Tagged History

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…

Profiles in Literature

The Free Library of Philadelphia has some wonderful resources for people researching the history of children's literature in America. With just a library card , several databases are available to help you learn more about the…

Ancestry Library Edition

Visit one of our libraries to explore our newest database,  Ancestry Library Edition , which provides the most extensive collection of genealogical information currently available online. You can explore your family’s…

Teaching Interior Chinatown — With Appropriate Supports

Early in our Interior Chinatown unit, my co-teacher and I talked to our students about the idea of interior and exterior — an important contrast that structures Charles Yu ’s novel. What did we mean by interior and exterior?…

Comrade Sisters: Women of the Black Panther Party

Over the years, the Philadelphia Commission for Women has partnered with the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women on vital programs to elevate the voices and aspirations of…

NewspaperArchive Is a Blast From the Past!

NewspaperArchive is an online database of billions (and yes, that’s BILLIONS with a B!) of newspaper articles from Pennsylvania, the U.S. (all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands), and all over the globe…

The HistoryMakers: Enjoy African American History On-Demand

Using your library card, you can now enjoy Black history in the oral tradition via The HistoryMakers  Digital Archive : the largest video archive of African American history spanning from the 1700s to the present day. This special…

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…

For The Love of Hip Hop Exhibit

In collaboration with artist rod jones ii, this exhibition celebrates 50 years of hip hop and brings together Free Library staff and community members to answer the question, “When did you fall in love with Hip Hop?” …

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Rare Book Department: Viewing Historical Collections Through a Modern Lens.

How have the ethics of book collecting, material donations, and bibliographic description changed in the 75 years the Rare Book Department has existed? And how do those changes affect how the department functions today? Join us as we…

Juneteenth 365 Flag-Making

Learn about Juneteenth, Independence Day, and how it affected African Americans in Philadelphia. Learn about the symbolism of the Juneteenth Flag and other flags of liberation. Create your own real fabric flag with your own symbols.…

Taste of African Heritage Cooking Class

Let's chat, learn about nutrition, and taste traditional African dishes together!  This program is presented by African Heritage and Health:  An Oldways Program from Einstein and Jefferson's A Better Start F.U.N.…

Juneteenth with Thembi

Experience interactive storytelling with Read | Move | Play, where children engage with imaginative adventures through puppets, songs, playful activities, and exercise. Explore, connect, and discover with child-led exploratory play,…

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…

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Rare Book Department with a Behind-the-Scenes Evening Tour.

Since  its opening in 1949 the Rare Book has offered free tours of its collections. Join us this evening for a fun, behind-the-scenes tour with your library guide who will also show your materials seldomly displayed.…

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

REGISTER 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,…

Taste of African Heritage Cooking Class

Let's chat, learn about nutrition, and taste traditional African dishes together!  This program is presented by African Heritage and Health:  An Oldways Program from Einstein and Jefferson's A Better Start F.U.N.…

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

TICKETS “America’s most compelling popular historian” (The Christian Science Monitor) ,  Erik Larson  is the bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed books, including  The Splendid and the Vile ,…

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…

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

REGISTER 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…

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

TICKETS Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Endowed Lecture The White House and national security correspondent for  The New York Times , David E. Sanger has been a member of three Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist…

Philly Boxing History with John DiSanto

The Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame (PABHOF) was established in 1958 to honor the elite performers of the state's boxing history. The first five-person class of inductees included ring legends Billy Conn, Harry Greb, Tommy…

Encontrar Nuestra Voz: Taller de Poesía (Salón virtual) | Finding Our Voice: Poetry Workshop (Virtual room)

Nos complace presentar, Encontrar Nuestra Voz: Taller de Poesía , un evento que se llevará a cabo por cuarta vez en el marco del XVIII Festival Internacional de Poesía (FIP) Palabra en el Mundo , celebrando este…

Taste of African Heritage Cooking Class

Let's chat, learn about nutrition, and taste traditional African dishes together!  This program is presented by African Heritage and Health:  An Oldways Program from Einstein and Jefferson's A Better Start F.U.N.…

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

REGISTER 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  Longing to Tell, The Hip Hop Wars , and, most…

Chapter Meeting - Society for Industrial Archeology

Come learn and share stories of Philadelphia industry and manufacturing with the local chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology. Since its inception in 1984, the Oliver Evans Chapter has promoted interest in the development of…

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…

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.

HistoryMakers Digital Archive

THIS RESOURCE IS TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE. Explore the nation's largest African American video oral history collection. Access high-quality primary source content, with fully searchable transcripts. THIS RESOURCE IS CURRENTLY…

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…

Ancestry Library Edition

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…

Tanisha Ford | Our Secret Society: Mollie Moon and the Glamour, Money, and Power Behind the Civil Rights Movement

In conversation with Marc Lamont Hill Tanisha Ford ’s Our Secret Society is a biography of Mollie Moon, the socialite, powerbroker, and founder of the National Urban League Guild, who was a key fundraiser for the Civil Rights Movement.…

Joseph Sassoon | The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire

Watch the video here . “A marvelous epitaph to a monumental family, makers of several worlds and keepers of none” ( The Wall Street Journal ), Joseph Sassoon ’s eponymous historical volume The Sassoons charts the remarkable 19th-century…

Rachel Maddow | Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism

In conversation with Julian E. Zelizer Rachel Maddow  is host of the Emmy Award–winning  The Rachel Maddow Show  on MSNBC, as well as the #1  New York Times  best­selling author of  Drift  and  Blowout , and the  New York Times…

Bettina L. Love | Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal

In conversation with Marc Lamont Hill Bettina L. Love is the author of the bestseller We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom , winner of the 2020 Society of Professors of Education…

Simon Schama | Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines, and the Health of Nations

Pine Tree Foundation Endowed Lecture In conversation with Maiken Scott “A historian of prodigious and varied gifts” ( San Francisco Chronicle ), Simon Schama is the author of 20 books, including The Embarrassment of Riches; Scribble,…

Jonathan Eig | King: A Life

Named one of the most anticipated books of the year by  The New York Times, The Washington Post, and  Newsweek ,  Jonathan Eig ’s  King , an “intimate, multidimensional biography” ( The Boston Globe ) of Martin Luther King Jr., offers a…

Wesley Lowery | American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and the Cost of Progress

In conversation with award-winning journalist and broadcaster Tracey Matisak In  American Whitelash ,  Wesley Lowery  examines the cyclical pattern of violence that marks each watershed moment of racial progress in this country, most…

Blair LM Kelley | Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class

In conversation with Marc Lamont Hill Referred to by acclaimed author and academic Michael Eric Dyson as “one of the most important works of history to come across my desk in a long time,” Blair LM Kelley’s Black Folk: The Roots of the…

David Maraniss | Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe

In conversation with Paul Hendrickson “One of our most talented biographers and historians” ( The New York Times ),  David Maraniss  is the author of bestselling portraits of some of America’s most consequential figures, including Bill…

Kristen R. Ghodsee | Everyday Utopia: What 2,000 Years of Wild Experiments Can Teach Us

In conversation with Arwa Mahdawi Referred to by bestsstelling author Rebecca Traister as “exhilarating, good humored, and forward looking,”  Kristen R. Ghodsee ’s  Everyday Utopia  is a two-millennia examination of diverse…

Linda Villarosa | Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation

A contributing writer at  The New York Times Magazine  and The 1619 Project, Linda Villarosa has won numerous awards for articles concerning issues of Black mother and infant health, medical myths, America’s hidden HIV epidemic,…

Camille Dungy | Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden

In conversation with Abra Lee Camille T. Dungy  is the author of  Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History , a debut personal essay collection that was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle…

Chad L. Williams | The Wounded World: W. E. B. Du Bois and the First World War

In conversation with Mia Bay Chad L. Williams is the author of Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era , winner of the Liberty Legacy Foundation Award from the Organization of American Historians. The…

Simon Winchester | Knowing What We Know: The Transmission of Knowledge: From Ancient Wisdom to Modern Magic

Pine Tree Foundation Endowed Lecture Exuding “the comfort and charm of a beloved encyclopedia come to life” ( The New Yorker ), Simon Winchester is the bestselling author of nearly 30 nonfiction books that explore some of the world’s…

David Grann | The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder

David Grann is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI , an account of the chilling true-life story of one of the most sinister conspiracies in U.S. history.…