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The front facade of The Library Company of Philadelphia at 1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA.

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A photo of the Library Company of Philadelphia first floor Reading Room filled with researchers.

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For Scholars

A researcher using the Library Company of Philadelphia collections in the first floor Reading Room.

For Educators

The 2013 Summer Seminar for School Teachers participants with Richard S. Newman.

Upcoming Exhibition

Upcoming Events

Sep
5
Thu
2019
Rescheduled: Slavery and Abolition in the Creation of the Library Company of Philadelphia
Sep 5 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Rescheduled: Slavery and Abolition in the Creation of the Library Company of Philadelphia @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US



Rescheduled


Slavery and Abolition in the Creation of the Library Company of Philadelphia


Lecture with Sean Moore




This talk will explain the Library’s historical connections to Atlantic slavery and abolition, citing manuscripts and printed works that document eighteenth-century shareholders’ involvement in the West Indies trade, slavery in Pennsylvania, and the activities of members like Anthony Benezet who were abolitionist shareholders from its earliest days.  It will also discuss the circulation of abolitionist books, as evident in the surviving 1794-1812 borrowing receipt book, and in doing so, claim that the Library Company was exceptional among America’s slavery-endowed early proprietary subscription libraries in stocking so many antislavery books that were actually read.  It will also examine the development of Quaker antislavery from its beginnings in the mid-seventeenth-century to the Society of Friends Meeting that banned its members from owning slaves.  The portrait of the library and others like the New York Society Library, Redwood Library, Charleston Library Society, and Salem Athenaeum that will emerge from this talk is that though they were founded by men engaged in slavery-related enterprise with expensive tastes for European cultural products, those institutions and their books nonetheless became resources for the abolitionist movement. 



Sep
13
Fri
2019
Francis Johnson at the Roots of American Music with Brian Farrow
Sep 13 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Francis Johnson at the Roots of American Music with Brian Farrow @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US


Francis Johnson at the Roots of American Music with Brian Farrow



Friday, September 13 


5:30pm: Reception 


The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street


6:00pm: Talk & Performance


District 1199C Union Hall, 1319 Locust Street




Francis Johnson, the favored musician of the Early National Era America, helped define this country’s sound by not just replicating its foreign influences but by innovating them. From the strains of melodies that marked America’s reflection on popular events (Lafayette’s return visit to America, the disenfranchisement of black bodies, the themes of the nation’s military elite, the Independence of Haiti) to the strains of his practice that lead to traditions that find their way through ragtime and jazz, Francis is the pivotal figure at the crux of America’s sound.



Brian Farrow, noted fiddler, bassist, songwriter, independent scholar and teaching artist, will be sharing Johnson’s legacy; how he influenced a generation and why a modern contextualization is imperative to the nation’s musical legacy.

Sep
18
Wed
2019
Revolutionary Networks: Lecture with Joseph Adelman
Sep 18 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Revolutionary Networks: Lecture with Joseph Adelman @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763 – 1789


Wednesday, September 18
5:30pm Reception
6:00pm – 7:30pm Lecture with Joseph M. Adelman, Department of History, Framingham State University


Hosted by the Program in Early American Economy and Society




During the American Revolution, newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and broadsides played a crucial role as a forum for public debate. In Revolutionary Networks, Joseph M. Adelman argues that printers were artisans who mingled with the elite but labored in a manual trade, and that they used their connections to shape Revolutionary political ideology and mass mobilization. At the same time, printers balanced political beliefs with the commercial interests of their businesses, the customs of the printing trade, and the prevailing mood of their communities. Drawing on a database of 756 printers active during the Revolutionary era, along with a rich collection of archival and printed sources, Adelman surveys printers’ networks and explains how they played a vital role in the progress of the Revolution and creation of a new republic. 




For more information, contact Cathy Matson, PEAES Director at cmatson@udel.edu or call (215) 546-3181. For additional information on the Program in Early American Economy and Society and its activities, visit librarycompany.org/academic-programs/peaes.





Sep
25
Wed
2019
The Pioneer Americanists: Early Collectors, Dealers, and Bibliographers with Kevin Graffagnino
Sep 25 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
The Pioneer Americanists: Early Collectors, Dealers, and Bibliographers with Kevin Graffagnino @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

The Pioneer Americanists: Early Collectors, Dealers, and Bibliographers


Thursday, September 25




This presentation, based on the William L. Clements Library’s new book of the same title, is a captivating look at the lives and careers of eight generations of outstanding Americanists prior to 1900.  The lecture blends material from autobiographical and contemporary biographical sketches of White Kennett, Isaiah Thomas, James Lenox, Joseph Sabin, John Carter Brown, Lyman Copeland Draper, George Brinley Jr., and the other noteworthy specialists who created and nurtured the Americana field from the late seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.  Illustrations from the collections of the Clements Library and other leading institutional archives provide a panoramic window on the early story of Americana appreciation, collecting and description.  Anyone with a professional or avocational interest in antiquarian Americana will find “The Pioneer Americanists” a treasury of information, enlightenment, and inspiration.




About J. Kevin Graffagnino     


J. Kevin Graffagnino has been the director of the University of Michigan’s William L. Clements Library since 2008.  He has also served as executive director of the Vermont and Kentucky state historical societies, as library director at the Wisconsin Historical Society, and as a Special Collections curator at the University of Vermont library.   Author or editor of 23 books and dozens of scholarly and popular articles, Dr. Graffagnino has delivered hundreds of lectures from Maine to California on American history, antiquarian books, and related topics.

Sep
26
Thu
2019
Library Company Seminar: Mirror of a City
Sep 26 @ 5:30 pm – Oct 24 @ 8:00 pm
Library Company Seminar: Mirror of a City @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

Mirror of a City: Images of Philadelphia, 1780 – 1950

September 26 / October 10 / October 24

5:30pm – 8:00pm


Led By:

Erika Piola, Director of the Visual Culture Program and Sarah Weatherwax, Curator of Print and Photographs

Library Company of Philadelphia

The Print and Photograph Department at the Library Company of Philadelphia holds one of the few public historical, American popular graphic arts collections in the country. With a focus on the visual history of Philadelphia from the era of the early nation through post-World War II, the graphics materials chronicle the evolution of the city and the story of their creators, collectors, and distributors like few others. In this seminar Library Company curators, Sarah Weatherwax and Erika Piola will provide a sensory journey of the Library’s premiere collection of prints, photographs, drawings, watercolors, maps, and ephemera depicting the city as it developed over three centuries from port city to urban metropolis.

The three-part seminar will examine the pivotal role of Philadelphia in creating the visual culture of the nation as a center for printmaking, photography, and collecting. Sessions will explore the social, cultural, and technological influences affecting Philadelphia image making; the known, hidden, and forgotten image makers; and the changing aesthetics of the physical city, as well as tastes of those who notably collected all manner of Philadelphia imagery. Seminar attendees will also gain knowledge about the evolution of the Library’s graphic collections, as well as have hands-on experiences with specimens of early photography, including daguerreotypes and stereographs.


To pay by check contact Clarissa Lowry, Program & Events Coordinator, at clowry@librarycompany.org or 215-546-3181, ext. 130. For more information about the seminar series, contact Will Fenton, Director of Scholarly Innovation, at wfenton@librarycompany.org or 215-546-3181, ext. 119.

Nov
21
Thu
2019
Library Company Seminar: Victorian Sweets
Nov 21 @ 5:30 pm – Dec 17 @ 8:00 pm
Library Company Seminar: Victorian Sweets @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

Victorian Sweets: Exoticism & Agrarianism in Local Confectionery

November 21 / December 5 / December 17

5:30pm – 8:00pm

The final session will be followed by a dessert reception.

Using 19th-century advertisements, photos, packaging, and broadsides from the Library Company of Philadelphia’s rich collections, experts from The Franklin Fountain & Shane Confectionery will explore the written & visual culture of the 19th-century confectionery trades. The first session will reflect on 18th and 19th-century ice cream culture, such as “pleasure gardens,” local cream, and exotic flavors offered right here in Philadelphia. In the second session, participants will examine a range of 19th-century chocolate recipes and advertisements made for urban consumers that tout far-flung origins while trumpeting pastoral manufacturing. The final session will look at the inherent tensions expressed in local confectionery and the global sugar trade. The final session will be followed by a dessert reception.


About The Franklin Foundation

Owned and operated by brothers Eric & Ryan Berley, The Franklin Fountain was founded in 2004, but is an authentic re-creation of an American ice cream parlor and soda fountain, circa 1915.  Ice cream made on-premises is scooped and served in cones, sundaes and floated upon ice cream sodas drawn from a 1904 bronze & onyx soda fountain. Hot fudge, caramel, and other toppings are made using fresh, local, fair trade ingredients. Soda jerks are dressed in period attire, serving customers an authentic early 1900s experience in a historic building with ornate tin ceilings, marble counters, and mosaic penny tile floors.

About Shane Confectionary

Shane Confectionery is the oldest continuously operating confectionery in the United States, with candy made on site since 1863. The Shane family took over the business in 1911, installing elaborately carved woodwork, stained glass and curved windows to showcase the chocolates and confections crafted in the kitchens above. In 2010, the business transitioned to brothers Eric & Ryan Berley, owners of the nearby Franklin Fountain, who embarked on a meticulous restoration of the building and business. Candies and bean-to-bar chocolate continue to be made on-site, with an emphasis on natural, locally-sourced, fair trade ingredients, seasonal specialties, and old-fashioned quality.


About the Instructors

Eric Berley, co-owner of The Franklin Fountain and Shane Confectionery, dubs himself a “Confectionery Imagineer.” He develops the Franklin Ice Cream products, including a “Forgotten Flavors” line of historically inspired ice cream, and acts as a Quality Officer; raising the standards for staff and guests at every opportunity. Eric is a born salesman and an extrovert with an educational background in philosophy. From his tour guide experience at Historic Christ Church, he saw an opportunity to story-tell through food & confectionery.  Eric believes the retail experience has the capacity to act as an educational venue and living museum.

Ryan Berley is a Media native who graduated from Washington & Jefferson College with a dual degree in History and Entrepreneurship. In 2004, Ryan and his brother Eric opened The Franklin Fountain, which has received international acclaim. In 2011, the Berley Brothers purchased and preserved Shane Confectionery, the oldest candy shop in America, and continue to hand-craft sweets onsite in the old world tradition. They have been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, The New York Times, Food & Wine and received preservation awards for their work. Ryan has curated and lectured on craftsmanship, history, base-ball, and confectionery at local and international institutions. Since 2015, Ryan has been a board member of the Rose Valley Museum & Historical Society, where he is Curator of the Rose Valley Museum, recently opened in the Fall of 2017.

 Kevin Paschall is the head chocolate maker at Shane Confectionery. He created the full line of bean-to-bar chocolate offerings at Shane Confectionery and developed the historically-inspired chocolate menu at Shane’s Chocolate Cafe. He has been featured on ABC, Food Network, and Travel Channel.


 To pay by check contact Clarissa Lowry, Program & Events Coordinator, at clowry@librarycompany.org or 215-546-3181, ext. 130. For more information about the seminar series, contact Will Fenton, Director of Scholarly Innovation, at wfenton@librarycompany.org or 215-546-3181, ext. 119.

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