NEH Chalenge

Upcoming and Current Exhibitions and Events


Current Exhibition in the Library Company’s
Louise Lux-Sions and Harry Sions Gallery:

July 20, 2015 - March 4, 2016

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

The exhibition and its accompanying programming are supported by funds from the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation.



The Program in Early American Economy and Society


Thursday, February 18, 2016, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Citizen Sailors: Becoming American in the Age of Revolution

Nathan Perl-Rosenthal
Department of History, University of Southern California

Nathan Perl-Rosenthal's new book, Citizen Sailors, shows how American mariners came to be at the center of a trans-national conflict over citizenship and sovereignty in the four decades after American independence (ca. 1776-1815).  Published recently by Harvard University Press, this study shows how American sailors, caught between British naval officers and French, Dutch, and Danish privateersmen, struggled to establish their place in the new nation--and the place of their new country among the independent nations of the Atlantic world.  Their struggles led, by 1796, to the creation of an unprecedented system of nationality paperwork, backed by the U.S. federal government and available to men of all races, which marked the advent of widespread national-identity paperwork in the age of revolution.  The book offers the first trans-national history of early American citizenship and a new account of how sailors shaped politics in the Revolutionary era. 

Eventbrite - Citizen Sailors: Becoming American in the Age of Revolution



Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated History of the Nineteenth Century’s Most Photographed American

Black History Month Event

Thursday, February 25, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Mother Bethel AME Church, 419 S 6th Street

Frederick Douglass was not only the most visible abolitionist in the United States but the most photographed American of the Nineteenth Century. That was no mistake. In this lecture, Harvard historian and author John Stauffer uncovers Douglass’ lifelong attempts to use photography as an instrument of social justice and reform Book signing to follow. Co-sponsored by Mother Bethel AME Church.


Eventbrite - Picturing Frederick Douglass



Sight Expansion: The German Influence on American Photography

Lunchtime Talk

Friday, February 26, 2016, 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. (Lunch provided)

Co-sponsored by the German Society of Pennsylvania, the Library Company of Philadelphia presents Harvard Professor John Stauffer as he examines the profound influence of German photographers on the making and meaning of American photography during the late-19th and early 20th centuries. A small exhibit of historic photographs by German-American photographers from the Library Company’s collection including work by German Society of Pennsylvania members Frederick Gutekunst and the Langenheim brothers will be on display.


Library Company of Philadelphia members, German Society of Pennsylvania members, and students: $10.00; General public: $15.00.


Eventbrite - Sight Expansion: The German Influence on American Photography


Fashioning American Women: Godey’s Lady’s Book in the 19th Century

Women's History Month Event

Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Based in Philadelphia, Godey’s Lady’s Book graced the parlor tables and bookshelves of thousands of American women. Amy Sopcak-Joseph of the University of Connecticut will speak about the phenomenally successful 19th-century women’s magazine and its innovative business strategies, which laid the foundation for later publications such as the Ladies’ Home Journal. Come hear more about Godey’s Lady’s Book and view the Library Company’s exhibition “Fashioning Philadelphia: The Style of the City, 1720-1940,” which closes on March 4.


Eventbrite - Fashioning American Women: Godey’s Lady’s Book in the 19th Century



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
Memorial Day - Monday, May 30
Independence Day - Monday, July 4
Labor Day - Monday, September 5
Columbus Day - Monday, October 10
Thanksgiving Day - Thursday. November 24
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 Alison McMenamin,