Two intriguing exhibitions; one immersive theatrical adventure in investigation; a once-in-a lifetime chance to uncover the art of crime and detection.

The Free Library of Philadelphia’s We the Detectives endeavors to explore the art of crime and detection through two unique exhibitions and a multifaceted, immersive theatrical experience. Becoming the Detective: The Making of a Genre and Clever Criminals and Daring Detectives will draw from the rich archives at the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Rosenbach to bring crime stories front and center, uncovering what has made this form of literature one of the most enduring and popular. GUMSHOE, a theatrical experience produced by New Paradise Laboratories, will lead participants—in person or on mobile phones—through a captivating “whodunnit” that raises questions about authenticity, fact versus fiction, and what makes all of us detectives in our own right.

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Clever Criminals and Daring Detectives

Exhibition April 8 – September 1, 2017

Since the beginning of printing, readers have thrilled to true crime tales of highwaymen, murderers, and the last words of executed criminals. This exhibition chases both criminal and detective characters across a wide historical landscape and offers the chance to test visitors’ own sleuthing skills. [more info]

Becoming the Detective

Exhibition April 8 – September 1, 2017

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. [more info]

GUMSHOE Experience

Interactive April 8 – September 1, 2017

Something preposterous is happening at the Free Library of Philadelphia. You must help us unravel it. New Paradise Laboratories invites you into an immersive adventure in detection. You can also experience the GUMSHOE immersive adventure using your mobile phone. [more info]

Reserve GUMSHOE Tickets

We the Detectives is made possible through a generous grant from the William Penn Foundation.