Current Exhibition

Upcoming and Current Exhibitions and Events


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

The Genius of Freedom: Northern Black Activism and Uplift after the Civil War

November 11, 2014–June 27, 2015

Special Exhibition Hours

10 am to 3 pm the last Saturday of each month.

The exhibition and its accompanying programming are supported by funds from the Pennsylvania Abolition Society and the Independence Foundation.



Teacher Workshop: The Genius of Freedom

Co-sponsored by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Saturday, February 28, 2015

9:00 am-1:00 pm

Act 48/CEU Credits Offered

African Americans had agency in procuring equal rights and freedom in the 1800s, both before and after the Civil War. First, teachers will examine Underground Railroad sources at the Historical Society and then move to view “The Genius of Freedom” exhibit at the Library Company of Philadelphia next door, discussing how to integrate primary sources into the classroom. Lunch with keynote speaker is included. Free teacher materials tied to the PA Core will be provided as well as a new poster “Deep Roots, Continuing Legacy: Philadelphia in the Struggle for Civil Rights” produced by History Making Productions and discounts on "The Genius of Freedom" T-shirts from the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Teachers are encouraged to also attend the Created Equal film series programs as part of African American History Month programming. Act 48 credit is available through the Historical Society for all of these programs.

Register below or call the Historical Society of Pennsylvania at (215) 732-6200. Cost is $10 for Library Company or Historical Society members and $15 for non-members



Cassandra Good's Founding Friendships

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

5:30 - 7:30 pm

In honor of Women’s History Month, Cassandra Good will speak on the cultural and historical significance of friendships between men and women in the early American republic. Dr. Good, a 2009-2010 fellow at the Library Company, is the author of Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic (Oxford University Press, 2015), which demonstrates that marriage was by no means the only important, fulfilling relationship between men and women in the early years of the new republic. She will focus her talk on Philadelphia figures, including Benjamin Franklin, Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson, and local women whose friendship albums now reside in the Library Company’s collections.

Dr. Good is the associate editor of the Papers of James Monroe at the University of Mary Washington. Before completing her Ph.D. in history at the University of Pennsylvania, she worked at the Smithsonian developing new media and administering scholarly programs.


Eventbrite - Cassandra Good's Founding Friendships


Human Trafficking in Early America

Thursday, April 23 - Saturday, April 25, 2015

This conference explores the ramifications of forced migration in the Atlantic world before 1865, a multifarious phenomenon involving Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans of every decade and region.

Sponsors include the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Library Company of Philadelphia, Drew University, and the University of Maryland.

Opening Session and Reception at the Library Company of Philadelphia:
April 23, 2015

5:00-6:00: Registration and Reception
Viewing of exhibition The Genius of Freedom: Northern Black Activism and Uplift after the Civil War

6:00-7:15 p.m.: Opening Session
Chair: Richard S. Newman, Library Company of Philadelphia
Keynote Address: Edward E. Baptist, Cornell University: “Trafficking in People, Real or Derivative: the Second Slavery and Anglo-American Development”

Conference website with registration details coming soon



A Sense of Scale, an Image of Time: Searching for American Identity at the Centennial Exposition

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

5:30 - 7:30 pm

Dominique Zino, the Library’s 2014-2015 William H. Helfand Fellow in Visual Culture, will give a talk on the visual culture of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, the first major World’s Fair to be held in the United States. Zino’s work explores the documentation and marketing of the industrial, agricultural, and art exhibitions in terms of “picturesque time.”

Registration coming soon


Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life

Thursday, May 14, 2015

6:00 - 7:30 pm

Sally McMillen will discuss her book Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life.

Registration coming soon




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For more information on these events please call 215-546-3181 or email Alison McMenamin,