Tagged History of Philadelphia

August is National Black Business Month

August is National Black Business Month ! Philadelphia is home to a wide array of Black-owned businesses, from art galleries to restaurants and so much more. Just how many Black-owned businesses are there in Philadelphia? In 2019, Pew…

Commemorating Immigrant Heritage Month This June

This June, the Free Library is celebrating Philadelphia’s immigrant communities! June is Immigrant Heritage Month , a time when we celebrate the beauty and strength of our city’s many immigrant communities. Philadelphia…

Get Ready: 2026 Starts Now!

In 2026, the country will commemorate the 250th anniversary of American independence. All eyes will be on Philadelphia as we recognize the historic events that occurred here in 1776. The Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to be a…

The Federal Writers' Project American Guides

Most of us are familiar with the artwork created by the Works Progress Administration: the striking photography, the murals in state buildings and post offices, the posters, and the public sculptures, but fewer are aware of the work…

African American Art Collecting and Research with Philadelphia Author Sherry Howard

Updated Tuesday, December 7, 2021 Sherry L. Howard is a Philadelphia-based art collector and researcher who primarily focuses on local African American art and artists. She writes about her experience in the world of art auctions…

More Than Stonewall: LGBTQ Historical Nonfiction

All October we'll be talking about LGBTQ History on the Free Library's blog! So far we've discussed LGBTQ Historical Young Adult Fiction and  LGBTQ History Told Through Comics and Graphic Novels . This week, we turn our…

Explore the New Deal’s Legacy Across Philadelphia

The New Deal, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s political experiment to pull the United States out of the Great Depression, created programs for relief for the unemployed and economic recovery and reform. Evidence of some of these…

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…