The Library Company of Philadelphia’s 288th Annual Dinner

Join us for the Library Company of Philadelphia’s 288th Annual Dinner on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.

The evening begins at 5:30pm with a reception in the Lincoln Memorial Room (2nd floor) at the Union League of Philadelphia, featuring a toast in honor of the accomplishments of the scholars and fellows who bring the stories hidden in our collections to thousands of historians and students through their publications.

The reception will be followed by dinner downstairs in the Meade Room, and will include remarks from President of the Library Company and Partner of Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown and Sandler, Howell K. Rosenberg, and a lecture by award-winning scholar, best-selling author, the Class of 1954 Professor of American History, and the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University, David W. Blight. His presentation will focus on his recently published book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, of which is the first biography of Douglass in a quarter century, giving this important American the distinguished biography he truly deserves.

Launching the First Library Company Innovation Award

At the 288th Annual Dinner, the Library Company will launch the First Library Company Innovation Award.

The Innovation Award will recognize a project – digital or analog – that critically and creatively expands the possibilities of humanistic scholarship.  Proposals will be evaluated by a committee of leaders in higher education, research libraries, and cultural heritage institutions who will consider how projects make scholarly work new again. The recipient of the Innovation Award will be announced at the 288th Annual Dinner of the Library Company of Philadelphia (October 29, 2019). We welcome proposals from applicants in all fields and at all career stages, including graduate students, junior and senior faculty, as well as independent scholars.

This award is made possible by the generosity of our Founding Sponsor Randall M. Miller, Ph.D.

Become a Sponsor Today!

Sponsorship opportunities are still available and are wonderful way for individuals and corporations to support many of the public events, programs and services of the Library Company.

Additionally, sponsorship supports our fellowship program which has reached over 1,000 scholars (many of whom are educators in colleges and universities throughout the country) who are reaching thousands of college students annually.  Among the many benefits of sponsorship is the opportunity to tap into the loyalty of over 1,000 households who receive invitations, close to 5,000 constituents who receive the e-newsletter, and over 300,000 people who visit our website.

For more information on sponsorship packages and ticket levels, please click here.  For inquiries on sponsorship and opportunities to support the 288th Annual Dinner, please contact Raechel Hammer, Chief Development Officer at (215) 546-3181 or via email at

Purchase Tickets

Limited seats available! Please contact Colleen Gill in the Development Office for more information at (215) 546-3181 ext. 136 or

About the Book

Cover, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, By David W. Blight

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, By David W. Blight

As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the course of his lifetime and published his own newspaper. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery.

Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, often to large crowds, using his own story to condemn slavery. He broke with Garrison to become a political abolitionist, a Republican, and eventually a Lincoln supporter. By the Civil War and during Reconstruction, Douglass became the most famed and widely traveled orator in the nation. He denounced the premature end of Reconstruction and the emerging Jim Crow era. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. He sometimes argued politically with younger African-Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights.

In this remarkable biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating story of Douglass’s two marriages and his complex extended family. Douglass was not only an astonishing man of words, but a thinker steeped in Biblical story and theology. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight’s Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves.

About the Author

Headshot, David W. Blight

Headshot, David W. Blight

David W. Blight is an award-winning teacher, scholar and public historian. He is currently the Class of 1954 Professor of American History and the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University.

Blight is also the author of A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including their Narratives of Emancipation, (Harcourt, 2007), Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Harvard University Press, 2001) ), which received eight book awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize. Other published works include a book of essays, Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002); and Frederick Douglass’s Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (LSU Press, 1989).

Professor Blight is a leader within the world of public history and serves on the boards of many museums and historical societies. He is also an advisor to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum team of curators.

His latest book is a new full biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, published in October, 2018 by Simon and Schuster.  Professor Blight’s 2018 Biography of Frederick Douglass has won nearly every major award in his field, including the Bancroft Prize and a Pulitzer Prize for History.


Founding Innovation Award Sponsor

Randall M. Miller, Ph.D.

Director Sponsor

Tim & Pam Alles

Cornerstone Advisors Asset Management, Inc.

Maude de Schauensee

Louise M. and Peter J. Kelly

Macquarie Investment Management

Michael B. Mann and Rhonda Chatkel


Curator Sponsors

Lois G. Brodsky

Brown Brothers Harriman

Peter A. Benoliel and Willo Carey

Harry S. Cherken, Jr.

Mr. & Mrs. B. Robert DeMento

Fox Rothschild LLP


John F. Meigs

Pepper Hamilton LLP

Howell K. Rosenberg

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Richard Wood Snowden

John C. and Christine K. Van Horne

David and Betsy Wice

Clarence Wolf

Archivist Sponsors

AthenianRazak LLC

Raechel and Michael Hammer

Robert M. Hauser

The Haverford Trust Company

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Isdaner and Company LLC

Rosalind Remer and James Green

Sponsor a Fellow

Lisa Unger Baskin

Rebecca Bushnell and John Toner

Nicholas Wood Carper

Michael Jacobson

Louise M. and Peter J. Kelly

Carol J. and Richard W. Lang

Randall M. Miller, Ph.D.

Daniel K. Richter

Caroline Schimmel

David B. Rowland

Maria M. Thompson

*as of 09/23/2019