Friday, January 27, 2017

Register Now: New Library Company Programs

The Library Company is pleased to announce new offerings for 2017. This year we will introduce two new programs:  Book Club and Collection Reviews and Tours.  We are excited to create new opportunities for all of the Library Company’s supporters.

2017 Book Club
The Library Company will host three book reviews or seminars based on our current exhibitions and strengths within our collections.  Our first Book Club will be held on February 22nd and will be facilitated by Together We Win curators, Linda August and Sarah Weatherwax.  They will lead a discussion and exploration of the book Regeneration by Pat Barker, a work of historical fiction exploring the psychological effects of World War I and medical and mental health treatments during the era. Members and guests are invited to bring their lunch and enjoy a stimulating conversation about this important topic.  Please click here to register for our first Library Company Book Club.

Future sessions will feature Simon Garfield’s book On the Map and Thom Nickels’ book Literary Philadelphia (with a conversation led by the author himself). Please check our events page for dates and times.

Collection Reviews and Tours
We’d love to give you a closer look at the Library Company! Starting in March we will offer a series of one-hour member tours throughout the year. Guests are welcome to attend for a nominal fee. So, register and bring a friend!  Each tour will include a curator-led tour of the current exhibition and showcase a different aspect of Library Company collections.  Some collection review highlights include Spiritualism, Presidential Collections, Medical History, and Women’s History. More information to come on this wonderful opportunity!

We look forward to seeing you at the Library Company.  For questions about these and additional programs please contact our Events and Programs Coordinator Clarissa Lowry at or 215-546-3181 x 130. Attendance is free for Library Company members and a fee of $10 for non-members. 

Rallying for Women’s History in December

Junto 2016

In accordance with tradition, the Junto met in mid-December to hear from one of the Library Company’s long-time shareholders and members in support of the Program for Women’s History.This year’s speaker was Lisa Unger Baskin, whose extraordinary collection on the history of women from the 1500s through the 1800s went to the Duke University Libraries in 2015. In her talk “Collecting against the Highspots,” she showed how building a knowledge base and having a personal vision are of paramount importance for a collector. Over many years, Lisa Baskin acquired lesser-known works by female scholars, printers, publishers, laborers, scientists, authors, artists, and political activists, and then brought their significance to light.

For example, on one occasion Lisa Baskin found a pamphlet about an 1834 murder trial. One of the people testifying was a woman named Isabella. Thanks to knowing that Isabella was the early name of the preacher Sojourner Truth, Lisa Baskin “scooped” the pamphlet. On another occasion, thanks to knowing that the inscriber “M. M.” was May Morris, the daughter of one of the key figures in the English Arts and Crafts Movement, she acquired an extraordinary copy of one of William Morris’s Kelmscott Press books.

It was truly inspiring to hear about Lisa Baskin’s zeal and commitment to women’s history. Forty-five people were in attendance, including Penn State professor Lori Ginzberg, who will be leading the NEH Summer Seminar on women’s history here at the Library Company next July.

In 2016, the Library Company raised $11,050 from fifty-three donors who contributed to our Annual Junto Campaign, a special annual appeal that supports new acquisitions. These proceeds will allow the Program in Women’s History to continue our own efforts of “recovering” women’s history here at the Library Company.

Cornelia King 
Chief of Reference and Curator of Women's History

Staff Announcement

Krystal Appiah
Krystal Appiah, the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Curator of African American History has accepted a position as an instructional librarian within Special Collections at the University of Virginia. In her new role, Krystal will bring primary sources into the classroom for undergraduates and graduate students, and work with the Rare Book School. Over the last five years, Krystal has helped to not only define the Library Company’s Program in African American History, in part through her work within the Mellon Scholars Program, but she has also contributed greatly to the stewardship of our strong legacy of the African Americana Collection. She accomplished this by sharing her own expertise and content knowledge with scholars and researchers, by securing acquisitions vital to our collections, and by promoting and planning excellent Black History Month and Juneteenth Programs. She has also curated exhibitions at the Library Company including The Genius of Freedom: Northern Black Activism and Uplift after the Civil War (2015),” and has presented at many conferences across the country. Serving hundreds of scholars each year through reference inquiries and on-site services, Krystal has been a vital part of the Library Company’s mission. We hope that you will join us on January 31st, 2016 as we wish Krystal well and good luck on her exciting new professional journey.

Raechel Hammer 
Chief Development Officer

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