Tagged History

Frank Stephens, Jr.: A Free Library Legacy

When Frank Stephens, Jr., passed away in March at the age of 89, many mourned the loss of a friend and colleague. Others were hearing about Frank for the first time. And it was an opportunity for all of us at the Free Library to learn…

Why Did Abraham Care What We Eat? Food Restrictions in Major Religions

We often emphasize distinctions between the main Abrahamic religions, but they have something culinary in common: each year Muslims, Christians, and Jews restrict their diets to mimic the fasts of their respective prophets Muhammed,…

Trust No One: Joe McCarthy and the Politics of Fear

Lies. Alternative facts. Demonize and Destroy Your Opponents. Does this sound familiar? Former Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) has been dead for 63 years, but the political tools and techniques that he pioneered are as fresh as…

Introducing the HistoryMakers Digital Archive!

What do Guion Bluford , Angela Davis , Hank Aaron , Maya Angelou , Katherine G. Johnson , Eartha Kitt , Sonny Rollins , Gordon Parks , Ntozake Shange , and E. Lynn Harris all have in common? They are phenomenal Black people who have…

Celebrate the Year of the Ox!

Celebrate Lunar New Year 2021 and the Year of the Ox ! In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal. Because of its role in agriculture, positive characteristics, such as being hardworking and honest, are attributed to it. As for…

Bento Boxes: A Sustainable Method for Food On the Go

Quaint boxes equipped with separate compartments, used to store your favorite meals, bento boxes are gaining major popularity in the United States. While they are great for storing on-the-go meals, they were …

Toni Stone: The First Female Player in the Negro League

Have you seen the movie A League of Their Own ? This famous movie highlights the early years of the Women’s Baseball League in 1943. However, if you were a Negro woman during the 1940s, segregation laws forbid you from playing.…

New Release of the ProQuest Sanborn Maps Database

Sanborn fire insurance maps are available once again through ProQuest’s updated and newly-released database, Sanborn Maps 1867-1970 (formerly known as Sanborn Maps Geo Edition 1867-1970). This database gives you access to…

Story Search from Special Collections: An Interview by Hannah Cho

Hannah Cho is a University of Pennsylvania Work-Study student from Davis, CA. During the Fall semester, she studied, recorded, and edited the Story Search podcasts remotely from South Korea. I’ve always been more of a talker…

The History of Kwanzaa

Unlike many of the other holidays and traditions that we celebrate, Kwanzaa is one of the newest, at only 54 years old. It was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a way for African American families to reconnect to their roots and…

Celebrate the Holidays with Gingerbread

One of my favorite treats for the holidays is making gingerbread! Did you know that gingerbread was derived from Greece in 2400 b.c and was originally meant to preserve ginger? Gingerbread was a term used for any recipe that combined…

The Jewish Festival of Lights

The night of Thursday, December 10 begins the Jewish Festival of Lights known as Hanukkah. That much we can agree on, eh? Well, err, kind of. Yes, the holiday begins on Thursday evening, but what is the correct spelling, in English, of…

Buy Nothing Day 2020

Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s the holiday many of us look forward to in which we can gather with family and friends, eat delicious homemade food, and reflect on all of the things we are thankful for. Along with this holiday also comes…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote Digital Exhibition Launches

I still remember as a child, coming along as my mother cast her ballot. Standing side by side with my mother, the first person in my family to vote in the U.S., left me with wide-eyed curiosity. The wait in line culminating in a thick…

The Picture of Health: The Strange Case of John F. Kennedy

During the critical first presidential debate in 1960, the difference in the physical appearance of the two candidates could not have been sharper. Vice President Richard Nixon looked like a man who belonged in a hospital. The…

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…

A Dying Man Runs for President

If ever a man simply wore himself out while serving his country, Franklin D. Roosevelt is his name. First elected during the depths of the Great Depression in 1932, he was still on the job twelve years later in the midst of World War…

President Eisenhower, Senator McCarthy, and "The Junketeering Gumshoes"

During the years that Dwight Eisenhower served as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, he had to contend with some of the most demanding and difficult personalities on two continents.  The shortlist included Franklin D. Roosevelt ,…

Black History. Black News. Black Voices.

The Free Library is pleased to announce a new digital resource that provides access to the most distinguished African American Newspapers in the United States. Cardholders now have access to 10 historic Black newspapers that help piece…

Digital Media Spotlight: Olympic Memories of the Past

The 2020 Olympic Games were supposed to be starting today in Tokyo, Japan, but the Olympic flame will not be lit this summer . This year's Olympics were postponed back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delayed until July 23 -…

VIRTUAL - Joshua Cohen | The Netanyahus with Rivka Galchen | Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch

REGISTER HERE Joshua Cohen ’s acclaimed novels include Moving Kings , Witz , and Book of Numbers , “a fascinating look at the dark heart of the Web” and “one of the best novels ever written about the…

VIRTUAL - Paul Farmer | Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History

RESCHEDULED FROM APRIL 27, 2021 AT 7:30 P.M. PREVIOUS REGISTRATIONS AND LINKS ARE STILL VALID. REGISTER HERE Pine Tree Foundation Endowed Lecture In conversation with Dr. Steven Larson, Associate Professor of Emergency…

VIRTUAL - Carol Anderson | The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America

REGISTER HERE In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning journalist and broadcaster In appreciation of the George S. Pepper Society Carol Anderson is the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award winner White Rage ,…

VIRTUAL - Michael Punke | Ridgeline

REGISTER HERE Michael Punke is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Revenant , “a superb revenge story” ( The Washington Post Book World ) set in the 19th century U.S. frontier that was the basis for the…

VIRTUAL - Maggie O’Farrell  | Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague

REGISTER HERE In conversation with Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March , Caleb's Crossing and People of the Book With a “gift for combining intricate, engrossing plots with full-bodied…

Peace, Love, Unity + Having Fun

Energetic dancers will use breakdancing and abundant audience participation to explore hip hop's rich cultural history and how Black youth changed the world.  Led by Hip Hop Fundamentals and can be joined on the McPherson…

VIRTUAL - Marc Bookman | A Descending Spiral: Exposing the Death Penalty in 12 Essays

REGISTER HERE  In conversation with Reggie Shuford, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania. The Executive Director of the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, Marc Bookman is an…

Art of Augustus Kollner

Join the Free Library of Philadelphia's Print & Picture Collection and Art Department for a virtual survey of the art of Augustus Kollner (1813-1906) , a German-born artist who settled in Philadelphia in 1840.…

Art of Augustus Kollner

Join the Free Library of Philadelphia's Print & Picture Collection and Art Department for a virtual survey of the art of Augustus Kollner (1813-1906) , a German-born artist who settled in Philadelphia in 1840.…

VIRTUAL - Amy Klobuchar | Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age

PURCHASE TICKETS In conversation with Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics The senior United States Senator from Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar chairs the Senate Rules Committee; the Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition…

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

The United States midterm general election will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. In Pennsylvania, the ballot includes candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, the Pennsylvania State Senate,…

U.S. History In Context

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…

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.

HistoryMakers Digital Archive

The HistoryMakers Digital Archive is the nation's largest African American video oral history collection. It provides high-quality primary source content, with fully searchable transcripts, from thousands of people from a broad range of…

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 | 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…

America's Historical Newspapers (formerly Early American Newspapers, Series I 1690-1876)

America's Historical Newspapers features cover-to-cover reproductions of hundreds of historic newspapers, providing more than one million pages as fully text-searchable facsimile images. For students and scholars of early America, this…

Annette Gordon-Reed | On Juneteenth 

Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Endowed Lecture In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist Annette Gordon-Reed won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for  The Hemingses of Monticello: An…

Ross King | The Bookseller of Florence: The Story of the Manuscripts That Illuminated the Renaissance

Celebrated for his skill at “elucidating crucial episodes in the history of art and architecture” (Time ), Ross King is the author of many bestselling nonfiction books that peak behind the curtain of history of the studios, workshops,…

Senator Mazie K. Hirono | Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition Natalie Cohn Memorial Lecture A “hero on the left” ( Washington Post ) for her vocal support of progressive legislation and issues, Mazie K. Hirono is the…

Larry Krasner | For the People: A Story of Justice and Power 

In conversation with Chris Jackson, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, One World; and  Khadijah Costley White, Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University Winning on a platform of prison reform…

Reem Kassis | The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World

In conversation with Deb Perelman Reem Kassis is the author of  The Palestinian Table , a guide to Middle Eastern cooking woven together through recipes, regional history, and three generations of family traditions. Praised by fellow…

Jonathan Zimmerman and Signe Wilkinson | Free Speech: And Why You Should Give a Damn

In conversation with Bob Mankoff, cartoonist, cartoon and humor editor for  Esquire, and former cartoon editor, The New Yorker Across the political spectrum, throughout history, the U.S. public has demanded the suppression of ideas and…

Deborah Willis | The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship

Deborah Willis, Ph.D. , is the author of  Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present ; Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present ; and Michelle Obama: The First Lady in…

Kate Masur | Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction

Ellis Wachs Endowed Lecture In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist Kate Masur is the author of  An Example for All the Land , a Lincoln Prize finalist that examined Washington, D.C.’s role as a…

Joby Warrick | Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America's Race to Destroy the Most Dangerous Arsenal in the World

Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Endowed Lecture Joby Warrick won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction for Black Flags , “a revealing, riveting and exquisitely detailed account” ( San Francisco Chronicle ) of the rise of ISIS and its…

John Ghazvinian | America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present

In conversation with Ambassador John Limbert, US Deputy Secretary of State for Iran (2009-10); former hostage in the US Embassy in Tehran (1979-81) An author, historian, and former journalist, John Ghazvinian is the Executive Director…

James Oakes | The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution

In conversation with Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery  and Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution , winner of the Bancroft, Parkman, and Los Angeles Times Book…

Charles Kenny | The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease

A senior fellow and the director of technology and development at the Center for Global Development, Charles Kenny has extensively contributed to policy reforms in global health, UN peacekeeping, and international financial corruption,…

VIRTUAL - Sadeqa Johnson | Yellow Wife

In conversation with Jennifer Weiner, bestselling author of numerous books including In Her Shoes and most recently Big Summer Yellow Wife tells the harrowing story of an enslaved woman forced to barter love and freedom while living in…

Ijeoma Oluo | Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist “A nuanced analysis of White male America” that “deftly combines history and sociological study with personal narrative” ( Washington Post ), Ijeoma Oluo’s So…

An Evening with Signe Wilkinson

In celebration of thirty-five years of cartooning at the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer . The first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, Signe Wilkinson is acclaimed for her distinctive and irreverent art. A…

Eddie Glaude, Jr. | Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition The chair of the Department of African American Studies and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at Princeton University, Eddie S. Glaude…

Jess Walter | The Cold Millions

Jess Walter’s six acclaimed novels include the #1  New York Times  bestseller  The Beautiful Ruins , the National Book Award finalist  The Zero , and  Citizen Vince , winner of the Edgar Award. A former print journalist, he was a…

Alex Ross | Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music

In conversation with Simon Callow Music critic for the  New Yorker  since 1996, Alex Ross is the author of the international bestseller  The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century . A trip down the rabbit hole of modern…

Tamara Payne | The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

In conversation with Sarah Glover, veteran journalist and past president of the National Association of Black Journalists.   In 1990, Pulitzer Prize -winning journalist Les Payne set out on a nearly 30-year crusade to write the most…

Issac J. Bailey | Why Didn't We Riot: A Black Man in Trumpland

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist “A painful indictment of American inhumanity woven with threads of grace and love” ( Guardian ) Issac J. Bailey ’s memoir My Brother Moochie offered a raw,…