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Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America, a two-year project funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, connects Native American artists with the Library Company’s rich collections and far-reaching scholarly community. Partnering with artist Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva), author Lee Francis (Laguna Pueblo), and the indigenous publisher Native Realities Press, the Library Company published a graphic novel, Ghost River, that reinterprets the Paxton massacre from the perspective of the Conestoga.
Built in the Scalar digtial publishing platform, Digital Paxton is a multi-media window into colonization, print culture, and Pennsylvania on the eve of the American Revolution, including primary source materials from more than two-dozen different archives, research libraries, and cultural institutions; a dozen contextual essays from leading historians and literary scholars; and half a dozen lessons from secondary and post-secondary educators.
Imperfect History: Curating the Graphic Arts Collection at Benjamin Franklin’s Public Library, a two-year project funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Graphic Arts Department, will explore the development of the Library’s graphics art collection as it relates to historical and cultural biases within American history. Imperfect History will frankly examine the prints, photographs, original works of art on paper, and other graphics that epitomize the evolution of a pivotal public library.
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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. The Library Company connects with thousands of visitors annually, ensuring that the lessons of the past continue to amaze, instruct, and inspire future generations.
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