Tagged Rare Book Department

"Medieval Life" Comes to Parkway Central

What do books and objects from 800 years ago have to do with our present-day concerns? An exhibition taking shape online and in the  Rare Book Department 's William B. Dietrich Gallery uses objects from the distant past to…

Philadelphia History from Home: Digital Access to Primary Sources

You may have heard the recent news that Free Library cardholders now have access to ProQuest’s Historical Black Newspapers , featuring coverage of The Philadelphia Tribune (the oldest continuously-published Black daily!) from…

Diving into Digital Collections

For more than 25 years, libraries have been digitizing their collections, and the Free Library has digital collections in abundance—providing the opportunity to browse through roughly 50,000 images or to take a deep dive into the…

#SpecialCollectionsAtHome

The Free Library of Philadelphia is home to a myriad of Special Collections . Since mid-March, we have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that those of us who work with the Special Collections, are unable to work…

The Rights and Wrongs of Social Distancing

by Karin S. and Chris B. Social Distancing can be a challenge! It seems like the rules of what you should and shouldn't do are always changing.  To help you learn* about the right and wrong ways to do it, a team of Special…

#ColorOurCollections: Creating Art with the Free Library's Digital Archive

Do you remember that scene at the beginning of Tangled where Rapunzel completes a day's worth of tasks before breakfast?  Yeah, that's a lot less funny now.  But if the school assignments are done and your Netflix…

Spotlight on Special Collections: When Dickens Met Poe

This blog post is in honor of  Charles Dickens' birthday. The prolific Victorian author of "epic stories" like  Oliver Twist and David Copperfield , was born on Portsea Island off England's south-central…

Hands-On History Wraps Up 2019 With Charles Dickens... and Introduces a New Line-Up For 2020

What do Charles Dickens, cuneiform tablets, and James Bond have in common? The answer is Hands-on History at the Free Library, which wraps up its inaugural year with a holiday program on Saturday, December 14 at 2:00 p.m.,…

Spotlight on Special Collections: Five Unstudied Prints from the American Revolutionary War

Prints were popular in American colonial homes. Among the decorative luxuries available, they were the most affordable. They would be hung in hallways, entrance halls, stairwells, and kitchens. They represented people, places, and…

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

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…

A Spotlight on Special Collections: The Artwork of Pennsylvania Germans-Fraktur

The Free Library of Philadelphia at Parkway Central Library has eight special collections  for visitors of all ages to enjoy, either in person through engaging exhibitions and outreach programs , or remotely via …

Free Library to Display Rare Shakespeare First Folio Now Believed to Have Belonged to John Milton

The work of two scholars has led to the astounding discovery that a Shakespeare First Folio housed in the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Rare Book Department likely belonged to English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The…

Our Five Senses - A Conversation with Book Artist Eriko Takahashi

Our Five Senses , a new exhibition in Parkway Central Library's Dietrich Gallery opened last month, and we have the honor of sitting down with some of the authors and illustrators who appear in the show. This month,…

Take a Free Family Tour of Our Five Senses, a Fully-Interactive Exhibition

Take a free tour of Our 5 Senses , a fully-interactive exhibition that connects the science of the senses with the mind and the literary experience. Tours begin at 3:00 p.m.and finish at 3:45 p.m. Visitors may view…

Learning Through Touch: Connecting with Objects in Our Special Collections

In a recent CNN article  titled, "Why touching art is so tempting — and exciting," Fiona Candlin, a professor of museology at Birkbeck College in London and author of Art, Museums, and Touch , argues that…

Our Five Senses | A Conversation with Author and Illustrator Aliki

In preparation for the opening of Our Five Senses , a new exhibition running now through November 2 in Parkway Central Library's Dietrich Gallery , we've had the honor of sitting down with some of the authors and illustrators…

May Day! Mayday? May Day!

What do you think of when you hear the words "May Day"? (And no, I don’t mean the distress call "mayday," which comes from m’aidir , French for "help me"—and is, interestingly, entirely…

Our Five Senses | A New Family Friendly, Fully-Interactive Exhibition

On May 13, the Free Library's Special Collections Division will present Our Five Senses , the first family friendly, fully-interactive exhibition at the Free Library. The exhibition connects the science of the senses with the mind…

Connecting Special Collections with the Cultural and Educational Needs of Philadelphia’s Islamic Populations: Starting the Dialogue

Joe Shemtov is a Special Collections Coordinator and Primary Source Specialist, and a participant in Cohort 1 of the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries trainings.  In October. I had the pleasure to complete Skills for…

#5WomenArtists from Our Special Collections

Can you name five women artists off the top of your head? (Not counting Frida Kahlo or Georgia O’Keeffe.) Try. Surprised if you can’t? Don’t be. It happens. But let us help you achieve this goal... In March of…