Tagged History

Race in the United States: Social Justice Virtual Workshops for Teens

The first half of 2020 has been a pivotal time in the movement for racial justice. Inspired by lifelong Black activists and spurred into action by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, millions of Americans are…

George Washington Carver: Inventor, Environmentalist, Mentor, and Role Model

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of…

Explore Your Neighborhood Virtually with Digital Collections

With current stay-at-home orders and social distancing precautions in place, I find myself more eager to spend time outside and walk (or jog if I’m feeling really motivated) around the neighborhood. This has sparked a growing…

Harper Lee and the Novels That Help Us Remember

Today, American novelist Harper Lee would have turned 94 years old. As a lover of novels in general, and To Kill a Mockingbird in particular, I jumped at the chance to write a celebratory blog about Ms. Lee’s work and the lasting…

Unrolling the History of Toilet Paper

With the practice of social distancing and stay-at-home orders in place, people have been racing to stores to stock up on essentials, and one essential item in particular has become an infamous target for panicked shoppers –…

Stream a Film by a Woman to Celebrate Women's History Month

As March draws to a close, we near the end of Women’s History Month. Here at the Free Library, we’ve celebrated this important observance in many ways: with the story of Mary Church Terrell ; by recommending picture books…

Women's History Month 2020: Stories We Know, Stories We'll Discover

"Even if I believed that women should be denied the right of suffrage, wild horses could not drag such an admission from my pen or my lips, for this reason: precisely the same arguments used to prove that the ballot be withheld…

What is "Public History", Anyway?

On Thursday, February 20 , David W. Young will appear at Parkway Central Library to discuss his book, Battles of Germantown: Effective Public History in America .  Many Philadelphia residents are familiar with the annual…

Spotlight on Special Collections: WPA Posters in the Print and Picture Collection

From the mid-1930s to the early 1940s, artists working for the Federal Art Project’s Poster Division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA, later renamed Work Projects Administration) created thousands of designs for posters…

The Meaning of Philanthropy

With National Philanthropy Day just a few days ago and Thanksgiving fast approaching, it’s a great time to think about what philanthropy is and what it means to each and every one of us. According to Merriam-Webster ,…

#OneBookWednesday | Some History and Terms from There There

While reading There There — Tommy Orange ’s award-winning novel and the 2020 One Book, One Philadelphia featured selection—I was repeatedly struck by how many references Orange was able to weave into a single, cohesive…

Civil War Medicine: What Went Right

The human toll exacted by the Civil War is made clear simply by the size and number of hospitals in Philadelphia that treated the casualties of war. It’s no exaggeration to say that a few were industrial in scale. As the…

Find Out How Slavery Made Our World with These Free Library Resources

Have you read the 1619 Project yet? It’s the award-winning special issue of the New York Times Magazine all about American Slavery that was published last month. The project’s creator, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones , writes…

It's All Just a Little Bit of History Repeating Itself Again

History is endlessly fascinating to me; twentieth-century history in particular is full of triumphs and dark chapters. Sometimes it takes some distance to get perspective on events of the day and to notice patterns in…

Fly Me to the Moon: Apollo 11 at 50

Fifty years ago today, Neil Armstrong , Buzz Aldrin , and Michael Collins first set off into space to explore the surface of the Moon. Their mission, Apollo 11 , was the culmination of decades of determined research and experimentation…

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Happy Bastille Day!

Coming down from your Fourth of July celebrations, but not quite ready to put away your red, white, and blue clothes (or fireworks)? You’re in luck! July 14 is Bastille Day —the tri-colored national fête of France. On…

Conversations in Color: The Coretta Scott King Awards Celebrate 50 Years of Excellence

Parkway Central Library Senior Services will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Awards for excellence in African American children’s literature with a five-part discussion series called Conversations In…

The Mystery of Missing Persons

Many things go missing – overdue books, keys, socks in the dryer – but none of those can compare with the gravity of when a person simply disappears. Approximately 90,000 people are missing at this very moment in the United…

Book Donation to Recognize and Celebrate Polish Literature

The Free Library was fortunate to recently receive a donation of books by Polish authors that were translated into English, along with books in Polish for both adults and children. The books were donated by the Polish Book Institute , a…

The Secret Cinema Presents: Philadelphia: The Changing City

It's no secret... the Free Library is thrilled to partner with Philadelphia's beloved film screening series, The Secret Cinema , now in its 27th year. In celebration of our current exhibition Philadelphia: The Changing City…

Voyages by Road and Sea

Voyages by Road and Sea explores the legacies of Walt Whitman and Herman Melville through contemporary voices and art in Parkway Central Library's West Gallery. Marking the bicentennial years for both Whitman and Melville, Voyages…

Dear Rep. Pramila Jayapal event attendees,

As with our other events for the summer this event has been cancelled as well. We hope to reschedule in the not too distant future.    

Dear Carol Anderson event attendees,

Dear Carol Anderson event attendees,  Our August 4th event with Carol Anderson has been cancelled. Read the Open Letter from Concerned Black Workers  at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Social Justice Symposium

Young people ages 12 to 20, join us for the Free Library's fifth annual Social Justice Symposium, a day that will celebrate youth voices and inspire the activists of tomorrow! This free virtual program will provide a safe space…

The Art of Resistance

In this workshop we will look at the ways artists of color have used art as a form of resistance against racism. This workshop is the third in a series of workshops preparing participants for this year’s fifth annual Social…

Dear Eddie Glaude, Jr. event attendees,

Dear Eddie Glaude, Jr. event attendees,  Our July 16 event with Eddie Glaude, Jr. has been cancelled. In the interim, please read Mr. Glaude's statement on  Twitter  regarding this cancelled appearance, along with…

Virtual Hands-on History–Hands Off: Touch Not the Theremin

Some of us may remember that weird sound  made famous in the original Star Trek theme song. That was the sound of the Theremin, the grandfather of all electronic instruments. It remains one of the stranger instruments in…

Race and Slavery in the U.S.

How did slavery shape the idea of race in the United States, and how did it affect African Americans in the decades after it ended? Discover how the enslavement of Black men, women, and children laid the groundwork of how race is often…

Dear Colson Whitehead ticket buyers,

Dear Colson Whitehead ticket buyers, Our July 8 event with Colson Whitehead has been cancelled. All tickets will be refunded in the coming week. In the interim, please read Mr. Whitehead's statement on  Twitter  regarding…

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 Evening Telegraph

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

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…

America's Historical Imprints

Explore the nation’s past in unprecedented ways. Includes books, pamphlets, broadsides and other scarce printed material, centuries of American history, literature, culture, and daily life, and extensive indexing and full bibliographic…

American State Papers, 1789-1838

A rich source of primary material on many aspects of early American history, American State Papers, 1789-1838, features not only new bibliographic records for every one of its 6,354 publications, but also superior images created by…

American Broadsides and Ephemera

The American Antiquarian Society's collection of single-sheet documents printed before 1877 is perhaps the most extensive in existence. It consists of broadsides, advertisements, invitations and notices, leaflets, trade cards (i.e., the…

Ezekiel J. Emanuel | Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care?

Ezekiel J. Emanuel is Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. An oncologist and author of nine books on medical ethics and healthcare, he…

Chris Wallace | Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World

The popular anchor of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace has reported on nearly every watershed national and international political event. During his 50-year career in journalism, he has earned three Emmys, the duPont-Columbia Silver…

Stacey Abrams | Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition Stacey Abrams  is the New York Times bestselling author of  Lead from the Outside , a serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO, and political leader. After serving…

Donna Rifkind | The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood

A prolific book critic whose reviews appear in the  Wall Street Journal , the  Washington Post , and the  New York Times Book Review , Donna Rifkind was a 2006 finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the…

Imani Perry In Conversation with Kiese Laymon: On the Uprising since George Floyd's Murder and Black Struggles for Freedom in the United States

Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton. She is the author of six books, most recently the…

Lauren Francis-Sharma | Book of the Little Axe

In conversation with Erica Armstrong Dunbar ,  award-winning author of Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge  and She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman. Lauren…

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio | The Undocumented Americans

In conversation with Andrea González-Ramírez, Senior Writer at  GEN  and an Ida B. Wells fellow at Type Investigations.  Read Ms. González-Ramírez's interview with Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. Originally from Ecuador, Karla Cornejo…

Jennifer Steinhauer | The Firsts: The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

A reporter for the  New York Times  for 25 years, Jennifer Steinhauer has covered the United States Congress since 2010. Her former assignments include Los Angeles bureau chief and New York City Hall bureau chief. The winner of the…

David Wallace-Wells | The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

In conversation with Dr. Rachel Valletta, Environmental Scientist at The Franklin Institute and director of all climate change education and outreach programming. A columnist and deputy editor at  New York  magazine, David Wallace-Wells…

Frank B. Wilderson III | Afropessimism

Frank B. Wilderson III spent more than five years in South Africa, where he was one of two Americans elected to the African National Congress during the country’s transformation after apartheid. His books include  Incognegro: A Memoir of…

Judith Heumann | Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition A world-renowned leader in the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement, featured in the new film  Crip Camp , Judith Heumann has spent four decades…

David Plouffe | A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump

The campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 primary and general election victories, David Plouffe later served on the White House staff as a senior advisor and was largely credited with the 44th president’s 2012 win. He formerly worked…

Adam Hochschild | Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes

Historian Adam Hochschild’s ten “carefully researched and vigorously told” ( Houston Chronicle ) books include King Leopold’s Ghost , a haunting portrait of Belgium’s 19th-century brutal colonization of the Congo, and To End All Wars ,…

Dan Pfeiffer | UnTrumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again

In conversation with Alyssa Mastromonaco , author of Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House and frequent guest on Pod Save America The White House director of…

Gretchen Sorin | Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights

A curator with more than 30 years’ experience, Dr. Gretchen Sorin has consulted for more than 250 institutions, including the Smithsonian, the Jewish Museum, and the New York State Historical Association. She is the director of the…

EJ Dionne | Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country

In conversation with Dick Polman  “Substantial” and “notably fair minded” ( New York Times Book Review ), E.J. Dionne Jr. is a syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post  and nearly 100 other newspapers, a…

David Zucchino | Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy

In conversation with Mark Bowden, most recently author of The Last Stone: A Masterpiece of Criminal Interrogation David Zucchino is a contributing writer for The New York Times . He has covered wars and civil conflicts in more than…

Emma Copley Eisenberg | The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia

In conversation with Sarah Marshall, journalist, writer, and co-host of the podcast You’re Wrong About. In June 1980, two young middle-class women who had been hitchhiking to a nature festival called the Rainbow Gathering were found…

Andrew Bacevich | The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory

Praised for their “clarity of expression . . . devastating directness” and “coruscating wit” ( Washington Post ), Andrew Bacevich’s bestselling books include The Limits of Power ,  America’s War for the Greater Middle East , and …

Elaine Sciolino | The Seine: The River That Made Paris

A former Paris bureau chief and contributing writer for the New York Times , Elaine Sciolino is acclaimed for her “deliciously detailed and smart” ( Vogue ) chronicles of French culture and history. Her books include the bestsellers The…