Tagged Rare Book Department

Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden Visits the Free Library of Philadelphia!

Earlier this week, Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden made a whirlwind visit to the Rosenbach and the Parkway Central Library , and we couldn't have been more thrilled to have her! On her tour, she was able to view a selection…

Come Celebrate the Parkway's Centennial!

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is celebrating its 100th birthday ! Come celebrate with the Parkway Central Library and our Parkway neighbors ! The centennial celebration will kick off on Friday, September 8 with the "We Are…

Birthday Bread and Milk and Blackberries for Beatrix Potter

We like to celebrate Beatrix Potter every day here in the Rare Book Department , but today is her 151st birthday, so it's extra-special. You probably remember Peter Rabbit and his better-behaved siblings Flopsy, Mopsy, and…

Traveling Treasures: A Special Collection Worth Touching

Much has been written in academic journals about the need to increase access to special collections in public libraries, museums, and universities. This topic is particularly relevant to the  Rare Book Department of the Free…

"Pay to Benjamin Franklin, for Printing"

We all know Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia's everyman. Poor Richard . Diplomat of the Revolution . Inventor of the Glass Harmonica . Postmaster General . Guy Who Flew A Kite in a Thunderstorm. Founder of the University of…

#MysteryMonday: Get Clued in to Edgar Allan Poe and More

Move over, London! England’s capital city may count Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot among its resident gumshoes, but only Philadelphia can be called the true birthplace of the modern detective tale. In celebration of our…

Mysterious Manuscripts and "Mirror Writing"

Do you love The Da Vinci Code ? Have you ever wished you could uncover a secret code in a medieval manuscript? Exciting news! Your wish may come true! Take a look at the image of a 15th-century prayer book on the right and see if you…

Librarian Traces Family Roots Through Historic Bible

The Rare Book Department 's Judaica includes a beautifully written and lavishly hand-decorated Spanish Hebrew Masoretic Text bible . Commissioned in 1496 in Lisbon, Portugal, the book is well-known among contemporary Hebrew bible…

Celebrate Poe's Life with Our Rare Book Collection

His wasn’t an auspicious beginning and his end remains shrouded in mystery... 208 years ago today, Edgar Allan Poe was born to actors David Poe Jr. and Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, in Boston Massachusetts. By the time he was…

Philadelphia: City of the Uncanny and the Arcane

Philadelphia is a wild and weird city. There’s so much to love, to hate, to love to hate, and to hate to love. There’s also so much that we, as every day Philadelphians, have somehow forgotten or never learned about our…

#OneBookWednesday: The Civil War on Display

This One Book, One Philadelphia season takes us back in time to the Civil War era, as we travel and travail alongside fictional southerners Inman and Ada in Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain . Adult companion books Twelve Years a…

Sacred Stories: The World's Religious Traditions

To celebrate the landmark papal visit to Philadelphia, the Rare Book Department at Parkway Central Library has opened a new exhibition of rare religious texts. Running through January 30, 2016,  Sacred Stories: The…

Purim and a Medieval Cutting in the Free Library of Philadelphia

Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar. It is a day of feasting and rejoicing, commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to annihilate them. The story is told in the Book of…

Announcing Framing Fraktur!

The Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to present Framing Fraktur , a three-month celebration of historic Pennsylvania German folk art and its relationship to contemporary art, opening today and running through June 14, 2015! In…

Oscar Wilde Manuscripts

We’re excited to share our newly digitized Oscar Wilde manuscripts, part of the rich collection of literary manuscripts and first editions in the Rare Book Department. The draft of The Ballad of Reading Gaol , in Wilde’s…

Bardolatry in the Rare Book Department

bardolatry n. idolatry or excessive admiration of William Shakespeare 1 There is an exhibition going on in the Rare Book Department right now that you really need to see. It’s called “Shakespeare for All Time” and it…

Free Library Opens the New William B. Dietrich Gallery at Parkway Central Library

Last night, the Free Library of Philadelphia celebrated the grand opening of the new William B. Dietrich Gallery in the Rare Book Department at Parkway Central Library . Made possible by a generous gift from the William B. Dietrich…

John Derstine Souder’s Fraktur in the Henry Stauffer Borneman Pennsylvania German Collection

John Derstine Souder (1865-1942) was raised on a Mennonite farm near Telford in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  He was a storekeeper, postmaster, and poultry dealer before retiring.  Souder spent the final five years of his…

I Must Do What Is Right For Me ~ The Jacob Eichholtz Book of Sketches and Painterly Advice

“I must do what is right for me,” he muttered under his breath while gathering up his tools and shuttering the shop window.  Jacob Eichholtz was living a double life, and it soon had to stop.  He couldn’t…

The Browne Hours, Part II

The first part of the story of the Browne Hours was posted on Thursday, October 24 th . For the first part, read here . Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was killed by four knights while he prayed at the altar in Canterbury…