The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is a special collections library, archive and museum nestled in historic Philadelphia. The Athenaeum is a member supported, not-for-profit, special collections library founded in 1814 to collect materials "connected with the history and antiquities of America, and the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge" for public benefit.

Annually the Athenaeum's nationally significant collections attract thousands of readers: graduate students and senior scholars, architects, interior designers, museum curators, and private owners of historic buildings. It provides the Philadelphia region with a resource of first resort on matters of architecture and interior design history, particularly for the period 1800 to 1945. The Athenaeum

Annually the Athenaeum's nationally significant collections attract thousands of readers: graduate students and senior scholars, architects, interior designers, museum curators, and private owners of historic buildings. It provides the Philadelphia region with a resource of first resort on matters of architecture and interior design history, particularly for the period 1800 to 1945. The Athenaeum

Operating as usual

Please note our hours this week! We hope you all have a delicious and enjoyable Thanksgiving!
11/22/2021

Please note our hours this week! We hope you all have a delicious and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

Please note our hours this week! We hope you all have a delicious and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

Luckily we figured out better ways to store books over years. First photo dated 3/17/38.
11/18/2021

Luckily we figured out better ways to store books over years. First photo dated 3/17/38.

#StacksWeek is the perfect week to match the collection..
11/16/2021

#StacksWeek is the perfect week to match the collection.
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CLOSING SOON!Our exhibition Inspired Sound will be closing on December 4th! Make sure to stop in and see this beautiful ...
11/12/2021

CLOSING SOON!
Our exhibition Inspired Sound will be closing on December 4th! Make sure to stop in and see this beautiful exhibition before it's too late!
https://philaathenaeum.org/exhibitions/

CLOSING SOON!
Our exhibition Inspired Sound will be closing on December 4th! Make sure to stop in and see this beautiful exhibition before it's too late!
https://philaathenaeum.org/exhibitions/

Our next event with Allegro Music Consultants is coming up on November 19. Jeff Stern and Matt Keown will join us on mar...
11/09/2021

Our next event with Allegro Music Consultants is coming up on November 19. Jeff Stern and Matt Keown will join us on marimbas and drums, as well as guest saxophonist Doug O’Connor of the United States Army Band. Music in the library just sounds different. You don't want to miss this one of a kind event. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/169135010369

Our next event with Allegro Music Consultants is coming up on November 19. Jeff Stern and Matt Keown will join us on marimbas and drums, as well as guest saxophonist Doug O’Connor of the United States Army Band. Music in the library just sounds different. You don't want to miss this one of a kind event. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/169135010369

Stop by The Athenaeum this Friday between 5 and 7pm for a pop up exhibition featuring two local artists, @patsingerart a...
11/03/2021

Stop by The Athenaeum this Friday between 5 and 7pm for a pop up exhibition featuring two local artists, @patsingerart and @phillipsingerpaintings. Also on view will be our current exhibition Inspired Sound.

Stop by The Athenaeum this Friday between 5 and 7pm for a pop up exhibition featuring two local artists, @patsingerart and @phillipsingerpaintings. Also on view will be our current exhibition Inspired Sound.

Susan Abulhawa is a writer, poet, and activist. Her novel Against The Loveless World (2020) tells the story of Nahr, a P...
11/03/2021

Susan Abulhawa is a writer, poet, and activist. Her novel Against The Loveless World (2020) tells the story of Nahr, a Palestinian refugee who now finds herself in Israeli prison. Nahr fights for herself, her family, and her people in this beautifully written, timely novel.
Join us tomorrow night, November 4 at 6:00pm for a program with Abulhawa. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/against-the-loveless-world-with-susan-abulhawa-and-ania-loomba-tickets-168476390419

Susan Abulhawa is a writer, poet, and activist. Her novel Against The Loveless World (2020) tells the story of Nahr, a Palestinian refugee who now finds herself in Israeli prison. Nahr fights for herself, her family, and her people in this beautifully written, timely novel.
Join us tomorrow night, November 4 at 6:00pm for a program with Abulhawa. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/against-the-loveless-world-with-susan-abulhawa-and-ania-loomba-tickets-168476390419

Off for #ElectionDay? The Athenaeum is open until 5pm!
11/02/2021

Off for #ElectionDay? The Athenaeum is open until 5pm!

Off for #ElectionDay? The Athenaeum is open until 5pm!

November book talks at the Athenaeum! Swipe through to see what exciting speakers we have coming up this month. You can ...
11/01/2021

November book talks at the Athenaeum! Swipe through to see what exciting speakers we have coming up this month. You can easily access our ticket page through the link in our bio!
#philaathenaeum #november #novemberevents #booktalk #speakerseries #lecture #atthelibrary #librariesofinstagram #iglibraries #againstthelovelessworld #sarahjosephahale #salut #french #frenchhistory #philly #philadelphia #localwriters #localauthors #phillyevents #whattodoinphilly

Happy Halloween! Life Magazine, 1911.
10/31/2021

Happy Halloween!

Life Magazine, 1911.

Happy Halloween!

Life Magazine, 1911.

NOVEMBER 5th5:00pm-7:00pmFIRST FRIDAY featuring a pop up show by artists Pat and Phillip Singer. Free, and open to the p...
10/29/2021

NOVEMBER 5th
5:00pm-7:00pm
FIRST FRIDAY featuring a pop up show by artists Pat and Phillip Singer. Free, and open to the public.

#firstfriday #firstfridayphilly #philly #philadelphia #oldcity #oldcitydistrict #artistpopup #gallery #galleryshow #popup #artshow #phillyarts #phillyartscene #phillyartist #philadelphiaartist #localart #localartist #localartists

NOVEMBER 5th
5:00pm-7:00pm
FIRST FRIDAY featuring a pop up show by artists Pat and Phillip Singer. Free, and open to the public.

#firstfriday #firstfridayphilly #philly #philadelphia #oldcity #oldcitydistrict #artistpopup #gallery #galleryshow #popup #artshow #phillyarts #phillyartscene #phillyartist #philadelphiaartist #localart #localartist #localartists

Happy Birthday to our one true love....The City of Philadelphia. Founded #onthisday in 1682.“Broad St and City Hall Towe...
10/27/2021

Happy Birthday to our one true love....The City of Philadelphia. Founded #onthisday in 1682.

“Broad St and City Hall Tower by night,” Robert M. Skaler Postcard Collection, Athenaeum of Philadelphia

Happy Birthday to our one true love....The City of Philadelphia. Founded #onthisday in 1682.

“Broad St and City Hall Tower by night,” Robert M. Skaler Postcard Collection, Athenaeum of Philadelphia

#HappyBirthday to architect Paul Cret! It's no secret we're big Cret fans around here. The Athenaeum has a huge collecti...
10/24/2021

#HappyBirthday to architect Paul Cret! It's no secret we're big Cret fans around here. The Athenaeum has a huge collection of Cret Archives. When we talk about Cret, we're usually talking about his major works like the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the original Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, or even his buildings at the University of Texas, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. But here in Philadelphia, he also designed a few buildings at the Philadelphia Zoo. Here is a design he made for the Deer Shelters, not exactly something you'd expect someone as prolific and talented as Cret to design!
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#architect #architecturalhistory #famousbirthdays #onthisday #famousarchitects #paulcret #cret #philadelphia #philly #phillyzoo #philadelphiazoo #architecture #architectureporn #fromthecollection #museumcollection #archive #archival #archivalcollection #birthday

Over the past few months, we have met so many people with a connection to pipe organs, it has been fascinating hearing a...
10/12/2021

Over the past few months, we have met so many people with a connection to pipe organs, it has been fascinating hearing all of your stories! If you are one of these people, then do we have the events for you....Join us on two local tours where you can learn more about Philadelphia's historic churches, and hear an organ recital.
October 23- Tindley Temple United Methodist Church
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/182055642327

October 27- St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/184940551167

Over the past few months, we have met so many people with a connection to pipe organs, it has been fascinating hearing all of your stories! If you are one of these people, then do we have the events for you....Join us on two local tours where you can learn more about Philadelphia's historic churches, and hear an organ recital.
October 23- Tindley Temple United Methodist Church
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/182055642327

October 27- St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/184940551167

On October 15, our Fall Concert Series with Allegro Music begins! First up is "Experience New Discoveries" featuring Phi...
10/07/2021

On October 15, our Fall Concert Series with Allegro Music begins! First up is "Experience New Discoveries" featuring Philadelphia Orchestra members Julia Li and Christine Lim on violin, Che-Hung Chen on viola and Yumi Kendall on cello! Event begins at 6pm. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/168153813583

On October 15, our Fall Concert Series with Allegro Music begins! First up is "Experience New Discoveries" featuring Philadelphia Orchestra members Julia Li and Christine Lim on violin, Che-Hung Chen on viola and Yumi Kendall on cello! Event begins at 6pm. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/168153813583

On Thursday night, Tom Mayes, Randy Mason and Starr Herr Cardillo join us for an in person panel discussion, focused aro...
10/05/2021

On Thursday night, Tom Mayes, Randy Mason and Starr Herr Cardillo join us for an in person panel discussion, focused around Mayes's book 'Why Old Places Matter'. We hope you will join us for what is to be a lively, informative, and timely discussion.

RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/why-old-places-matter-panel-discussion-tickets-167772190137

On Thursday night, Tom Mayes, Randy Mason and Starr Herr Cardillo join us for an in person panel discussion, focused around Mayes's book 'Why Old Places Matter'. We hope you will join us for what is to be a lively, informative, and timely discussion.

RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/why-old-places-matter-panel-discussion-tickets-167772190137

October is here at The Athenaeum, which means a new round of exciting and informative evening programming. We are coveri...
10/04/2021

October is here at The Athenaeum, which means a new round of exciting and informative evening programming. We are covering a little bit of everything this month from first ladies and presidents, to elements of the built environment and even some fiction! Head to the link in our bio to sign up for any of these programs and see what other programming we are offering.
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#october #octoberevents #philly #philadelphia #phillyevents #speakerseries #lectureseries #librariesofinstagram #iglibraries #libraryevents #library #lincoln #firstladies #wearenotlikethem #fiction #architecturalhistory #architecture #preservation

Happy #WorldPostcardDay!The Athenaeum is home to the Robert M Skaler Postcard Collection! These 1899 postcards, (bulk da...
10/01/2021

Happy #WorldPostcardDay!

The Athenaeum is home to the Robert M Skaler Postcard Collection! These 1899 postcards, (bulk dates 1900-1976), depict Philadelphia and the surrounding area. From old streets to colorful beaches, there is something for everyone! http://ow.ly/PWf150G9JCm

Happy #WorldPostcardDay!

The Athenaeum is home to the Robert M Skaler Postcard Collection! These 1899 postcards, (bulk dates 1900-1976), depict Philadelphia and the surrounding area. From old streets to colorful beaches, there is something for everyone! http://ow.ly/PWf150G9JCm

September is #LibraryCardSignUpMonth! For the month of September we will bring you a new reason each week to get an Athe...
09/30/2021

September is #LibraryCardSignUpMonth! For the month of September we will bring you a new reason each week to get an Athenaeum Library Card. This week, we are highlighting the Athenaeum’s history. By purchasing an Athenaeum Membership, you become a part of our 200+ year history. The Athenaeum was founded in 1814 to collect materials “connected with the history and antiquities of America, and the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge” for public benefit. Today, we are a community of staff, volunteers, scholars, members, and even a few dogs with one common goal: seeing the Athenaeum thrive. https://philaathenaeum.org/about/
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#ala #library #libraries #ilovelibraries #iglibraries #instagramlibraries #librariesofinstagram #philaathenaeum #philly #philadelphia #visitphilly #discoverphl #historicphiladelphia #philadelphialibrary #phillylibraries #societyhill #oldcity #washingtonsquare #history #phillyhistory #subscriptionlibrary #ourhistory #jointoday #becomeapartofhistory #yourlibrary #athenaeum #oldlibraries #historical

Nobody puts John Milton in a corner. Except us apparently.
09/29/2021

Nobody puts John Milton in a corner. Except us apparently.

Nobody puts John Milton in a corner. Except us apparently.

Timeline Photos
09/28/2021

Timeline Photos

Thursday, September 30 at 6:00pm
The Shrimp Fights Back: Napko, Eagle, and Korean Independence Movement with Brian Masaru Hayashi, author of Asian American Spies. http://ow.ly/Bg2h50Gh8dz

In this presentation, Hayashi will examine how the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner to the CIA, became enmeshed with the Korean independence movement during World War II. Finding common interest in Korea’s postwar independence, the OSS staffed, trained and armed two insertion teams, Napko and Eagle, as the vanguard of the Allied assault against the Imperial Japanese Occupation of the Land of the Morning Calm.

Thursday, September 30 at 6:00pmThe Shrimp Fights Back: Napko, Eagle, and Korean Independence Movement with Brian Masaru...
09/28/2021

Thursday, September 30 at 6:00pm
The Shrimp Fights Back: Napko, Eagle, and Korean Independence Movement with Brian Masaru Hayashi, author of Asian American Spies. http://ow.ly/Bg2h50Gh8dz

In this presentation, Hayashi will examine how the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner to the CIA, became enmeshed with the Korean independence movement during World War II. Finding common interest in Korea’s postwar independence, the OSS staffed, trained and armed two insertion teams, Napko and Eagle, as the vanguard of the Allied assault against the Imperial Japanese Occupation of the Land of the Morning Calm.

Thursday, September 30 at 6:00pm
The Shrimp Fights Back: Napko, Eagle, and Korean Independence Movement with Brian Masaru Hayashi, author of Asian American Spies. http://ow.ly/Bg2h50Gh8dz

In this presentation, Hayashi will examine how the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner to the CIA, became enmeshed with the Korean independence movement during World War II. Finding common interest in Korea’s postwar independence, the OSS staffed, trained and armed two insertion teams, Napko and Eagle, as the vanguard of the Allied assault against the Imperial Japanese Occupation of the Land of the Morning Calm.

Starting Saturday, October 2nd, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia will be open for extended hours. Stop in and see our curre...
09/27/2021

Starting Saturday, October 2nd, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia will be open for extended hours. Stop in and see our current exhibition, check out a book, or use our study spaces!
https://philaathenaeum.org/membership/

Starting Saturday, October 2nd, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia will be open for extended hours. Stop in and see our current exhibition, check out a book, or use our study spaces!
https://philaathenaeum.org/membership/

Next Friday is our October #FirstFriday! Stop in and see our current exhibition + hear from a panel upstairs on the hist...
09/24/2021

Next Friday is our October #FirstFriday! Stop in and see our current exhibition + hear from a panel upstairs on the history of the pipe organ.

October 1, 5:00-7:00pm https://www.eventbrite.com/e/167758711823

Next Friday is our October #FirstFriday! Stop in and see our current exhibition + hear from a panel upstairs on the history of the pipe organ.

October 1, 5:00-7:00pm https://www.eventbrite.com/e/167758711823

#SundayInTheSquare is THIS SUNDAY in #WashingtonSquareParkPHL. Swipe to see our amazing sponsors that have helped put th...
09/20/2021

#SundayInTheSquare is THIS SUNDAY in #WashingtonSquareParkPHL. Swipe to see our amazing sponsors that have helped put this event together! Click the link in our bio for more information.

One week until #SundayInTheSquare! This first of its kind concert will celebrate the history and resilience of Washingto...
09/19/2021

One week until #SundayInTheSquare!
This first of its kind concert will celebrate the history and resilience of Washington Square Park. Free for all!
http://ow.ly/nhvT50G94w8

One week until #SundayInTheSquare!
This first of its kind concert will celebrate the history and resilience of Washington Square Park. Free for all!
http://ow.ly/nhvT50G94w8

On Thursday, long time friend of the Athenaeum Ben Yagoda will join us for an in person program on O. Henry. Yagoda, edi...
09/14/2021
Alias O. Henry with Ben Yagoda

On Thursday, long time friend of the Athenaeum Ben Yagoda will join us for an in person program on O. Henry. Yagoda, editor of the Library of America’s new collection O. Henry: 101 Stories, will talk about the secrecy and doubleness in the author’s life, and read some of his stories that reflect these themes.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alias-o-henry-with-ben-yagoda-tickets-167515207495

Ben Yagoda is editor of the Library of America’s new collection O. Henry: 101 Stories

Join Executive Director Beth Hessel for her monthly book club this fall! All meetings are held over Zoom on the third Tu...
09/07/2021

Join Executive Director Beth Hessel for her monthly book club this fall! All meetings are held over Zoom on the third Tuesday of the month at 12:00pm. This series is free and open to the public. Attending each meeting is not required, but registration is! This season we are reading…

How the Word is Passed by @clintsmithiii
My Broken Language by @quiaraalegria
Crying in H Mart by @jbrekkie
Beautiful Country by @qianjuliewang

The Athenaeum is closed today for #LaborDay.“Philadelphia on a busy day,” Robert M. Skaler Postcard Collection, Athenaeu...
09/06/2021

The Athenaeum is closed today for #LaborDay.

“Philadelphia on a busy day,” Robert M. Skaler Postcard Collection, Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 290-PC-12-128

The Athenaeum is closed today for #LaborDay.

“Philadelphia on a busy day,” Robert M. Skaler Postcard Collection, Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 290-PC-12-128

September means a new programming season! And we can finally say, IN PERSON! This fall, all evening events will be in pe...
09/05/2021

September means a new programming season! And we can finally say, IN PERSON! This fall, all evening events will be in person, some with a live stream option, and for some the recording will be made available after the event. Click through to see what we have coming up in September and head to our website to learn more and register: https://philaathenaeum.org/programs-events/

Address

219 S 6th St
Philadelphia, PA
19106

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 7pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 3pm

Telephone

(215) 925-2688

Alerts

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Mission and History

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is an independent member-supported library and museum that engages members, scholars and the interested general public to join actively in the cultural and intellectual life of Philadelphia and participate in historical, literary and educational activities. To that end, the Athenaeum must be a diligent steward of its National Historic Landmark building and its collections of books, manuscripts, architectural drawings, photographs, and historic objects.

The Athenaeum was founded in 1814 to collect materials "connected with the history and antiquities of America, and the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge" for public benefit. Annually the Athenaeum's nationally significant collections attract thousands of readers: graduate students and senior scholars, architects, interior designers, museum curators, and private owners of historic buildings. It provides the Philadelphia region with a resource of first resort on matters of architecture and interior design history, particularly for the period 1800 to 1945.

The Athenaeum building was designed in 1845 by the innovative architect John Notman (1810-1865). It is widely hailed as the seminal American structure in the Italianate Revival Style and one of the first Philadelphia buildings built of brownstone. Severely plain on the exterior and deceptive in scale, the Athenaeum building contains richly embellished reading rooms with 24-foot ceilings. Into these spaces has been gathered a museum collection of American fine and decorative arts from the period 1800 to 1850 which is available for group or individual tours by advance reservation. The building has been expanded and restored to provide appropriate facilities for the care and exhibition of the collections. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

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Join us tonight at 6:00 p.m. at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia for a glimpse into the future of the historic pipe organ. As prelude, choral works will be performed by members of the Opera Philadelphia Chorus, under the direction of Elizabeth Braden and with Meghan Meloy Ness on pipe organ. The concert will be livestreamed into the Athenaeum from Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church and followed by a panel discussion with Melissa Dunphy , composer and Joshua Castaño of Partners for Sacred Places. Proof of vaccination is required. Register here ➡️ https://www.operaphila.org/whats-on/events/other/2021/future-of-the-organ/
Hey there, has The Athenaeum of Philadelphia issued a message of support to #BlackLivesMatter? I’ve visited your library before and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately nothing about your institution feels inclusive for people of color. Is this something you’re planning on working on? Thanks!