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Exhibitions and Events

Thursday, June 22, 2017

4th Annual Lecture in Honor of John C. Van Horne
Ulysses S. Grant: A Fresh Look at American Leadership

5:30pm: Author's Reception for Shareholders and Members

6:30pm: Lecture with Ronald C. White

8:00pm: Private Dinner with Ronald C. White*

The Union League of Philadelphia
140 S. Broad Street

Ronald C. White refocuses American hero Ulysses S. Grant for the 21st century. Decisive yet self-effacing, overcoming multiple trials as a young man, Grant led the North to victory in the Civil War and then offered a surprisingly magnanimous peace to Robert E. Lee and the defeated South. In the politics of our day, full of cynicism and oversized personalities, White examines the life of the American Ulysses who points beyond himself to a panoply of enduring values.


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*To attend the private dinner contact the Chief Development Officer, Raechel Hammer, at or 215-546-3181 for details


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Book Club: On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks

By: Simon Garfield

5:30pm - 6:30pm

Free for Library Company Members/$10 for Non-Members

Join us as we explore the unique way that maps relate and realign our history—and reflect the best and worst of what makes us human. In his book, Simon Garfield follows the history of maps from the early explorers’ accounts and the awe-inspiring medieval Mappa Mundi to Google Maps and the satellite renderings on our smartphones. Conservator Alice Austin will lead the discussion on chapters one through eight from On the Map. There will also be a pop-up exhibition featuring some of the Library Company’s most fascinating maps. Light refreshments will be provided.


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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Juneteenth Freedom Seminar
Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

6:00pm - 8:00pm

Reception to follow

This year, the Library Company will commemorate Juneteenth with a lecture by Dr. Erica Armstrong Dunbar, our own Director of the Program in African American History and the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware. Never Caught is the powerful narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave, who risked everything to reach freedom. Though she lived a life of relative comfort, this was nothing compared to freedom, a glimpse of which she encountered first-hand in Philadelphia. So, when the opportunity presented itself, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. At just twenty-two years old, Ona became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property.


This event is sold out, but please go to the link to put your name on the wait list!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Civil War, Civil Rights: African American Women in Civil War-Era Philadelphia

5:30pm - 6:30pm

Reception to follow

In conjunction with the Library Company’s NEH Summer Seminar “What Did Independence Mean for Women: 1776 – 1876?” the Library Company is hosting a public lecture presented by prominent scholar Judith Giesberg, Professor of History at Villanova University. Professor Giesberg is the author of several books and the project director and lead editor of Emilie Davis’s Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863-1865. Her presentation will discuss black women’s activism on the homefront during the Civil War, specifically addressing the variety of ways that African American women pushed civil rights and freedom of movement onto the wartime agenda of U.S. lawmakers.


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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Club: Author Talk: Literary Philadelphia

By: Thom Nickels

12:00pm - 1:00pm

$10 for Library Company Members/ $15 for Non-Members

The Library Company welcomes author Thom Nickels to discuss and answer questions about his book. Literary Philadelphia maps the history of several talented and well-known writers from Philadelphia and the places they lived, spent time, and set their literary works. From Quaker novelist Charles Brockden Brown to 1973 U.S. poet laureate Daniel Hoffman, Nickels explores Philadelphia’s literary landscape. Bring your lunch, and join us for this interesting author talk. Light refreshments will be provided.


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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

African American Musicians Collection Tour


Free for Library Company Members/ $10 for Non-Members

Library Company Print & Photograph Department Curator, Sarah Weatherwax, and Associate Curator of Prints & Photographs, Erika Piola will present special collection items highlighting the rich history of African American music in the late 19th century. Portraits, playbills, and programs providing a snapshot of the life and career of blind African American musician Thomas Wiggins, one of the most popular entertainers of the Victorian era will be on display. Visitors will also see a manuscript music book and published sheet music will illuminate the career of Frank Johnson, an African American musician from Philadelphia whose career included composing and performing music for audiences ranging from Queen Victoria’s court to the local black community.


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The Library Company will observe the following
holidays in 2017:

Friday, April 14* Good Friday

Monday, May 29 Memorial Day

Tuesday, July 4 Independence Day

Monday, September 4 Labor Day

Thursday–Friday, Nov 23-24 Thanksgiving

Monday-Friday, Dec 25-29 Christmas



For membership information, visit



Click here for Print Friendly LCP Events Calendar



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