Literature Department

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Open today until 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, 10/13 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday, 10/14 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 10/15 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 10/16 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, 10/17 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, 10/18 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10/19 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • * Monday had hour changes – Columbus Day
Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 28 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Wed., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
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Upcoming Events

Monday Poets | Reginald Dwayne Betts and Daisy Fried

Mon, Oct 21, 6:30 P.M.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is the author of a memoir and three books of poetry. His memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival,…

Shakespeare in the World: Shakespeare and the Supernatural

Wed, Oct 23, 6:00 P.M.

Lecture is in room 406. Shakespeare’s plays are full of supernatural elements and entities, but how did these fantastic spectacles appear on…

Song-Poems: Karl Blau

Thu, Nov 7, 6:00 P.M.

Our 'Song-Poems' concert series returns this fall! Join us 11/7 as we introduce indie hero Karl Blau. Karl Blau is a…

Song-Poems: Anika Pyle

Wed, Nov 13, 6:00 P.M.

Anika Pyle is a Philly-based singer-songwriter, formerly of Brooklyn pop-punk band Chumped and currently in the Philadelphia punk rock group Katie…

Roman Holiday- The Backstory- Skyline Room Wednesday, November 13th 2019 @ 6:30 pm sharp.

Wed, Nov 13, 6:30 P.M.

Hollywood Backstory Movie Series Join us for the film which launched Audrey Hepburn as a film superstar and confirmed Greg Peck as an actor of…

Shakespeare in the World: Shakespeare’s Wonder Women

Wed, Nov 20, 6:00 P.M.

Lecture is in Room 406. In his first letter from the New World in 1493, Christopher Columbus described the women of the island Matremonio as…

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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
  • ESL and foreign language learning books and CDs

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.

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.

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