The Library Company of Philadelphia will close on Friday December 20th at 1pm and will reopen on Thursday January 2nd at 9am. 

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

Explore

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

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Group of well-dressed women posed before a large gate.

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

Poster for exhibition, Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of the Conestoga

Upcoming Events

Nov
21
Thu
2019
Library Company Seminar: Victorian Sweets
Nov 21 @ 5:30 pm – Dec 17 @ 7:30 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 first session will be followed by a dessert reception catered by the Franklin Fountain 

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.


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 Dayjah Brock, Program & Events Coordinator, at dbrock@librarycompany.org or 215-546-3181, ext. 149. For more information about the seminar series, contact Will Fenton, Director of Scholarly Innovation, at wfenton@librarycompany.org or 215-546-3181, ext. 119.

Jan
16
Thu
2020
Franklin & Women with Dr. Carla Mulford
Jan 16 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Franklin & Women with Dr. Carla Mulford @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

Franklin & Women with Dr. Carla Mulford


January 16, 2020


5:30 pm Reception


6:00 pm Lecture




Carla J. Mulford, Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, will speak on Benjamin Franklin and women—his ideas about women, his fictional women, and the women in his life. This event, on the evening before Franklin’s birthday, is hosted by The Davida T. Deutsch Program in Women’s History.




Hosted by The Davida T. Deutsch Program in Women’s History 

Feb
12
Wed
2020
Force & Freedom with Dr. Kellie Carter-Jackson
Feb 12 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Force & Freedom with Dr. Kellie Carter-Jackson @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

Force & Freedom with Dr. Kellie Carter-Jackson


February 12, 2020


5:30 pm Reception


6:00 pm Lecture




In Force and Freedom, Kellie Carter Jackson provides the first historical analysis exclusively focused on the tactical use of violence among antebellum black activists. Through rousing public speeches, the bourgeoning black press, and the formation of militia groups, black abolitionist leaders mobilized their communities, compelled national action, and drew international attention. Drawing on the precedent and pathos of the American and Haitian Revolutions, African American abolitionists used violence as a political language and a means of provoking social change. Through tactical violence, argues Carter Jackson, black abolitionist leaders accomplished what white nonviolent abolitionists could not: creating the conditions that necessitated the Civil War. Force and Freedom takes readers beyond the honorable politics of moral suasion and the romanticism of the Underground Railroad and into an exploration of the agonizing decisions, strategies, and actions of the black abolitionists who, though lacking an official political voice, were nevertheless responsible for instigating monumental social and political change.


Kellie Carter Jackson teaches in the Africana Studies Department at Wellesley College. She is coeditor of Reconsidering Roots: Race, Politics, and Memory.




Hosted by Program in African American History

Feb
19
Wed
2020
Collection Review: Celebrating Black History Month: Frederick Douglass
Feb 19 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Collection Review: Celebrating Black History Month: Frederick Douglass @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

Celebrating Black History Month: Frederick Douglass 


February 19, 2020


2:30 pm: Collection Review with Jasmine Smith, African American History Specialist




Join the Program in African American History for its Black History Month Collection Review as we explore the life of Frederick Douglass; the most photographed man during the 19th century. Douglass was a well-known African American abolitionist who spent his life fighting for justice and equality amongst African Americans. This collection review will showcase a range of materials related to Douglass’s effort to uplift the Black community from broadsides, photographs, manuscripts and more!




Hosted by the Program in African American History

Mar
5
Thu
2020
Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote with Dr. Robyn Muncy
Mar 5 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote with Dr. Robyn Muncy @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

Celebrate Women’s History Month at the Library Company

Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote

March 5, 2020

5:30 pm Reception

6:00 pm Lecture


Robyn Muncy is a Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park, and one of the curators of the exhibition “Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote,” which opened in May 2019 at the National Archives. Prof Muncy also serves on the advisory committee for the National Votes for Women Trail, a project sponsoring historical markers in all 50 states to commemorate American women’s struggle for the franchise. This event is sponsored by The Davida T. Deutsch Program in Women’s History.


Hosted by The Davida T. Deutsch Program Women’s History 

Mar
10
Tue
2020
Collection Review: The Secret History of Sappho
Mar 10 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Collection Review: The Secret History of Sappho @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

The Secret History of Sappho: Re-imagining a Women-Centered Past


March 10, 2020


2:30 pm: Collection Review with Connie King, Curator of Women’s History




 In the latter half of the 19th century, Sappho became a common subject in art and literature.


In particular, the legend of Sappho jumping to her death to resolve a love triangle became an opportunity for multiple playwrights to explore the theme of lesbian sexuality. Without exception, these were “closet dramas,” meant to be read rather than performed. Thus the readers were free to imagine the staging. In recent years, Jill Lepore and other scholars have noted that the revival of interest in Sappho was particularly strong in women’s colleges, and contributed to a groundswell of interest in locating women-centered cultures in classical antiquity, studying Ancient Greek, and ultimately the development of feminism in the 20th century.




Hosted by The Davida T. Deutsch Program Women’s History 

Mar
31
Tue
2020
Gallery Tour: Ghost River
Mar 31 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Gallery Tour: Ghost River @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

Gallery Tour of Ghost River: the Fall and Rise of the Conestoga


March 31, 2020


2:30 pm Tour with Curator Dr. Will Fenton




Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of the Conestoga will place original art commissioned for the graphic novel into conversation with the rich historical records at America’s oldest cultural institution, the Library Company of Philadelphia. Juxtaposing the library’s expansive holdings with the art of Weshoyot Alvitre, this exhibition will challenge patrons to reinterpret Pennsylvania’s history of exploration, settlement, and conquest.




The Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America project and exhibition has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

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