Tagged Special Collections

Connecting Special Collections with the Cultural and Educational Needs of Philadelphia’s Islamic Populations: Starting the Dialogue

Joe Shemtov is a Special Collections Coordinator and Primary Source Specialist, and a participant in Cohort 1 of the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries trainings.  In October. I had the pleasure to complete Skills for…

Happy Birthday to You, Charles Dickens!

Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens! The celebrated author was born February 7, 1812 in Landport near the city of Portsmouth, England. Dickens professional writing career began in the early 1830s and continued for nearly four…

Philadelphia - The Cycling City | Part 1: Paving the Way

The current exhibition in the Rare Book Department ’s Dietrich Gallery, entitled Philadelphia - The Changing City , offers a look at centuries’ worth of local transformations illustrated with materials mostly sourced from…

Take History in the Palm of Your Hand with this New Series from the Free Library's Special Collections

The late and great Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell once sang, "Ain’t nothing like the real thing baby." These words hold true for how to best experience our material culture. People who have visited the Rare Book…

Grip, Philadelphia's Pet Raven

One of the most popular items in the Rare Book Department that resonates with visitors the world over is not what you would expect. It is not a rare manuscript or a printed book from one of our spectacular literary or historical…

Free Tours of Philadelphia: The Changing City Exhibition

Come and learn about Philadelphia's exciting, dynamic, and often forgotten history with a free guided tour of the  Philadelphia: The Changing City exhibition. The tour will be led by an exhibition curator in the Dietrich…

Don't Miss the Parkway Soiree!

On Friday Oct 26 from 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. , the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is throwing itself a wild block party to celebrate 100 years of culture and learning along Philadelphia’s patch of Elysium. The Parkway Central…

Philadelphia: The Changing City - An Exhibition from Special Collections

October 10 marks the opening of an exhibition that analyzes Philadelphia's growth across more than three centuries, presenting more than 80 rare and revelatory prints, photographs, documents, and maps from the Free…

Drinks in the Archives

by Suzanna U. and Alina J. Building off of the successes of Food from the Archives in 2016, the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Special Collections, Research Departments, and Culinary Literacy Center are joining forces with the…

Hypnosis & Your Health

Hypnosis, using its power to heal or influence others, has captured our public imagination long ago. It is a popular and often misunderstood technique that has been used for a variety of things, such as for quitting smoking , curing…

Back to School, but Not Old School: Information and Primary Source Literacy

In a world of "fake news" and "alternate truths", the importance of critical thinking is more important than ever. Educators and librarians have replaced old-school teaching methods based on rote memorization and…

Visit These Free Library Exhibitions Before It’s Too Late!

The summer is coming to a close (though someone obviously forgot to tell the weather!) and with that, several exhibitions at the Free Library will soon be winding down. Don’t worry! You’ve still got some time to come check…

Updates From the Manuscripts of the Muslim World Project

Philadelphians and people worldwide will eventually be able to view and download entire Islamic manuscripts, consisting of both images and texts, from the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Islamic collection of manuscripts. Already,…

Bringing Philadelphia's Rare Manuscripts to the World

A recent article and video at the University of Pennsylvania's  Penn Today highlights the work taking place to digitize all of the medieval manuscripts at Philadelphia area libraries. The project, Bibliotheca…

Picture Book Highlights | Mary Had a Little...

Lamb — yes, lamb! That’s the start of the popular 19th century nursery rhyme about a girl named Mary and her faithful little lamb... It’s a rhyme, it’s a song (by Paul McCartney !), and it has also been used as…

Philly Theatre Week and a Look at Philadelphia Theatre History

Philly Theatre Week , presented by Theatre Philadelphia, is a 10-day celeration of the artists, organizations, and audiences that have made Greater Philadelphia one of the most vibrant theatre regions in the nation. With over…

Do You Need Some Holiday Card Inspiration?

Do you send out greeting cards around the holiday season? Families have been writing "Christmas Letters" for hundreds of years, but the commercially produced Christmas card is a little bit younger: first manufactured in 1843…

A Dance and a Headdress: All About Gilda Gray

October 24 marks the birthday of the Roaring Twenties icon Gilda Gray. Born on October 24, 1901 as Marianna Michalska in Krakow, Poland, Gray didn’t get off to the easiest start in life. She was orphaned when her parents were…

Corridor of Culture: 100 Years of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

In the autumn of 2016, we were tasked with a fascinating challenge: create a bold and welcoming exhibition that would discuss the history of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. On the surface, this isn’t that difficult. As curators in…

The Art of Comics: An Exhibition

The Free Library has recently mounted an exhibit of treasures from our collections that illustrate the history and artistry of the comic book medium. This display can still be seen on the 2 nd- floor landing and the Art Department…

Life at Sea: A Rare Book Voyage

Life at Sea: A Rare Book Voyage Join us for an afternoon voyage into the Free Library of Philadelphia’s rare book collections. We’ll page through books about pirates printed in the 1600s and 1700s, look at children’s…

Our 5 Senses Community Day

On Sunday, September 8, join us with your family in the Rare Book Department for a special Storytime in celebration of the Our 5 Senses exhibition. Taste candy made by a Historic Drop Roller Candy Machine demonstration with…

Reading with your fingertips: Hands-on History at the Free Library of Philadelphia

Read with your fingertips, and learn about the history of braille, raised type, and moon type. This program is for all ages. This program is part of the Hands-on History series and the Our 5 Senses exhibition on…

Making Pictures: Hands-on History at The Free Library, Parkway Central

Making Pictures Art-makers have told stories through their pictures for at least 20,000 years. We won't have anything as old as the Lascaux cave paintings, but come explore 500 years of narrative art from the Rare Book…

Hands-on History at The Free Library, Parkway Central

Famous Queer Authors On Saturday, June 8th,  the Rare Book Department proudly honors Philly Pride Month with a Hands-on History program, which will focus on works of famous gay authors from its collections. Participants will…

Zines for Teens

In this two-hour, hands-on workshop in DIY media, teens explore the history/herstory/theirstory of zines, by making mini zines from start to finish. Also, if you haven't seen the new Field Teen Center, here's your chance to…

Slam Your Senses

Attention all teens! Join your friends for a special teen reception (this means free food!) followed by a Poetry Slam performance on Friday May 31 from 4:00–5:30 p.m. in the Rare Book Department.   This free program in…

Sensory Slime Workshop

Get your slime on! Make your own slime and take it home. Kids of all ages are invited to have fun in this afterschool.activity.to be held in the Children's Department in Parkway Central at 4:00 PM on May 15. It's time for…

Hands-on History at The Free Library, Parkway Central

In coordination with Tempesta di Mare GREAT BOOKS Classic Tales for Orchestra , Hands-on History explores literary masterpieces in Western literature that have inspired outstanding musical compositions. A selection…