Tagged History

Author Event: The Warehouse: A Visual Primer on Mass Incarceration

Philadelphia has the highest incarceration rate of any city in Pennsylvania, and the most locked-up census tracts in North Philadelphia have 17 times as many people behind bars as census tracts in Center City, according to the Prison…

19th Century True Crime at the Free Library

From classics like In Cold Blood and Helter Skelter to recent bestsellers like In Light of All Darkness and If You Tell , readers love true crime. In addition to generating chills and thrills, a good true crime account sheds light on…

Collection Spotlight: Highlights from the Negro Leagues

Baseball: for over a century, the game has been known as "America’s favorite pastime." During the early parts of the 20th century, tuning in to a baseball game on the radio after a long day at work became a…

Teen Reads for Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month! Did you know that Women’s History Month has its roots in the struggle for workers’ rights? In 1908, women garment workers protested the poor working conditions inside factories. This…

It's Women's History Month in March!

Happy Women’s History Month , Philadelphia! What began as a local educational initiative in Sonoma, California 46 years ago, has evolved into a month-long celebration "commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and…

Japanese Ukiyo-E Prints in the Print and Picture Collection

I’ve been working in the Print and Picture Collection at Parkway Central Library for about a year now and I’ve still barely scratched the surface of learning about all of the art housed here. One of the first projects I was…

African American History in the Fleisher Collection

Lately, there has been a resurgence of interest in African Americans' contributions to the classical music genre. Boston Conservatory is set to have a Florence Price Birthday Celebration Concert ; the film Chevalier  (released…

Collection Spotlight: A Visual History of Reconstruction

In celebration of Black History Month, the Free Library's Social Science and History Department is displaying books from the collection that tell a visual history of Reconstruction — the period from 1865 to 1877 that saw some…

Pam's Picks: Favorite Books of Legendary Actress Pam Grier

It’s the 50 Anniversary of the blaxploitation film Foxy Brown starring Pam Grier . The film is credited for revolutionizing the way women were portrayed in cinema. To celebrate this milestone, the legendary actress did a special…

Advancing African-American Education: The Helen Adele Whiting Collection

Helen Adele Johnson Whiting (1885 – 1959) was a trailblazer in the education of African-American students, particularly those in rural areas of the South. Her education from Columbia University, Howard University, and several…

“Making Shakespeare: The First Folio” - Featuring a Cherished Free Library Artifact

The Free Library of Philadelphia is the proud custodian of an astounding literary artifact in our Rare Book Department : a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio that belonged to English poet and intellectual John Milton…

Special Lecture Series: Orson Welles & The Golden Age of Hollywood

Beginning Wednesday, April 12, 2023, the Free Library of Philadelphia launches a unique seven-part series of live evening events exploring the life and career of George Orson Welles , one of the most remarkable producer/director/actors…

50 Years of Hip Hop: Books Authored by the Artists

In 2023, the Free Library is observing the  50th anniversary of hip hop  with a  limited-edition library card design  commissioned by local artist  Akinseye Brown . In honor of this milestone, here are…

Sugar Don’t Go on Grits: An Archival Look at the Great Migration’s Effect on How We Eat

I am a Black woman living, thriving, and loving in Philadelphia. How we prepare our food has a history, and that history is often long and can be challenging to decipher. We live in a world where food often loses its place of origin.…

50 Years of Hip Hop: Essential Reading in Genre History

This summer, the Free Library is observing the 50th anniversary of hip hop with a limited-edition library card design commissioned by local artist Akinseye Brown . In honor of this milestone, here are 15 must-reads from the…

Honoring Juneteenth at the Free Library

Honor Juneteenth with the Free Library of Philadelphia! This year, we celebrate Juneteenth for the third time as a federal holiday, but it has been an important celebration for nearly 200 years! Juneteenth is the oldest known…

The Free Library Observes the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop

Hip hop's 50th anniversary represents a milestone for an American genre of music and art that began in the 1970s at block parties in New York City — specifically the Bronx. Born out of the intersecting communities of the…

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage in the Fleisher Collection

The Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music at the Free Library of Philadelphia offers a closing theme as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month comes to an end for 2023. As we share a sampling of the rich cultural…

Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May

Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May! Also sometimes known as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, it first began during the 1970s with a week-long celebration, and eventually got extended into…

Honoring Jewish American Heritage Month

Did you know that in 1654, 23 Jewish refugees sailed to the port of New Amsterdam (presently New York City) and established the first Jewish community in what we now call the United States? It has been nearly 400 years since this…

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Rare Book Department: The Judaica Collection.

Come and explore the Rare Book Department's small but signifcant Judaica Collection. Highlights of the collection will include a manusucript written in the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition, as well as…

Thinking Like a Historian!

The Museum of the American Revolution presents Thinking Like a Historian! Historians use objects, documents, and contextual knowledge to build an understanding of the past. Together with museum staff, students will be invited to do the…

Reels of Time: Literature’s Microfilm Collection

  Visit the Literature Department's new exhibition to learn more about our microfilm collection! Microfilm preserves fragile documents such as rare books, newspapers and other periodicals by using micro-photography to reduce an…

We Are What We Eat: An Exhibition from Special Collections

The Free Library’s exhibition, We Are What We Eat , explores the intersection of food, community, and identity. With recipes and cooking techniques passed down through generations, culinary heritage helps preserve flavors and…

Natural Wonders of the World with the Geography Lady

Explore the natural wonders of the world without leaving the library! Join the Geography Lady as we head around the world through pictures, maps, stories, sensory, movement, games, crafts, and more. No passport required!  

We Are What We Eat: Curator-Led Exhibition Tour

The Free Library’s newest exhibition, We Are What We Eat, explores the intersection of food, community, and identity. With recipes and cooking techniques passed down through generations, culinary heritage helps preserve flavors…

The Library of the Wizard Earl - Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Rare Book Department

A storied English aristocratic family, living in a palatial home that was once an abbey, struggles to maintain their household in the face of 20th century financial realities. On April 23rd and 24th 1928, this PBS plotline unfolded in…

Natural Wonders of the World with the Geography Lady

Explore the natural wonders of the world without leaving the library! Join the Geography Lady as we head around the world through pictures, maps, stories, sensory, movement, games, crafts, and more. No passport required!  

Film Screening: Passage to Sweden

4th Floor Skyline Room Sweden's geographic location and its role during WWII changed the fate of thousands of Jews. Join us for a screening of the award-winning documentary Passage To Sweden (58 minutes), which highlights the…

Treasures from the Literature Vault

Do you love old books? Then join us for Treasures from the Vault– a casual, hands-on book club program spotlighting items from the Literature vault! The vault, home to our closed reference collections, is a treasure trove of…

The Geography Lady Explores France and the Summer Olympics!

Can't get to Paris this summer for the Olympics?  Come to the library instead, as we head to France with Alycia Larson, the Geography Lady!  We will be learning all about this fabulous country through stories, maps,…

Natural Wonders of the World with the Geography Lady

Explore the natural wonders of the world without leaving the library! Join the Geography Lady as we head around the world through pictures, maps, stories, sensory, movement, games, crafts, and more. No passport required!  

Spies of the Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution presents Revolution at the Library! In this super-secret meeting, join museum staff as we learn about the spies of the Revolution! From shopkeepers and mystery women to enslaved men who served as…

"The Automat" Film Screening and Filmmaker Q&A

Join us for a screening of  The Automat  followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker, Lisa Hurwitz.  Featuring photographs from the Free Library of Philadelphia's Print and Picture Collection and filmed locally, The…

Sugar Don't Go On Grits: An Archival Look at The Great Migration's Effect on How We Eat

How Black is sweet cornbread? Do WE put marshmallows on sweet potato casserole? Sugar Don't Go On Grits: An Archival Look at The Great Migration's Effect on How We Eat  will be a conversational space dedicated to retracing…

Natural Wonders of the World with the Geography Lady

Explore the natural wonders of the world without leaving the library! Join the Geography Lady as we head around the world through pictures, maps, stories, sensory, movement, games, crafts, and more. No passport required!  

Spies of the Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution presents Revolution at the Library! In this super-secret meeting, join museum staff as we learn about the spies of the Revolution! From shopkeepers and mystery women to enslaved men who served as…

Life at Sea!

Climb aboard as we learn about life on a privateer ship, including what as a sailor you might have eaten, what their job might have been, and how they would have passed the time.  Meet some of the Revolution's most famous…

Life at Sea!

The Museum of the American Revolution presentsLife at Sea! Climb aboard as we learn about life on a privateer ship, including what a sailor might have eaten, what his job might have been, and how he would have passed the time.…

Natural Wonders of the World with the Geography Lady

Explore the natural wonders of the world without leaving the library! Join the Geography Lady as we head around the world through pictures, maps, stories, sensory, movement, games, crafts, and more. No passport required!  

Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Free Library resources in support of the Rosenbach's Digital Exhibition: "I Am an American!" The Authorship and Activism of Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Freedom Train - Adults

Supplemental adult reading suggestions for the Rosenbach's Freedom Train exhibition, running July 1st, 2016 through November 1st, 2016.

Freedom Train - Teens

Supplemental teen reading suggestions for the Rosenbach's Freedom Train exhibition, running July 1st, 2016 through November 1st, 2016.

Freedom Train - Children

Supplemental children's reading suggestions for the Rosenbach's Freedom Train exhibition, running July 1st, 2016 through November 1st, 2016.

Presidents of the United States

Under the United States Constitution, the President of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States. As chief of the executive branch and face of the federal government as a whole, the presidency is…

Asians American History, Cultural Traditions, and Celebrations

History of different Asian ethnic groups in America and background on Asian cultural traditions and holidays.

U.S. Elections and Politics

This list offers a comprehensive exploration of the intricate world of American elections and politics. Covering a wide range of topics, from historical perspectives to contemporary issues, these titles provide valuable insights into the…

U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1980)

The bound, sequentially numbered volumes of all the Reports, Documents, and Journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives constitutes a rich source of primary source material on all aspects of American history. Upon…

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture, and Law

This HeinOnline collection brings together a multitude of essential legal materials on slavery in the U.S. and the English-speaking world. It includes nearly 2,000 titles, with every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery,…

Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001)

Full access to the oldest continuously published daily Black newspaper in the United States.

Philadelphia Evening Telegraph

Philadelphia Evening Telegraph was a daily afternoon newspaper started on January 4, 1864. Search, browse, and read it online here.

Historical Newspapers - Black Newspapers

Primary source material from ten historic Black newspapers, including the Chicago Defender, The Baltimore Afro-American, New York Amsterdam News, Pittsburgh Courier, Los Angeles Sentinel, Atlanta Daily World, and the Cleveland Call and Post

Gun Regulation and Legislation in America

This new HeinOnline collection brings together more than 550 titles dealing with this difficult and important topic. Included are periodicals, key compiled federal legislative histories, relevant congressional hearings, CRS Reports,…

Gale OneFile | High School Edition (formerly InfoTrac Student Edition) *

High school students will have access to age-appropriate content from magazines, journals, newspapers, reference books, and engaging multi-media covering a wide range of subjects, from science, history, and literature to political…

Gale In Context: U.S. History

Covers themes, events, individuals and periods in U.S. history from pre-colonial times to the present. The material also includes access to the citations for over 180 additional history journals from the Institute for Scientific…

Gale in Context | Middle School (formerly Research in Context) *

Discover reliable and trusted information on a variety of topics to support middle school student research for government, U.S and world history, geography, literature, sciences, and social issues. Research In Context offers…

Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker (1801-1819)

Covering every aspect of American life during the early decades of the United States, this rich primary source collection provides full-text access to the 36,000 American books, pamphlets and broadsides published in the first nineteen…

Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans (1639-1800)

Based on the renowned American Bibliography by Charles Evans. The definitive resource for every aspect of life in 17th- and 18th-century America, from agriculture and auctions through foreign affairs, diplomacy, literature, music,…

Archive of Americana

Search or browse the books, pamphlets, and other imprints listed in the renowned bibliography by Charles Evans, including publications unavailable earlier. Search or browse the books, pamphlets, broadsides and other imprints listed in…

Daniel Schlozman and Sam Rosenfeld | The Hollow Parties: The Many Pasts and Disordered Present of American Party Politics

In conversation with author and Pennsylvania State Senator, Nikil Saval In The Hollow Parties , Daniel Schlozman and Sam Rosenfeld present a comprehensive history of the rise of American mass party politics through the Jacksonian era up…

George Stephanopoulos | The Situation Room: The Inside Story of Presidents in Crisis

Meelya Gordon Memorial Lecture In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6abc Action News morning edition. ABC News’ Chief Anchor, the host of  This Week with George Stephanopoulos , and co-anchor of  Good Morning America ,  George…

Paul Hendrickson | Fighting the Night: Iwo Jima, WW II and a Flyer’s Life

In conversation with Wil Haygood Paul Hendrickson ’s books include  Sons of Mississippi , winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award;  Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934–1961 , a National Book Critics…

Frank Bruni | The Age of Grievance

In conversation with Karen Heller, former national features writer and current contributor for The Washington Post, formerly a metro and features columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in…

Erik Larson | The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War

In conversation with award winning broadcaster and journalist, Tracey Matisak. “America’s most compelling popular historian” (The Christian Science Monitor) ,  Erik Larson  is the bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed books,…

Karen Valby | The Swans of Harlem: Five Black Ballerinas, Fifty Years of Sisterhood, and Their Reclamation of a Groundbreaking History

Featuring: Lydia Abarça, Sheila Rohan, Marcia Sells, Karlya Shelton, and Khadija Tariyan (daughter of Gayle McKinney Griffith) In conversation with Shelly Power, The Dr. Carolyn Newsom Executive Director, Philadelphia Ballet Karen Valby…

Bakari Sellers | The Moment: Thoughts on the Race Reckoning That Wasn't and How We All Can Move Forward Now

In 2006,  Bakari Sellers  defeated a twenty-six-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. The state’s 2014…

David E. Sanger | New Cold Wars: China's Rise, Russia's Invasion, and America's Struggle to Defend the West

In conversation with Robert E. Hamilton, Head of Eurasia Research - Eurasia Program, Foreign Policy Research Institute Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Endowed Lecture The White House and national security correspondent for  The New York…

Dennis Yi Tenen | Literary Theory for Robots: How Computers Learned to Write

Dennis Yi Tenen  is an associate professor of English at Columbia University, where he also serves as co-director of the Center for Comparative Media. Affiliated with Columbia’s Data Science Institute, he is a former fellow at the…

Tricia Rose | Metaracism: How Systemic Racism Devastates Black Lives—and How We Break Free

In conversation with award-winning journalist and broadcaster Tracey Matisak Acclaimed for her study of the intersections of pop music, contemporary Black U.S. culture, and sex and gender, sociologist  Tricia Rose  is the author of…

Fareed Zakaria | Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present

Pine Tree Foundation Endowed Lecture Fareed Zakaria  is the host of CNN’s flagship domestic and international affairs program  Fareed Zakaria GPS , which has aired around the world since its debut in 2008. Also a weekly columnist for…

Astra Taylor and Leah Hunt-Hendrix | Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea

In conversation with author and Pennsylvania State Senator, Nikil Saval In  Solidarity ,  Astra Taylor and Leah Hunt-Hendrix  offer a comprehensive look at not just the popular and ethereal idea of solidarity, but how it can be used by…

Hamilton Nolan | The Hammer: Power, Inequality, and the Struggle for the Soul of Labor

In conversation with Kim Kelly A labor journalist who regularly contributes to  In These Times  magazine and  The Guardian,   Hamilton Nolan  has written about inequality, politics, and class war for  The New York Times, The Washington…

Marie Arana | Latinoland: A Portrait of America’s Largest and Least Understood Minority

In conversation with Elisabeth Perez-Luna, contributor to  The Philadelphia Inquirer and former Executive Producer of Audio Content at WHYY   The inaugural Literary Director of the Library of Congress,  Marie Arana  is the author of the…

Barbara McQuade | Attack from Within: How Disinformation Is Sabotaging America

In conversation with Ali Velshi Barbara McQuade  is a legal expert for MSNBC and NBC News , and a co-host of the podcast  #SistersInLaw . She teaches courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, national security, and data privacy at…

Calvin Trillin | The Lede: Dispatches from a Life in the Press

In conversation with Bill Marimow “Perhaps the finest reporter in America” ( The Miami Herald ),  Calvin Trillin  has written more than 400 nonfiction and comic articles for  The New Yorker  since 1963. His book include  U.S. Journal …

Grace Lin | Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite American Chinese Foods

In conversation with Ellen Yin A  New York Times  bestselling children’s author and illustrator,  Grace Lin  earned the Newbery Honor for  Where the Mountain Meets the Moon , the Theodor Geisel Honor for  Ling and Ting , and the…

Benjamin Herold | Disillusioned: Five Families and the Unraveling of America's Suburbs

In conversation with Kristen Graham, education reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer Public education reporter  Benjamin Herold ’s stories, features, and investigative exposés have appeared in  Education Week, PBS NewsHour, The…

Jonathan Karl | Tired of Winning: Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6abc Action News morning edition Jonathan Karl is the author of the instant New York Times bestsellers Front Row at the Trump Show and Betrayal , behind-the-scenes accounts of Donald Trump…

Kimberlé Crenshaw | #SayHerName: Black Women’s Stories of Police Violence and Public Silence

In conversation with Dorothy Roberts One of the country’s foremost authorities in civil rights, Black feminist legal theory, race, and the law, Kimberlé Crenshaw is a law professor at UCLA and Columbia Law School, where in 1996 she…