Philadelphia City Institute

By Appointment services available - call to schedule

1905 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-5730
19th & Locust on W. Rittenhouse Square
By Appointment Today
Sunday, 12/4 Closed
Monday, 12/5 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed *
Tuesday, 12/6 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed *
Wednesday, 12/7 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed *
Thursday, 12/8 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed *
Friday, 12/9 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 12/10 Closed
  • * Monday had hour changes – Staff Shortage
  • * Tuesday had hour changes – Staff Shortage
  • * Wednesday had hour changes – Materials pick up services offered 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. today.
  • * Thursday has hour changes – Due to staff shortage. Materials pick up services offered 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. today.
Sunday Closed
Monday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Closed

Upcoming Closures

  • Sun., Dec. 25 : Closed Christmas Day
  • Mon., Dec. 26 : Closed Christmas Day (Observed)
  • Sun., Jan. 1 : Closed New Year's Day
  • Mon., Jan. 2 : Closed New Year's Day (Observed)
View all holiday closings

Services By Appointment

Services

Facilities

  • Bicycle rack
  • Book drop box
  • Computers for public use
  • Printing (black/white)
  • Public restrooms
  • Street parking
  • Wireless internet access (wi/fi)
  • Scanner

Upcoming Events

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance

Fri, December 16, 2022 1:30 P.M.

PA CareerLink® Job Search Assistance Meet with a Community Workforce Connector from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for one-on-one job search assistance. Get individualized support with…

Read, Baby, Read! Storytime for babies, 1s, and 2s

Wed, January 4, 2023 2:00 P.M.

In the Philadelphia City Institute Libray children’s room... Share stories, bounces, and songs, meet other caregivers, and learn fun early literacy activities at our free, drop-in…

Read, Baby, Read! Storytime for babies, 1s, and 2s

Wed, January 11, 2023 2:00 P.M.

In the Philadelphia City Institute Libray children’s room... Share stories, bounces, and songs, meet other caregivers, and learn fun early literacy activities at our free, drop-in…

Read, Baby, Read! Storytime for babies, 1s, and 2s

Wed, January 18, 2023 2:00 P.M.

In the Philadelphia City Institute Libray children’s room... Share stories, bounces, and songs, meet other caregivers, and learn fun early literacy activities at our free, drop-in…

About

Located on the first floor and lower level of a high-rise apartment building on the west side of Rittenhouse Square, PCI serves the communities of Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, and people who live and work in Center City west of Broad Street.

History

The Philadelphia City Institute Board of Managers is a non-profit organization that has supported a free library in Center City, Philadelphia since 1855. The Philadelphia City Institute Library (PCI) has had three locations first, in 1855, on the northeast corner of 18th and Chestnut Streets. It moved to 218 S 19th St in 1923. In 1956 it moved to the current location at 1905 Locust Street, facing Rittenhouse Square. This independent library joined the city wide Free Library of Philadelphia system in 1944.  Today, the PCI Library continues to function as a branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The PCI Managers maintain ownership of the premises and the assets; with endowment income, they also provide operational support and funding for augmented staff, new materials, and equipment.

The PCI Board of Managers’ object was “the promotion of the moral and intellectual improvement of young persons by means of a Library and Reading Room, Lectures and class instruction, and such other measures as the Board of Managers may adopt.” Weekly lectures by prominent Philadelphians and free night schools were important activities of PCI in its early years. Initially these were reserved for young men, but PCI soon decided to “extend the advantages of the Institute to females.”