Rare Book Department

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-686-5416

"Becoming the Detective: The Making of a Genre" is currently on view in the Rare Book Department's William B. Dietrich Gallery. Treasures from Rare Book Department collections can be viewed in our hallway galleries.

Open today until 5:00 p.m.

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 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Tue., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Sep. 4 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 9 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Sat., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
  • Thu., Nov. 23 : Closed Thanksgiving Day
View all holiday closings

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Upcoming Events

Becoming the Detective: The Making of a Genre

Now through Fri, September 1, 2017 5:00 P.M.

Born in 1841, from the mind of Edgar Allan Poe, the detective story has long captured readers’ imaginations. Becoming the Detective: The Making of a Genre explores the story’s development and its readers’ integral role. Although savants like Sherlock Holmes…

Adult Young Adult School Age Senior Exhibitions We the Detectives

The Rare Book Department offers free access to exhibitions of historically important books, manuscripts, and works of art from 3,000 BCE to today. Among its collections are thousands of illuminated medieval manuscripts and cuttings; first editions, letters, and manuscripts of important writers, including some of the largest collections of Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe; nearly 50,000 early American children's books; original artwork by Beatrix Potter and other illustrators; Mughal court paintings; and Pennsylvania German fraktur, manuscripts, and printed books.

Group visits and educational programs are available by prior arrangement and researchers are invited to make an appointment to use collection materials. Guided tours of the department and the William McIntire Elkins Library are offered Monday through Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with no appointment necessary. For our friends on social media, highlights from our collections are regularly posted to our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. You can reach the Rare Book Department at 215-686-5416 or by email.