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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. Watch our website for more information about our exhibition and extended evening and weekend hours.

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.

Annual Juneteenth Freedom Seminar:
Enslaved Women, Rebellion, and Survival during Nat Turner's Uprising 

Lecture with Dr. Vanessa Holden

Thursday, June 16, 2016

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm:

Friends of the PAAH Reception

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm:

Lecture & Discussion Led by Dr. Vanessa Holden

Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation (2016), which depicts the history of Nat Turner’s Rebellion, is one of this year’s most highly anticipated films. Join us for a lecture by Dr. Holden to learn about the untold stories of this pivotal event in American history before the film’s fall release.

Dr. Holden’s current book project is titled, Surviving Southampton: Gender, Community, Resistance and Survival During the Southampton Rebellion of 1831. In it, Dr. Holden explores the contributions that African American women and children, free and enslaved, made to the Southampton Rebellion of 1831, also called Nat Turner’s Rebellion. In addition to her work on enslaved women and slave rebellion, Dr. Holden also co-organizes the Queering Slavery Working Group with Jessica Marie Johnson (MSU) and conducts research on same-gender loving enslaved people in the American antebellum period. 

Dr. Holden received her PhD in African American and Women’s and Gender History from Rutgers University. She is now an assistant professor of African American and American History at Michigan State University.

The Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia hosts an annual Juneteenth Freedom Seminar, which serves as a recognition of Juneteenth—one of the oldest known celebrations commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.


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,