Tagged special collections

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…

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…

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…

Philadelphia: The Changing City

October 10, 2018 – April 13, 2019 From river to skyline and stoop to stoop, Philadelphia has been re-formed and re-shaped throughout its history. Its transformation from bustling port to workshop of the world to World Heritage…

Hands-on History at The Free Library, Parkway Central

Take history in the palm of your hand: turn pages, hold manuscripts, and handle artifacts with the Hands-on History series from the Free Library's Special Collections. Curiosity seekers age 13 and up are welcome! Registration is…

A Free Tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City Exhibition

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

Art of the Pictorial Map

Join Free Library of Philadelphia's  Map Collection  curator Megan MacCall for an exploration of the colorful art of pictorial maps! A popular trend during the 20th century, pictorial maps are creative and colorful, often…

A Free Tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City Exhibition

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

A Free Tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City Exhibition

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

Hands-on History at The Free Library, Parkway Central

From Blimps to Buildings: Exploring Philadelphia through Historic Photographs and Maps Before the advent of Google Maps and online satellite images, people relied on printed maps and aerial photographs. Come learn about the history of…

A Free Tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City Exhibition

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

Hands-on History at The Free Library, Parkway Central

A son of formerly enslaved people, Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906) was one of the first African American authors to become world-famous for his writings. During his short life, Dunbar authored books including poetry and novels.…

A Free Tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City Exhibition

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

Hands-on History at The Free Library, Parkway Central

In this month's Hands-on History we celebrate Philly Theatre Week, as we explore materials relating to two of the most famous theatrical families in Philadelphia: the Drews and the Barrymores. Among the items explored…

The Lost Islands of the Delaware River: An illustrated lecture by Adam Levine, Environmental Historian

Smith’s and Windmill Islands once sat in the Delaware River channel, between Center City Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. Join Adam Levine as he explores the history of these islands, from the siting of a windmill in the river…

A Free Tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City Exhibition

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