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, 5/22 Closed
Monday, 5/23 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed
Tuesday, 5/24 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed
Wednesday, 5/25 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed
Thursday, 5/26 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 5/27 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 5/28 Closed
  • * Monday had hour changes – Due to staff shortage. Materials pick up offered 2 - 6pm today.
  • * Tuesday had hour changes – Due to staff shortage. Materials pick up service offered 2 -6pm today.
  • * Wednesday has hour changes – Due to staff shortage. Materials pick up services offered 2 - 6pm 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

  • Mon., May. 30 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Sun., Jun. 19 : Closed Juneteenth
  • Mon., Jun. 20 : Closed Juneteenth (Observed)
  • Mon., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
View all holiday closings

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

Pop-Up Library at Markward Playground

Thu, May 26, 2022 11:00 A.M.

The Free Library Book Bike is coming to a neighborhood spot near you! Join PCI Library staff to learn more about summer reading and other library programs, pick up a take-and-make craft kit,…

Let’s Talk: Philly D.A. | Alternatives to Incarceration

Wed, June 1, 2022 4:00 P.M.

Join your neighbors to watch and discuss with experts and community leaders the crucial eighth episode of the award winning Philly D.A. docu-series. As many activists call for…

Pop-Up Library in Fitler Square

Thu, June 2, 2022 11:00 A.M.

The Free Library Book Bike is coming to a neighborhood spot near you! Join PCI Library staff to learn more about summer reading and other library programs, pick up a take-and-make craft kit,…

PRIDE Button Making

Thu, June 2, 2022 4:00 P.M.

Join us at a table outside the library to make a button for PRIDE month! All ages are invited to participate.

About

Located on the first floor and lower level of a high-rise apartment building on the northwest corner 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 for 163 years. The Philadelphia City Institute Library (PCI) has had three locations: first, in 1855, on the northeast corner of 18th and Chestnut Streets; since 1956, at 1905 Locust Street, facing Rittenhouse Square. Today, the PCI Library functions 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.”