Tagged Rare Book Department

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…

Take History in the Palm of Your Hand with this New Series from the Free Library's Special Collections

The late and great Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell once sang, "Ain’t nothing like the real thing baby." These words hold true for how to best experience our material culture. People who have visited the Rare Book…

Happy National Bird Day!

Tomorrow is National Bird Day and it's making me reflect on my connection with birds and nature in general. I’ve never been able to have a relationship with birds growing up in the city. Aside from the Philly pigeons that…

Skills for Community-Centered Libraries: Learning through Experience

“Tell me and I forget.Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Xun Kuang, philosopher   Imagine trying to learn to knit. Would you learn best by reading a book about knitting? Hearing a friend talk about…

Grip, Philadelphia's Pet Raven

One of the most popular items in the Rare Book Department that resonates with visitors the world over is not what you would expect. It is not a rare manuscript or a printed book from one of our spectacular literary or historical…

Better Together: The Free Library Partners with Schools

Now more than ever , students and teachers at our schools need the information and skills that librarians and libraries can provide. This year, the Free Library is working to spread the word about the information, ideas, and resources…

What Do Food and Books Have In Common?

What do food and books have in common? I can certainly name three things: They are organic, can grow mold, and can be preserved. Those three things were key elements to a lesson taught to third grade students on a recent class trip to…

Philadelphia: The Changing City - An Exhibition from Special Collections

October 10 marks the opening of an exhibition that analyzes Philadelphia's growth across more than three centuries, presenting more than 80 rare and revelatory prints, photographs, documents, and maps from the Free…

Anatomy Eats

For many, the month of October can conjure up a glorification of gore. Here at the Free Library’s Culinary Literacy Center , we are taking a bit of a different approach and beginning a three-part series focusing on offal . Offa l…