Welcometo a display of treasures from America's oldest subscription library. In fall 2012 we unveiled one special item each week in New Yorker magazine ads inspired by the old Burma-Shave campaign (some of you may remember the little signs at the edge of the highway that each had one small piece of a message). See the whole series below to learn more about the collections and programs of the Library Company of Philadelphia.


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In 1731, Philadelphia was North America's most important city and the second-largest city in the English-speaking world. Click to learn more.
During the winter of 1777-78, the American army starved and froze at Valley Forge, while the British enjoyed the comparative comforts of city quarters in Philadelphia. Click to learn more. 
As we enter the final two months of the seemingly endless presidential election season, politics is on nearly everyone’s mind. Click to learn more. 
This view of the Delaware Riverfront of Philadelphia is the oldest surviving painting of a North American city. Click to learn more. 
Eighteenth-century antiquarian Pierre Eugène Du Simitière (ca. 1736-1784) collected all manner of material. Click to learn more.
By the time he died in 1751 James Logan had assembled the best collection of books in colonial America. Click to learn more.
Women, want to know if you are fertile? Here’s what Aristiotle prescribes. Click to learn more.
How many people realize that the stirring preamble to the Constitution, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…,” was a late emendation? Click to learn more.
Author Ferdinand Sarmiento gave McAllister our copy of the playbill for the fatal April 14 performance at Ford’s Theatre. Click to learn more.
In 1869, Shareholder Dr. James Rush died and left the Library Company his estate, amounting to almost one million dollars. Click to learn more.
In 1774, Thomas Jefferson drafted a set of instructions for a Virginia delegation to an extralegal congress of the representatives of other colonies. Click to learn more.
One of the most popular poets in colonial America, Phillis Wheatley became the first person of African descent to publish in America. Click to learn more.
In the early years, the Library Company acquired works of literature through purchases from London booksellers made by agents on our behalf or through gifts. Click to learn more.
The Library Company of Philadelphia's photograph collection focuses on work by Philadelphia photographers and on views of the city. Click to learn more.
On July 1, 1731, Benjamin Franklin and members of his Junto drew up “Articles of Agreement” to found a library. Click to learn more.
While President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, heralded the Union’s new commitment to the abolition of slavery... Click to learn more.
The Library Company has been acquiring “transient documents of everyday life” since 1785... Click to learn more.
The Michael Zinman Collection of Early American Imprints contains more than 14,000 books, pamphlets, magazines, and broadsides... Click to learn more.
In 1779 at the height of his fame in France, Benjamin Franklin wrote to his daughter Sarah Bache about the many different images of him... Click to learn more.
There is gay history on our shelves – even though we cannot know whether a person who lived in the past would be considered lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered today.... Click to learn more.