Research: Overview

The Library Company’s holdings include nearly a million rare books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and graphics documenting every aspect of American history and culture through the end of the 19th century. Its strengths include: African Americana; American science & technology, economics, art & architecture, agriculture, natural history, education, philanthropy, and medicine; art and architectureGerman-Americana; gift books; the history of printing and publishing; serials, American Judaica; the history of women, domestic economy, and family life; printmaking, mapmaking, and photography in Philadelphia; music; and the libraries of James Logan and Benjamin Franklin.


The Library Company of Philadelphia maintains high cataloging standards, allowing readers multiple avenues through which they may access the collection. The Library Company’s online catalog, WolfPAC, allows researchers to search nearly 100% of the Library Company’s rare books collection and over 13,000 descriptive catalog records representing approximately 30,000 items or roughly 40% of our graphic holdings. In addition to searching the collection of the Library Company through WolfPAC, you are also able to search the collections of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rosenbach Library & Museum, and the Wagner Free Institute of Science through the same vehicle.

Our digital collections feature a growing number of the Library Company’s graphic, ephemera and bindings collections. It complements and supplements the descriptive records in our online catalog WolfPAC, and the online exhibitions and featured collections mounted on our website. The online repository currently contains over 45,000 records representing numerous digital collections. The Library Company gratefully acknowledges the support of the Fidelity Foundation, which provided funding for the creation of this access system.