Library Company of Philadelphia

Library Company of Philadelphia

Library Company of Philadelphia
4.5
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:45 PM
About
The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library specializing in American history and culture from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Open to the public free of charge, the Library Company houses an extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company is America's oldest cultural institution and served as the Library of Congress from the Revolutionary War to 1800. The Library Company was the largest public library in America until the Civil War. The mission of the Library Company is to preserve, interpret, make available, and augment the valuable materials in our care. We serve a diverse constituency throughout Philadelphia and internationally, offering comprehensive reader services, an internationally renowned fellowship program, online catalogs, and regular exhibitions and public programs.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: City Center East
How to get there
  • Walnut–Locust • 2 min walk
  • 13th St • 6 min walk
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles10 reviews
Excellent
6
Very good
3
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
0

CyndyandByron
Bridgeton, NJ871 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
We attended the opening of the Ghost River exhibit. The Library Company invited Native American guests who were consultants for the book. Mingling with the members allowed for a greater understanding of the good, the bad, and the ugly of colonization depicted in the book. We also got to see several old books and documents, The card catalog actually till exits for researchers who are big users of this location. The Elliott Bible, the first Bible transcribed in a Native American language, was available for viewing. A light appetizer and beverage spread was provided for the guests in the well maintained meeting rooms.
Written 16 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hank956
Brownsville, TX1,036 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Friends
Note for researchers but they do have two exhibits to see if not researching.

The Logan hall was interesting and memorable.
Although only a couple of years old compared to the old world very nice.

The other exhibit hall was getting set up for their next event. Too bad we could not visit.

For researchers who are visiting, make an appointment to get into the research hall.
Quite impressive.

Written 8 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Therese H
Memphis, TN260 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Solo
When planning for my recent trip to Philadelphia, I was excited to learn about this library founded by Benjamin Franklin. Their website showed many areas of interest to me, most of which were said to be "available to the general public".
So I set aside one morning to visit there. I was asked to sign in & put my items into a locker. But aside from viewing some paintings in their lobby area, I was surprised to find I wasn't allowed past that point. Cornelia King was called out to inquire what I wanted to accomplish there. But she brusquely dismissed me, saying that others had scheduled appointments for serious research, and space limitations didn't allow for me to enter the Library. She gave me her business card and said to make an appointment for a future time.
If that's the policy, please say that on their website.
Written 17 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gailrs
Cape May, NJ12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017
By happenstance, we recently discovered this hidden gem. The building is unassuming, but a sign outside caught our attention. Aside from registering at the main desk, the exhibits are free for the public to browse (Monday through Friday). Their current exhibit, "The Living Book- New Perspectives on Form and Function," features a fascinating collection of vintage and antique books that span a wide range of interests and ages. Of special interest were the 3-D , interactive, and cut-out books. A well-appointed library also contains memorabilia from Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Rush. The next time we visit "The City of Brotherly Love," we certainly will return to the Library Company of Philadelphia.
Written 2 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bruce S
Philadelphia, PA360 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Couples
We have lived in Philadelphia over 70 years and this was the first time that we visited this museum. Specializing in printed matter from the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries the library neither lends books nor provides automatic admission to its stacks. Mainly for researcher, admission to the main area is by qualified membership only. BUT, the exhibits are well worth the walk.
Written 30 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

soledad99
ithaca, ny4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015
Until next spring, the library company has an excellent exhibit on the history of fashion in Philadelphia. It's well curated, has stories about manufacturing and textiles as well as prints and books.
Written 9 November 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bazi43
Oakland, CA223 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Friends
Someone I met at a garden party works here, and I thought I'd take a look before my flight out...

Sure glad I did! This is the library that Ben Franklin started for the Junto, and it's become a big deal in Philadelphia over the years.

I really enjoyed taking a look around at the exhibit and talking with the docent.

Want to spend more time there when I go back.
Written 27 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CameronAvant
Philadelphia, PA230 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Solo
I am a resident of Philadelphia and did not know about this library. This is not a library that loans books nor does it have computers (you can't use personal laptop).

This is a library for research only. I visited the small exhibit on African American history. I enjoyed the exhibit because they had historical books and documents that were new to me. The documents are what shaped the start of the African American revolution for acceptance and equal rights by the free Northern blacks.

The reading room has historical books and documents for viewing and research.
Written 15 December 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nycmom22
New York City, NY3,038 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Solo
But there is a changing roster of exhibits inside this cultural institution and research library that may be the oldest in the US.The current show on ephemera-is worth seeing- some childrne's toys, other paper products, evocative of their time- long ago! Restroom and they prefer that you put your bag in a free locker. Free. M-F check to be sure 9-4.
Written 24 June 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Library Company of Philadelphia - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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