their own women’s suffrage pin, color 19th-century advertisements, design bookplates with stencils, and work with printmakers from Lead Graffiti to design a Werkman-style letterpress print. Foodies will enjoy a cooking workshop in our Culinary Literacy Center (Reservation suggested to guarantee your spot).

Interested in attending quick and fascinating lectures? Turbo Talks will feature 4 quick, back-to-back lectures focusing on the importance and impact of design for community programming and engagement. These lectures are free to attend, geared for the general public, and all are invited. The scheduled lectures will include: 

  • Design in Community: Presented by Rose Disanto and Cedric Jouin of the AIGA Philadelphia
  • Teens Take Ownership: The Field Teen Center: Presented by Kris Langlais, Librarian Supervisor 1
  • Mise en Place: Culinary Literacies In Action Presented by Suzanna Urminska. 
  • Activating the New BRIC Space: How We Do It: Presented by BRIC.

Turbo Talks are free but registration is suggested. Please sign up today to reserve your ticket(s)!


Oh, and did I mention there will also be LIVE SPACE MUSiC performed by Philly’s own Chuck Van Zyl throughout the evening?

This event is free but reservations are suggested. Reserve your tickets today and to view a complete list of participating institutions. For more information contact Joe Shemtov @ shemtovj@freelibrary.org


This free event celebrates Archives Month, and is presented by the Free Library of Philadelphia in coordination with the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley Archivists Group.

Just one of the many activities offered at this year's <i>Design in the Archives</i> event will be to create a Werkman-style letterpress print similar to the one shown here.
Just one of the many activities offered at this year's Design in the Archives event will be to create a Werkman-style letterpress print similar to the one shown here.
Hear and see the space music of Chuck Van Zyl!
Hear and see the space music of Chuck Van Zyl!
Attend one of four Turbo Talks, taking place in our newest public space The Heim Center, that will focus on the importance and impact of design for community programming.
Attend one of four Turbo Talks, taking place in our newest public space The Heim Center, that will focus on the importance and impact of design for community programming.

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