Introduction to WolfPAC


WolfPAC is the catalog of the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the gateway to the catalogs of several other area libraries. It is named in honor of Edwin Wolf 2nd, 1911-1991. Mr. Wolf was Librarian at the Library Company from 1953 to 1984; under his direction, the Library Company, founded in 1731 as the first subscription library in America, became an independent research library serving the scholarly community worldwide.


The Library Company's Book Collection consists of approximately 500,000 books, periodicals, broadsides, and other printed items. The Print Department Collection includes approximately 75,000 items, primarily prints, photographs, and maps.


In WolfPAC you will find:


  • Virtually all of the rare book collection (excluding newspapers and periodicals)

  • Most of the reference and secondary literature collection.

  • Approximately 60% of the graphic materials in the Print & Photograph Department.


On an ongoing basis, the Library Company adds records for the remainder of the graphic materials, and for new acquisitions to both the rare and the secondary literature collections.


Books and Broadsides

The Library Company holds significant collections of books and broadsides related to African American history , women's history, philanthropy, education , economic history , and popular medicine , science, and technology . Cataloging records for materials in these collections have extensive subject analysis. In addition, many of the Library Company's catalog records include genre terms for locating material by type (e.g., Juvenile literature, Advertisements, Almanacs, Gift books, Publishers' catalogs, etc.).



Along with the subject areas already noted above, the Print & Photograph Department specializes in works by commercial Philadelphia photographers and printmakers, and images that document the city of Philadelphia through the mid-20th century. The graphic collections contain approximately 75,000 items including prints, photographs, maps, political cartoons, and original drawings and watercolors. WolfPAC currently contains over 15,000 descriptive catalog records representing approximately 50,000 items or roughly 60% of our graphic holdings. Additional information on research of the graphic collections is available on the Print Department section of the website. For further information, please contact curator Sarah Weatherwax by telephone at 215-546-8229, or by email at


Newspapers and Periodicals:

The Library Company's thousands of newspaper and periodical titles are partially represented in WolfPAC.  For more information on particular titles contact reference librarian Connie King at 215-546-3181, or by e-mail at



The bulk of the Library Company’s 550 linear feet of manuscripts are on deposit at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Online finding aids for many of the collections are part of an ongoing project to provide descriptions of manuscript collections throughout the Philadelphia region.

The manuscripts of John A. McAllister are described in twenty-nine online finding aids, which are also searchable in the Library Company’s digital asset management system ImPAC.

Additionally, a card catalog located at the Historical Society (and various printed finding aids) provide further information and access to the Library Company’s manuscript collections. For more information, contact the Historical Society by phone at 215-732-6200, or by mail at 1300 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107


Artifacts and Works of Art:

The Library Company’s Art and Artifacts Collection is accessible through our digital collections catalog ImPAC. Highlights from the collection can be viewed through an online exhibition. For more information, contact Linda August at 215-546-3181, or by email at