Tagged History of Philadelphia

Uncovering the Real James Bond in the Rare Book Department

From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, the intrepid agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service—James Bond, designated Agent 007—has epitomized masculine cool. Everyone knows how he likes his vodka martinis. Everyone knows…

It’s National Immunization Awareness Month!

by Lillian B. and Jake T. Afraid of shots or needles? Have questions about protecting your health? Get excited to learn with us this National Immunization Awareness Month ! Primarily, immunizations are most effective when given to…

Local Athletes Competing in the Summer Olympics

After the postponement of the 2020 Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the torch will be lit once again this year as the rescheduled Summer Games will take place in Tokyo, Japan starting today, Friday, July 23, and run through…

Christina “Steenz” Stewart Draws the Heart of the City

The comic strip  Heart of the City , set in Philadelphia, dates back to when everyone read the daily funnies on newsprint. A year ago, then 29-year-old Christina “Steenz” Stewart assumed Heart's…

Who Said It: Shakespeare, Milton, or Shake Milton?

The Rare Book Department has some true treasures within its collections, but perhaps one of its most special collections is the First Folio of William Shakespeare . What is the “First Folio”? It contains the collected works…

Spotlight on Special Collections: Artist Dox Thrash and the WPA Printmaking Collection

Dox Thrash was an innovative artist and printmaker who gained recognition for his realistic and moving depictions of Black life while working for the federally-funded Philadelphia Fine Print Workshop.  Dox…

Philly Jazz Legends: Lee Morgan

This is the seventh in a series of posts  highlighting major figures in jazz history who were from Philly (even if most ended up in New York City). A virtual book discussion of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American…

Dr. Rebecca Cole: Pioneering Philadelphia Doctor and African American Health Advocate

One of the joys of my profession is not knowing who will spark my curiosity to continue learning about something or someone. To celebrate Black History Month this year, I let my curiosity guide me to inventors and scientists either born…

Emory C. Malick: Trailblazing African American Pilot

Bessie Coleman is known for being the first black women to get a pilot’s license. But have you ever wondered who the first Black man was to get his pilot’s license? Meet Emory Conrad Malick , a biracial man, born on December…

Philly Jazz Legends: The Heath Brothers

This is the seventh in a series of posts  highlighting major figures in Philadelphia jazz history. Every one of the bolded album titles below can be streamed free with your library card via Alexander Street’s Jazz Music…

Story Search from Special Collections: An Interview by Hannah Cho

Hannah Cho is a University of Pennsylvania Work-Study student from Davis, CA. During the Fall semester, she studied, recorded, and edited the Story Search podcasts remotely from South Korea. I’ve always been more of a talker…

Take Part in a Free Library Holiday Tradition: Dedicate a Bookplate

Each holiday season, the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation creates a festive commemorative bookplate that members of the community can gift in honor or in memory of those they care most about. With a gift of just $50 to the Free…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote Digital Exhibition Launches

I still remember as a child, coming along as my mother cast her ballot. Standing side by side with my mother, the first person in my family to vote in the U.S., left me with wide-eyed curiosity. The wait in line culminating in a thick…

Philadelphia History from Home: Digital Access to Primary Sources

You may have heard the recent news that Free Library cardholders now have access to ProQuest’s Historical Black Newspapers , featuring coverage of The Philadelphia Tribune (the oldest continuously-published Black daily!) from…

Philly Jazz Legends: Billie Holiday

This is the second in a series of posts highlighting major figures in jazz history who were from Philly (even if most ended up in New York City). A virtual book discussion of Wishing on the Moon: The Life and Times of Billie Holiday…

Philly Jazz Legends: John Coltrane

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting major figures in jazz history who were from Philly (even if most ended up in New York City). A virtual book discussion of Wishing on the Moon: The Life and Times of Billie Holiday by…

Discover Black Folk Musicians

Although many people associate the term "folk music" with white musicians like Pete Seeger , there is a long tradition in the United States of Black folk musicians. In fact, without the spirituals sung by enslaved people, the…

Edible Alphabet Recipe of the Week: Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Edible Alphabet is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's Culinary Literacy Center . The mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. While Free…

Celebrate Wawa Welcome America Virtually with the Free Library!

For nearly three decades, America’s birthplace (Philly, of course!) has celebrated Independence Day with Wawa Welcome America – a free, multi-day festival encompassing multicultural and multigenerational…

Finding "Nonno"

In addition to offering patrons ever-growing Digital Collections , dozens of research databases , and a rich variety of genealogic resources , the Free Library and the Special Collections Division deliver an exceptional customer…