Tagged special collections

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…

A Rare Glimpse of Philadelphia in the Early 1800s

The Free Library’s map collection comprises thousands of maps focused on the development and history of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. One particular map, the Plan of the City of Philadelphia and Environs, 1809, surveyed by John…

Traveling Treasures: A Special Collection Worth Touching

Much has been written in academic journals about the need to increase access to special collections in public libraries, museums, and universities. This topic is particularly relevant to the  Rare Book Department of the Free…

"Pay to Benjamin Franklin, for Printing"

We all know Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia's everyman. Poor Richard . Diplomat of the Revolution . Inventor of the Glass Harmonica . Postmaster General . Guy Who Flew A Kite in a Thunderstorm. Founder of the University of…

Philadelphia, Fleisher, and the City Beautiful Movement

June 2, 2017, will mark the 90th birthday of our Parkway Central Library . On September 8, 2017, celebrations for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s 100th anniversary will begin and continue until November 16, 2018. The Free Library…

Grandfather's Papers: The Jacques Wissler Collection

The Print and Picture Collection (PIX) in Parkway Central Library is home to diverse collections of fine art prints, photographs, drawings, and artists’ books, as well as extensive research collections of Philadelphia images, both…

The Art of Katherine Milhous

Katherine Milhous (1894-1977) wore many hats in her time: a supervisor for the Federal Art Project ; an artist for the Pennsylvania Art Project (a subsidiary of the Federal Art Project, which itself was formed under the…

Philadelphia: The Changing City

October 10, 2018 – April 13, 2019 An exhibition in the Rare Book Department  From river to skyline and stoop to stoop, Philadelphia has been re-formed and re-shaped throughout its history. Its transformation from bustling…

Corridor of Culture: 100 Years of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Between September 2017 and November 2018, all of Philadelphia will be celebrating the centennial of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Since 1917, this grand avenue has connected Philadelphia’s City Hall with the entrance to Fairmount…

The Art of Herbert Crowley: An author talk with Justin Duerr

Herbert Edmund Crowley was an almost entirely forgotten artist, sculptor, musician, and cartoonist upon his death in 1937. At one time during the early 20th. century he was seen as a rising star in the art world, but like many of…