Library Company Fireside Chats

LCP Fireside Chats Logo

While the Library Company of Philadelphia is physically closed, we have asked our staff, patrons, and research fellows to help us to sustain our learning community via a web-based, weekly program entitled Library Company Fireside Chats.

Drawing inspiration from FDR’s Depression-era radio broadcasts, these virtual talks will explore specific topics or themes in brief, accessible formats that anyone can enjoy for free.

Some talks will help to contextualize the urgencies and anxieties of this moment, such as infectious disease, confinement, and the technologies of connectivity. However, more often than not, these chats will serve as digital analogues to in-person programs, highlighting the depth of our collections and the diversity of scholarship produced by our researchers. Consider these talks the campfire around which we may virtually gather, share, and benefit from one another’s expertise.

To that end, the Library Company will host substantive, jargon-free talks each Thursday at 7:00 p.m., beginning in mid-April. Driven by our network of more than 1,000 current and former research fellows, these talks will showcase the cutting-edge work-in-progress, publications, and digital humanities projects that promise to reshape disciplines and fields.

The Library Company is honored to serve as a hub of intellectual and social community, and we believe that we have a responsibility to serve our community members at a moment that might otherwise feel confusing, frightening, or isolating. We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again.

Will Fenton, Director of Research and Public Programs

GradFutures LogoFireside Chats are cosponsored by GradFUTURES, an initiative of the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School at Princeton University.

Interested in contributing? Contact Will Fenton at

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The library that once served our founding fathers now serves the nation as an internationally renowned research center. Since the days of Benjamin Franklin, the collection has grown to more than half a million rare books, manuscripts, pamphlets, broadsides, prints, and photographs, making the Library Company one of the nation’s largest collections of printed and graphic materials relating to early American history. Your support is more important than ever, if you are able, please consider donating via the link below.