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

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

Current Exhibition

Birch Exhibition Poster

Save the Date

Thursday, November 15, 2018
the Library Company of Philadelphia presents the

287th Annual Dinner

Upcoming Events

Sep
25
Tue
2018
The Specter of Peace: Rethinking Violence and Power in the Colonial Atlantic
Sep 25 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The Specter of Peace: Rethinking Violence and Power in the Colonial Atlantic

Tuesday, September 25

6:00pm: Lecture with Historian Michael Goode

Reception to follow at Nomad Roman I 1305 Locust Street

20% of the proceeds will be donated back to the Library Company 


In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, an era defined by slavery, warfare, and European colonization, peace hardly seems relevant. Yet peace – or more precisely, histories of peacemaking – was everywhere. Historian Michael Goode shows how peace in the colonial Americas was not just an absence of war, but a complex and contested process of violence negotiation through which European, indigenous, African peoples asserted their notions of “right ordering,” even if the desired endpoint was never fully reached. Drawing upon a wide range of archival sources at the Library Company, Goode describes peace as a specter, haunting histories of colonialism, which have largely engaged with questions of peacemaking without being explicitly aware of it.


Thank you to Nomad Roman

                                                                   

Sep
26
Wed
2018
Collection Review: The Birth of the American Political Cartoon, 1754 – 1776
Sep 26 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Collection Review: The Birth of the American Political Cartoon, 1754 - 1776 @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

 The Birth of the American Political Cartoon, 1754 – 1776


Wednesday, September 26


2:30pm






This collection review will excavate the broadsides, engravings, political cartoons, caricatures, and propaganda that transformed early American politics. Canvasing the African Americana and Political Cartoon Collections, these materials offer a glimpse at a political culture that makes today’s exchanges appear positively demure by contrast.

Oct
5
Fri
2018
William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Culture: A Symposium Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Visual Culture Program
Oct 5 @ 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Culture: A Symposium Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Visual Culture Program @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | Pennsylvania | United States

William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Culture: A Symposium Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Visual Culture Program

Friday, October 5

8:00am – 4:30pm

Sponsored by the Visual Culture Program 


In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Visual Culture Program, William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Cultureexplores the visual, cultural, and social themes elicited from the work of Philadelphia artist William Birch (1755-1834). The one-day symposium in collaboration with William Birch, Ingenious Artist: His Life, His Philadelphia Views, and His Legacy aims to promote broad discussions on the continual resonance in American visual culture of the work of this premier enamel miniaturist, aspiring gentleman, and artist of the first American viewbooks.

This is not surprising. The Akin-Kneass invoice provides an informative glimpse into the collaborative nature of the “mechanical arts” in the first decade of the 1800s when artistic evidence is often rare.  This talk will use this important document as a means to explore the engravers active in in early 19th- century Philadelphia and how they were trained, their working practices, and the artistic networks they forged.

Panelists:

Keynote Address

Wendy Bellion, University of Delaware

The Birch Network and Diaspora

William Birch, Painter-Architect
William L. Coleman, Newark Museum

Rendering the American Landscape: William Birch, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, and the British Watercolor Diaspora
Julia A. Sienkewicz, Roanoke College

The Urban Aesthetic in Popular Art

What William Birch Left Out: The Visual Culture of Disability in Early America
Nicole Belolan, Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

James Kidder’s Market: Urban Views and the Art of Commerce
Whitney Martinko, Villanova University

Nicolino Calyo’s Wider View: Landscapes of Innovation
Rebecca Szantyr, Brown University

Novelty in Graphic Art: Horizontoriums, Miniature Photos, and Grangerizing

Distorting Views of Philadelphia: Shifting Perspectives in “A Curious Horizontorium”
Laura Turner Igoe, Barnes Foundation

Tiny Mysteries: Decoding 19th-Century Microscopic Photographs from Philadelphia’s Langenheim Brothers
Daniel Seth Kraus and Byron Wolfe, Tyler School of Art, Temple University

Taking a Page from Tuckerman’s Book of the Artists: Nineteenth-Century Print Media and the Grangerization of American Art History
Erin Pauwels, Tyler School of Art, Temple University

Final Remarks

Elizabeth Milroy, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University

Learn More About the Symposium and Panelists

Oct
10
Wed
2018
Collection Review: Women and Photography: “More Work for the Ladies”
Oct 10 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Collection Review: Women and Photography: "More Work for the Ladies" @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

Women and Photography: “More Work for the Ladies”


Collection Review


Wednesday, October 19


2:30pm




As both professional and amateur photographers, women played a role in photography from its very earliest days. Drawing on the Library Company’s strong photography collection and related material, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about nearly a century of female photographers and see examples of their work ranging from an early 1850s daguerreotype to photographic portraits coming out of a West Philadelphia studio in the first few decades of the 20th century. 



Oct
16
Tue
2018
The First Gay American Novel: A Forgotten Book by Sarah Orne Jewett
Oct 16 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
The First Gay American Novel: A Forgotten Book by Sarah Orne Jewett @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

The First Gay American Novel: A Forgotten Book by Sarah Orne Jewett

Tuesday, October 16

Sponsored by the Program in Women’s History 

5:30pm: Reception

6:00pm: Talk by Dr. Don James Brown, Assistant Professor of 19th-Century American Literature at the University of Tulsa


What was the first gay American novel? The popularity of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, and Hanya Yanagihara’s recent sensation A Little Life indicate the deep personal connection people feel with LGBT fiction. In this talk, Dr. Brown will make the case that A Marsh Island (1885), the little-known novel by the Maine-based writer Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), should be considered the first novel in the genre.

Oct
23
Tue
2018
Library Company Seminar: Graphic Materials: Early American Political Cartoons and Propaganda
Oct 23 @ 6:00 pm – Dec 4 @ 8:00 pm
Library Company Seminar: Graphic Materials: Early American Political Cartoons and Propaganda @ The Library Company of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

Graphic Materials: Early American Political Cartoons and Propaganda

October 23 / November 8 / November 20 / December 4

6:00pm – 8:00pm


Led by Dr. Will Fenton, “Graphic Material” will excavate the broadsides, engravings, political cartoons, caricatures, and propaganda that transformed early American politics. Canvasing the African Americana, John A. McAllister, and Political Cartoon Collections, Fenton will offer participants hands-on access to the Library Company’s vaunted visual culture materials. “Graphic Material” promises to be a welcome companion to election-year politicking—a glimpse at a political culture that makes today’s exchanges appear positively demure by contrast. Each session includes dinner in the Library’s Logan Room, which features a selection of our historic collections.

About the Seminar Leader:
Dr. Will Fenton is the Director of Scholarly Innovation at the Library Company and Creative Director of Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America, a newly commissioned graphic novel and exhibition that will re-contextualize 18th-century historic events from the perspective of indigenous communities funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Fenton specializes in early American literature and the digital humanities and is the editor of an award-winning digital humanities project, Digital Paxton, and the author of numerous academic and public articles. To learn more about his research, visit digitalpaxton.org.

Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged!


 

To pay by check contact Colleen Gill, Development and Membership Coordinator, at cgill@librarycompany.org or 215-546-3181, ext. 136. 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
15
Thu
2018
The Library Company of Philadelphia’s 287th Annual Dinner
Nov 15 @ 5:30 pm
The Library Company of Philadelphia's 287th Annual Dinner @ The Union League of Philadelphia | Philadelphia | PA | US

 

5:30 pm

Reception: Lincoln Memorial

7:00 pm

Dinner:  Meade Room

 

Join us for the Library Company’s 287th Annual Dinner on Thursday, November 15, 2018, featuring Stephen Fried, an award-winning investigative journalist, best-selling author and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.  Fried will be reading from his newly-published biography of Benjamin Rush, Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father.


If you are interested in becoming an Annual Dinner Sponsor, please contact the Chief Development Officer, Raechel Hammer at rhammer@librarycompany.org or 215-546-3181. To see a full list of the 287th Annual Dinner Sponsors go to librarycompany.org/287th-annual-dinner.

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Generously Supported By:

287th Annual Dinner Sponsors