Literature Department

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-686-5402

Open today 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

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

  • Thu., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Sep. 2 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 14 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Mon., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 28 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
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Upcoming Events

Song-Poems: The Great Cackler

Thu, June 27, 2019 6:00 P.M.

This experimental folk/punk duo formed from the West Philly underground arts scene of which both Mnady Katz (violin) and Justin Duerr (guitar) have been a part of since the 1990s. They build an alternative musical world using an intuitive process and incorporating both of their visions as visual…

Adult Community Events Music

Book To Movie Night-BlackKklansman

Wed, July 10, 2019 6:00 P.M.

Our first film series for 2019 asks the question: what was better, the book or the movie? BlackKklansman will be the fourth movie of this four-part series. The movie will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.  Please register at Eventbrite: https://books2moviespikelee.eventbrite.com Parkway…

Adult Film Screening Literature Movies & Television

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.