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Exhibitions and Events


Logo for Common Touch: The Art of the Senses in the History of the Blind is a multimedia exhibition that looks at historical embossed and raised-letter documents for the visually impaired as a starting point for a multi-sensory exploration of the nature of perception. Inspired by her research in the Library Company’s Michael Zinman Collection of Printing for the Blind, artist-in-residence Teresa Jaynes will curate an exhibition on display April 4 – October 21, 2016 that combines her own original works with historical collections that document the education of the blind in the 19th century.

April 4 - October 21, 2016

Exhibition Hours: M-F, 9:00 am to 4:45 pm

Major support for Common Touch: The Art of the Senses has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Pew Logo WHYY Logo


PoliticalFest 2016

During the Democratic National Convention (July 22-28), the Library Company will be one of seven Philadelphia sites to host special events and exhibitions for delegates and visitors.

Special exhibitions will showcase a life mask of George Washington, death mask of Abraham Lincoln, various presidential locks of hair, and rare books, graphics, and manuscripts about our nation's founding, women in American politics, and 19th-century African-American political conventions.

The Library Company will be open Saturday, July 23 and Sunday July 24 10am-6pm and have extended weekday hours, 9am-6pm, on July 22, 25, 26, and 27.

Notice to researchers: During this time, the main Reading Room will be closed, but we will make every effort to serve researchers in temporary reading rooms nearby. Please contact us in advance at to discuss how we can best accommodate your research needs.

The Democrats Win: The Election of 1800

Lecture with Dr. Paul Gilje

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

6:30 PM - 7:30 PM


Historian Paul Gilje will discuss one of the most important, tumultuous, and confusing elections in American history. Important because it marked the first time that presidential power transferred from one political party to another and marked a milestone in the growth of the American democratic tradition. Tumultuous because the election included an exchange of vile charges between political camps. And confusing because the process was arcane and complicated with shifting and different rules governing the process of selecting the electoral college.

The lecture will include a book signing  of Paul Gilje's book Swear Like a Sailor.  The book will be available for purchase at the front desk. 


Eventbrite - Juneteeth

The Library Company will observe the following holidays in 2016/2017:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Monday, January 18
George Washington's Birthday - Monday, February 15
Good Friday: March 25
Memorial Day - Monday, May 30
Independence Day - Monday, July 4
Labor Day - Monday, September 5
Columbus Day - Monday, October 10
Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 24 & Friday, November 25
Holiday Closure: Monday, December 26, 2016 to January 1, 2017 (normal hours resume Monday, January 2, 2017)


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For more information on these events please call 215-546-3181 or email Clarissa Lowry,