Literature Department

Services and hours are subject to change — please call in advance.

1901 Vine Street, Room 207
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Open today until 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 7/3 Closed
Monday, 7/4 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed *
Tuesday, 7/5 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 7/6 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, 7/7 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, 7/8 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 7/9 Closed
  • * Monday had hour changes – Independence Day
Sunday Closed
Monday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Sep. 5 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 10 : Closed Indigenous People Day
  • Fri., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 24 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
View all holiday closings

Upcoming Events

Functional Journaling - A Virtual workshop to capture your thoughts and organize your life

Sat, August 20, 2022 11:00 A.M.

Journaling is not the same as keeping a diary. Journaling can be as simple as creating a to-do list or as complex as intentionally planning the next year of your life. It's a powerful tool to unlock the mind and facilitate personal development, but it’s hard to know where to start. In…

Paper Dolls Then and Now

Sat, August 20, 2022 2:00 P.M.

  Join us virtually along with  Martha Raively, Eileen Rudisill Miller, Valerie Keller, moderated by Chris Brown as they discuss the development of paper dolls from their birth in the late 1700s to today.  Created as an adult form of entertainment, they evolved into…

 

The Literature Department is located with the Art Department in Pepper Hall, 2nd floor, Parkway Central, and houses over 60,000 books of American, English and World Literature. Our collection includes:

  • Poetry, plays, essays, humor, folklore, letters and author biographies
  • Criticism of American, English and World Literature, including criticism of novels and short stories
  • Writing and citation guidebooks
  • Books on movies, theater, journalism and media studies
  • Linguistics and books about the English language

Please note novels and short stories in English and foreign languages are found in Philbrick Hall on the first floor.

Some highlights of the Literature Department’s collection:

The 23-volume Oxford English Dictionary with the four-volume Additions series, invaluable for tracing the etymology and history of English words, is on reference in our Dictionary section.

An up-to-date list of our current periodical holdings:https://catalog.freelibrary.org/Community/lists/43489/

Please see our booklists for reading suggestions, here:  https://catalog.freelibrary.org/Community/users/Literature/

For anyone one doing 19th century research, we own Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature (1802-1881) and Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (1824-1990).  The full-text of most of the citations listed is available on microfilm.

The Ottemiller Collection, which includes reference copies of significant, English-language plays from 1900-1985.

A large, in-depth collection of works by and about Shakespeare, some of which circulate and some of which are Reference. The collection includes original copies of Howard Henry Furness’s Variorum, and many 18th and 19th century American and English imprints of Shakespeare’s works (in remote storage).  To request any of these items please ask for assistance at the reference desk as they are located in our regional offsite center also known as ROC.

Research Resources

In addition please take a look at our listing of additional electronic resources located here.

 

Educators!  We are here for you!

Are you an educator interested in bringing a class to the Literature Department? You may contact us in advance by emailing ErefLit@freelibrary.org and let us know what kinds of library materials would best support your course and we will work with you to help you gather books and other materials on a given subject.