The Library Company of Philadelphia, a rare book and research library founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, contains approximately 500,000 printed volumes, 160,000 manuscripts, and 75,000 graphics relating to the history and culture of America from the 17th century through the end of the 19th century. The collection is particularly strong in African American history, the history of women, business and economics, printing and publishing, and early photography. The graphics collection is especially strong in documenting Philadelphia's architecture and urban development through prints and photographs. The library's small, but significant, holdings of architectural drawings include drawings of private residences, a competition drawing for the Centennial, and drawings of former Library Company of Philadelphia buildings. The library's book holdings relating to architecture include at least one edition of almost all the books printed prior to 1880 in Henry Russell Hitchcock's bibliography of American architectural books and about two-thirds of the titles in Helen Park's List of Architectural Books Available in America Before the Revolution.
Library Company of Philadelphia
Department of Prints and Photographs
1314 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9-4:45 (appointment preferred)
Philadelphia Architects and Buildings |
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