See where the bodies are buried.

Treasures from the Library Company of Philadelphia

During the years of the Civil War--with money scarce, prices high, and many of the Library Company’s members in the army--it took all of Librarian Lloyd Pearsall Smith's ingenuity to maintain the currency of book purchases. Dictated…
See Thomas Jefferson's edits to his Summary View of the Rights of British America.

Treasures from the Library Company of Philadelphia

In 1774, Thomas Jefferson drafted a set of instructions for a Virginia delegation to an extralegal congress of the representatives of other colonies.  Taken ill, Jefferson did not accompany the delegation to Williamsburg.  His document…
A Phillis Wheatley broadside from 1770 is only one of 13,000 items in our African Americana Collection.

Treasures from the Library Company of Philadelphia

One of the most popular poets in colonial America, Phillis Wheatley became the first person of African descent to publish in America. The enslaved Wheatley earned international fame for an elegy for George Whitefield, the renowned Methodist…
Thomas Sully. James Logan, 1831. Oil on canvas. Commissioned by the Library Company, 1831.

Treasures from the Library Company of Philadelphia

By the time he died in 1751, James Logan—who came to Pennsylvania as William Penn’s secretary in 1699 and went on to occupy many of the highest political and judicial offices of the province—had assembled the best collection of books in…
Consult Aristotle's Masterpiece- a sex manual first published in the 1600s. We have 55 editions!

Treasures from the Library Company of Philadelphia

Women, want to know if you are fertile?  Here’s what Aristotle prescribes.  “Make a fumigation of red storax, myrhh, cassiawood, nutmeg, cinnamon, and letting her receive the fume into her womb, covering her very close. If the odor passeth…
We were the library to the framers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Treasures from the Library Company of Philadelphia

How many people realize that the stirring preamble to the Constitution, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…,” was a late emendation?  Delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia…
Think the Stamp Act rioters burned all the Crown's stamped paper in 1765? Let us show you some.

Treasures from the Library Company of Philadelphia

Eighteenth-century antiquarian Pierre Eugène Du Simitière (ca. 1736-1784) collected all manner of material, including sketches, pamphlets, broadsides, political cartoons, and other “combustibles,” such as embossed tax stamp paper, with…
Zipcode 19106 in 1720! We have the oldest oil painting of a North American city.

Discover the Library Company's Art & Artifacts Collection

The South East Prospect of the City of Philadelphia is one the Library Company's treasures; this view of the Delaware Riverfront of Philadelphia is the oldest surviving painting of a North American city. Philadelphia is shown as bustling and…
Magna Britannia- Her Colonies Reduc'd.

Treasures at the Library Company of Philadelphia

As we enter the final two months of the seemingly endless presidential election season, politics is on nearly everyone’s mind. Political visuals, whether appearing as newspaper cartoons, television commercials, or part of our social media,…
Sketch of a Meschianza Costume

Treasures at the Library Company of Philadelphia

During the winter of 1777-78, the American army starved and froze at Valley Forge, while the British enjoyed the comparative comforts of city quarters in Philadelphia.  By spring the do-nothing policy of General Sir William Howe brought about…