The Rosenbach

The Rosenbach At the Rosenbach, over 400,000 works of literature, history, & fine and decorative art come together

The Rosenbach offers exhibits, programs, and tours showcasing rare books, manuscripts, and art. We seek to inspire curiosity, inquiry, and creativity by engaging broad audiences in exhibitions, programs, and research based on our remarkable and expanding collections.

The Rosenbach makes its library and fine and decorative arts collections available for research by anyone. We do have re...
11/30/2023

The Rosenbach makes its library and fine and decorative arts collections available for research by anyone. We do have researchers who are “traditional scholars”, academic faculty, and graduate students, but we also welcome younger students and their teachers, artists, writers, librarians, collectors, curators, dealers, and others with inquiring minds. This collection is open for you to explore. You can make a request for an appointment here:
https://rosenbach.org/research/make-an-appointment/

(A reminder that the Reading Room will be closed until January while we continue to upgrade our building)

The Rosenbach will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and Friday November 23 and 24, 2023. We will be op...
11/22/2023

The Rosenbach will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and Friday November 23 and 24, 2023. We will be open on Saturday and Sunday, November 25 and 26, 2003.

Due to a major systems upgrade, the Rosenbach will be closed for public tours between Monday, November 27 and Sunday, December 17, 2023. Public programs including Behind the Bookcase tours and courses will continue as planned.
Pictured: The Norfolk Turkey Coach by George Cruikshank from Peter Parley’s Tales About Christmas, 1838. 1954.1880.3189. More here: https://rosenbach.org/blog/the-norfolk-turkey-coac/

Dr. Rosenbach and our home get a little love in this excerpt from Beth Kephart's new book, My Life in Paper: Adventures ...
11/17/2023

Dr. Rosenbach and our home get a little love in this excerpt from Beth Kephart's new book, My Life in Paper: Adventures in Ephemera from Temple University Press.

In the aftermath of my father’s death, I wanted only quiet. I chased sanctuary through shadows. I walked the vanishing miles. I lay awake in the midnight hours, but even then, a nearby fox would ca…

Important announcement: The Rosenbach Museum & Library will be CLOSED for introductory tours/general visitation from Nov...
11/16/2023

Important announcement: The Rosenbach Museum & Library will be CLOSED for introductory tours/general visitation from November 27 – December 17, 2023. Special events and programs scheduled to happen onsite, as well as the Rosenbach’s online courses and programs, will continue as scheduled. For more information about individual programs and events, visit Rosenbach.org/events. If you have questions, please email [email protected].

This closure will allow the Rosenbach to complete much-needed (and long-anticipated!) building upgrades that will help us serve our growing audiences and communities and guarantee access to our collections. Thank you for your support as we care for our precious buildings!

11/01/2023

Our 2023 Dracuthon Festival was a big success.
On Friday the 13th of October, from nightfall to midnight, we read the first four chapters of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula featuring Jonathan Harker’s journal account of his harrowing visit to Castle Dracula.
You can watch videos of all the readings here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWR9Pkh4eGAnmQo06ajZ_ABhqGzWEaSXp
The Rosenbach is the home of first editions of Bram Stoker’s novel, as well as his manuscript notes for Dracula, including over 100 pages of outlines, early plot ideas, and research records, compiled by the author over the seven years he developed and wrote the book.

There is still space left in our one-session course on the poetry of Phillis Wheatley led by Kirsten Lee. This will be a...
11/01/2023

There is still space left in our one-session course on the poetry of Phillis Wheatley led by Kirsten Lee. This will be an in person program on Thursday, Nov 9, 6:30-8:30pm ET. This special course includes a lecture, discussion of selected Wheatley poems, and a collections presentation of our first edition of Poems on various subjects, religious and moral by Phillis Wheatley (1773).
Don’t miss this opportunity for an introduction to Wheatley’s poems that focuses on how her poetry has been received and memorialized by women’s communities in the eighteenth century and since. You can register here: https://rosenbach.org/events/phillis-wheatley-one-session-seminar-with-kirsten-lee/

10/25/2023
Edna St. Vincent Millay died on this date in 1950, aged only 58.  Millay won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923 and w...
10/19/2023

Edna St. Vincent Millay died on this date in 1950, aged only 58. Millay won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923 and was so popular that in the early 1930s, she read her poetry on an NBC network radio program for a Sunday series. Her most famous work, “The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver” can be found on the shelves of the Rosenbach’s collection. Hear about it in one of our Rosenbach podcast episodes (Ep 1): https://rosenbach.org/podcast-ep1/

Our   costume parade and contest was judged by Rosenbach director . Congratulations to our winners and all of our partic...
10/14/2023

Our costume parade and contest was judged by Rosenbach director . Congratulations to our winners and all of our participants!

It's almost a full house here at  , with 134 attendees and counting!
10/14/2023

It's almost a full house here at , with 134 attendees and counting!

Dracuthon is underway at !
10/13/2023

Dracuthon is underway at !

Bram Stoker made a few trips to America as manager of Henry Irving’s Lyceum Theatre. On one such trip, he stayed at the ...
10/13/2023

Bram Stoker made a few trips to America as manager of Henry Irving’s Lyceum Theatre. On one such trip, he stayed at the Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. We know this because one of Stoker’s Notes for Dracula (housed at the Rosenbach) is written on stationery from the Stratford Hotel. The note is also curious because it contains his original ideas for the final two chapters of the novel, which differ from the published ending. In the original, when the band of vampire hunters finally catches up with the Count before his castle, the Texan Quincey Morris arrives toting a “maxim gun” which he uses to mow down Dracula’s helpers. Anyone can make an appointment to view Stoker’s Notes for Dracula at the Rosenbach: https://rosenbach.org/research/make-an-appointment/
Pictured: the letterhead of the Stratford Stationery; the notes relating to Quincey’s heroic arrival; inventor Hiram Stevens Maxim with his gun.

Have you listened to the Rosenbach Podcast yet? Thousands of rare books, manuscripts, and works of art—some famous and s...
10/11/2023

Have you listened to the Rosenbach Podcast yet? Thousands of rare books, manuscripts, and works of art—some famous and some rarely seen—live within the walls of The Rosenbach, and each one has a story to tell. First two seasons are up here
https://rosenbach.org/podcast/
and the third season is an audio only version of our new Sherlock Mondays show. https://open.spotify.com/show/5g3akOjqj9CD2uoRG70n36

Rare books, ephemera, and manuscript materials that Dr. Rosenbach himself assembled offer a record of American history f...
10/09/2023

Rare books, ephemera, and manuscript materials that Dr. Rosenbach himself assembled offer a record of American history from the earliest days of exploration and colonial settlement through the populating of the American continents by Europeans, into the nineteenth century and beyond. Many of the items in The Rosenbach’s historical collections relate to the lives of Native Americans, their interactions with European colonists and settlers, as well as their dialogues and conflicts with conquering governments. You can see our Guide to Rare Books and Documents Related to Native American History and Culture at
The Rosenbach here:https://rosenbach.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Native_American_Collections_Guide.pdf

Pictured: Frontispiece portrait of William Apes[s], in William Apes[s], A Son of the Forest, The Experience of William Apes, a Native of the Forest, Written by Himself, 2nd ed., revised and corrected (New York: Published by the author.; printed by G.F. Bunce, 1831). A 831s.

For the next few Fridays, I will share with you some of my favorite items in the Collection at the Rosenbach. Does a sev...
10/06/2023

For the next few Fridays, I will share with you some of my favorite items in the Collection at the Rosenbach.
Does a seven-headed winged beast, a recumbent lamb with human hands, and a multi-headed demon hang on the wall at your workplace? “The Number of the Beast is 666,” a watercolor, pen, and ink drawing by William Blake is based on the biblical Book of Revelation and never ceases to stop me in my tracks when I pass it. You can see it if you take a tour of our historic house.

“The Number of the Beast is 666” by William Blake is part of Blake’s Great Red Dragon series of paintings. Don’t worry, this isn’t the one eaten by Francis Dolarhyde in Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon. That was “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun.”

Want more out of your books? Reading and discussing literature led by professors and experts, the Rosenbach offers in-pe...
10/04/2023

Want more out of your books? Reading and discussing literature led by professors and experts, the Rosenbach offers in-person and online courses on a variety of great books and authors. Read Gravity’s Rainbow with Professor Paul Saint-Amour, Hamlet with Dr. Jim Casey, Finnegans Wake with Vicki Mahaffey, and Phillis Wheatley with Kirsten Lee in a special one-session course.
More info and registration at this link:
https://rosenbach.org/events/?event_cat=courses

Hello, Readers!  Edward G. Pettit here, Sunstein Senior Manager of Public Programs at the Rosenbach. And also host of Sh...
10/02/2023

Hello, Readers! Edward G. Pettit here, Sunstein Senior Manager of Public Programs at the Rosenbach. And also host of Sherlock Mondays and Pickwick Monthly. For the next month or so, I'll be posting here about some wonderful programs and courses available at the Rosenbach and also sharing with you some of my favorite items in our collections.
First up, many of you associate the Rosenbach with great literature. And you are not wrong as our collection contains some of the most signficant works of authors. But did you know we have more holdings related to American history, some of which are on display right now in our exhibition, Succession: Why Presidential History Matters Now (open until Nov 26). As the United States enters another contentious and consequential presidential election cycle, we explore fundamental questions about the history and future of the highest office in the land. Drawing on the collection of David Rosenbach Sackey, grand-nephew of Philip and Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, as well as the Rosenbach’s vast and remarkable collection of rare books, manuscripts, and artworks related to the American presidency, Succession will change the way you think about the roles and responsibilities of the executive office.
Visit now: https://rosenbach.org/visit/exhibitions/succession/

The wait is almost over! Sherlock Mondays begins TONIGHT at 7pm EST. Tune in on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/
09/18/2023

The wait is almost over! Sherlock Mondays begins TONIGHT at 7pm EST. Tune in on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/

We're just one week away from our next Biblioventure! Sherlock Mondays begins on September 18. Over 30 weeks we'll be di...
09/11/2023

We're just one week away from our next Biblioventure! Sherlock Mondays begins on September 18. Over 30 weeks we'll be discussing 27 stories of the world's most famous detective in the order that they were chronologically published. Register at rosenbach.org/sherlockmondays

Pictured here is one of the Rosenbach's latest acquisitions, a first edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Registration is now open for fall courses, workshops, seminars, programs, and more! Find the full calendar: https://rose...
09/08/2023

Registration is now open for fall courses, workshops, seminars, programs, and more! Find the full calendar: https://rosenbach.org/events/

Yolanda Wisher has turned Rosenbach Rent Parties into vinyl for your at-home listening pleasure! For purchase to benefit...
09/07/2023

Yolanda Wisher has turned Rosenbach Rent Parties into vinyl for your at-home listening pleasure! For purchase to benefit the Rosenbach, Yolanda Wisher & The Afroeaters have pressed their long-awaited album inspired by their popular Rosenbach Rent Parties. Enjoy original jazz by the Afroeaters with their first album, DoubleHanded Suite. Records are $30 in the Rosenbach shop.

09/06/2023

Before the word, was flesh—an animal’s skin, scraped and stretched to form the vellum, a writing surface for a scribe to scratch text with quill. Iron-gall ink fashioned from crushed oak gall nuts …

Today marks the 250th anniversary of the publication of Phillis Wheatley's "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Mor...
09/01/2023

Today marks the 250th anniversary of the publication of Phillis Wheatley's "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral." Born in West Africa, Phillis was only 7 years old when she was shipped to Boston and enslaved by the Wheatley family. While she was enslaved as a domestic worker, her experience was highly unusual in that she was educated by the Wheatley family and was taught English, Latin, and Greek. On this day in 1773, Phillis became the first published African-American poet at just 20 years old. A prolific writer from a young age, her volume of poems was printed in London after she was unable to find a publisher in the American colonies. The Wheatley family freed her soon after the publication of her poems.

This first edition copy of Phillis's Poems is on view now in Succession: Why Presidential History Matters Now in connection with her interactions with George Washington.

Photo by Rasheena Wilson

We're counting down the days until our next Biblioventure begins! Kicking off on September 18, Sherlock Mondays will tak...
08/24/2023

We're counting down the days until our next Biblioventure begins! Kicking off on September 18, Sherlock Mondays will take a deep dive into the adventures of the world’s first consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his assistant, Dr. John Watson, as they battle the criminal forces of London. Hosted virtually each week by Edward G Pettit and a rotating group of co-hosts, this series will cover 27 stories in 30 weeks!

Register: https://rosenbach.org/events/sherlock-mondays/

This month's collections stewardship activities have kept our team busy as the summer winds down.  Along with ongoing ob...
08/21/2023

This month's collections stewardship activities have kept our team busy as the summer winds down. Along with ongoing object movement and inventory activities, the Rosenbach is welcoming visitors back to the dining room after completing conservation work. Guests can once again see the space as part of the historic house tour. Learn more on the Rosenblog: https://rosenbach.org/blog/from-the-collection-3/

07/21/2023
This Barbie is a bibliophile! 📚👠 While this 1:12 (one inch to one foot) scale model of a portion of the Rosenbach brothe...
07/21/2023

This Barbie is a bibliophile! 📚👠 While this 1:12 (one inch to one foot) scale model of a portion of the Rosenbach brother's New York home wasn't designed to be Barbie's Dream Library, we think that that she would have been right at home. Acquired by the Rosenbach in the summer of 2020, this miniature model was made in the 1980s for John Fleming, the vice president of the Rosenbach Company who purchased the apartment at 322 East 57th Street after our founders' deaths and kept many of their furnishings intact.

The appeal of miniatures long predates Barbie and has had periods of popularity since the 17th century. One great period of interest, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, led to creations such as Queen Mary's Dolls' House at Windsor Castle and the Thorne Miniature Rooms now at the Art Institute of Chicago and several other museums. The mini library is always on view right outside our founder's human-sized library here at the Rosenbach.

Fun fact: our librarian cataloged each of the bound books on the shelves for our fine press collection! Penny for scale.

This summer's Behind the Bookcase tours are filling quickly! Led by a Rosenstaff member, these tours offer unparalleled ...
07/19/2023

This summer's Behind the Bookcase tours are filling quickly! Led by a Rosenstaff member, these tours offer unparalleled access to see, and even touch, rare and important items in our collection focused on a different author, theme, or topic. Here's what's coming up, register at rosenbach.org/events

• Tomorrow! 7/20 — Yours Forever: Love Letters in the Archive
• 8/6 — Early Hebrew Books I: Writing with Many Pens
• 8/10 — The Wonders of the Invisible World: Religion, Culture, and Society in Early America
• 8/24 — Curiouser and Curiouser: A Look at Lewis Carroll
• 9/3 — Sleuths and Spies | Behind The Bookcase
• 9/7 — Duties of the Tea Table: Exploring the History and Culture of Tea
• 9/14 — The Artistry and Industry of Bookmaking

Our founder Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach was born right here in Philadelphia on July 22, 1876. This Saturday, July 22, join us t...
07/17/2023

Our founder Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach was born right here in Philadelphia on July 22, 1876. This Saturday, July 22, join us to enjoy FREE admission and a sweet treat on what would have been his 147th birthday.

Guided tours will be held at: 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. and include access to our new exhibition Succession: Why Presidential History Matters Now. Tours are FREE but you must preregister! https://rosenbach.org/events/dr-rosenbachs-birthday-celebration/

After the pandemic hiatus, the Rosenbach's monthly preschool program returns next week! Beginning on July 19, preschoole...
07/14/2023

After the pandemic hiatus, the Rosenbach's monthly preschool program returns next week! Beginning on July 19, preschoolers and their caregivers are invited to join us on the third Wednesday of each month. With our Director of Education Emilie Parker, together we'll read a story, embark on a treasure hunt throughout the museum, and end the day with hands-on art making, music, and snacks.

https://rosenbach.org/events/museum-adventures-preschool-program/

Some of the highlights of our current exhibition, Succession: Why Presidential History Matters Now. On view now through ...
07/13/2023

Some of the highlights of our current exhibition, Succession: Why Presidential History Matters Now. On view now through November, the exhibition explores fundamental questions about the history and future of the highest office in the land.

Book your visit: https://rosenbach.org/visit/

Succession is sponsored by Renée Sackey in honor of her late husband David Rosenbach Sackey. Photos by Rasheena Wilson.

There are just three days left of our fiscal year and our Annual Fund needs your help! The Annual Fund supports free pro...
06/28/2023

There are just three days left of our fiscal year and our Annual Fund needs your help! The Annual Fund supports free programming, staff salaries, building operations to keep our collection safe, and so much more.

Can you help us raise $5,000 in the next three days? Your gift ensures that we begin the new fiscal year strong, and allows us to better plan programming, events, and courses. Donate today!

https://support.freelibrary.org/site/Donation2?df_id=1980&mfc_pref=T&1980.donation=form1&s_src=RML&s_subsrc=Web

Congratulations Jon Rex! Winner of this year’s Bloomsday raffle. The prize is a poster signed by all of this year’s fest...
06/23/2023

Congratulations Jon Rex! Winner of this year’s Bloomsday raffle. The prize is a poster signed by all of this year’s festival’s readers!

With all this rain coming down it’s starting to feel like Bloomsday all over again. There’s an album of photos from the festival up on our page ➡️

Our newest exhibition Succession: Why Presidential History Matters Now is open! Visitors who join us for this Saturday's...
06/22/2023

Our newest exhibition Succession: Why Presidential History Matters Now is open! Visitors who join us for this Saturday's Free Museum Day (6/24) with Wawa Welcome America will get to see the exhibition along with a guided tour of the historic house and library. Additionally, at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m., Dr. Alexander Ames, the Rosenbach’s Director of Outreach and Engagement, will give a special show-and-tell on American Prometheus: Benjamin Franklin and the Philadelphia Enlightenment just for our Free Museum Day visitors.

This is a FREE event but registration is recommended: https://rosenbach.org/events/free-welcome-america-open-house/

From “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan” to “yes I said yes I will Yes,” another Bloomsday is in the books. Thanks to all of ...
06/17/2023

From “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan” to “yes I said yes I will Yes,” another Bloomsday is in the books.

Thanks to all of our friends, partners, and sponsors who helped make this year's festival a success. See you next year!

06/16/2023

Actor Kirsten Quinn closes out this year's Bloomsday Festival with Molly's soliloquy from 'Penelope’

Bloomsday is such a long event that YouTube cuts off the livestream! Tune in to part 2 here.
06/16/2023

Bloomsday is such a long event that YouTube cuts off the livestream! Tune in to part 2 here.

Every year, the world celebrates Bloomsday on June 16, the day that James Joyce’s Ulysses is set in 1904. Nowhere celebrates quite like the Rosenbach, home o...

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2008-2010 Delancey Place
Philadelphia, PA
19103

Opening Hours

Tuesday 12pm - 5pm
Wednesday 12pm - 8pm
Thursday 12pm - 8pm
Friday 12pm - 5pm
Saturday 12pm - 6pm
Sunday 12pm - 6pm

Telephone

(215) 732-1600

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