Exhibitions

Explore curated items inspired by some of the physical exhibitions presented by Special Collections as well as a number of web-only presentations based on our digital collections.


Philadelphia - The Changing City

An Exhibition in the Parkway Central Library
William B. Dietrich Gallery, Rare Book Department
October 10, 2018 - April 13, 2019

From river to skyline and stoop to stoop, Philadelphia has been re-formed and re-shaped throughout its history. Its transformation from bustling port to workshop of the world to World Heritage City and hub for education, medicine, and entrepreneurship has had a profound impact on both its built and natural environments and the lives of those who call it home. Images of the city drawn from 300 years of prints, photographs, documents, and maps in the Special Collections and Research Departments of the Parkway Central Library reveal the planned and unplanned changes that have affected Philadelphia's landscape, its buildings, and its inhabitants.

In Our Nature: Flora and Fauna of the Americas

The ecology of the Western Hemisphere has been shaped by human intervention. Landscapes and wildlife have been helped, hindered, moved, lost, displaced, and replaced, including a native American cactus that nearly conquered Australia, the fantastic "sea unicorn" that became the narwhal, and the gone-but-not-forgotten Carolina parakeet. Six centuries of illustrations of the natural world, from Greenland to Tierra del Fuego, will demonstrate human attempts to profit from, understand, metaphorically transform, and celebrate both native and introduced species.

Movie Lobby Cards from the 1930s-1960s

Foyer Entertainment: Movie Lobby Cards from the 1930s-1960s offers a rare glimpse of this forgotten Hollywood art form.

Drawn into Politics

Selected Political Cartoons from the Print and Picture Collection.

Snow Your History: Philadelphia Winters

The winter of 2013-2014 is the third snowiest winter in Philadelphia history. Here are some fun images of Philadelphia's snowfalls of the past from our digital collections and from the City's Department of Records.