Library Company of Philadelphia

1 Dec 2016


James Claypoole Jr., "The German Bleeds & Bears ye Furs Of Quaker Lords & Savage Curs ...," 1964, etching, Philadelphia. Image courtesy of The Library Company of Philadelphia.


The Library Company of Philadelphia, Louise Lux-Sions and Harry Sions Exhibition Gallery. Photograph by Jordan Cassway.


James Claypoole, Jr., "The Quakers and Franklin," 1764, etching, Philadelphia. Image courtesy of The Library Company of Philadelphia.


The Students' Magazine, published monthly, at the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind (Philadelphia: Printed on the Institution Press, M. Snider, printer, 1838). Photo courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia.


Teresa Jaynes, See a Table and Feel a Table. Embossed diptych print, arches, cover, 11 x 14\. Photos courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia."


Braille: Grade One (United States, not before 1917). Single sheet printed in Braille and raised-letter type. Photo courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, The Library Company of Philadelphia is America's oldest cultural institution and was once the largest public library in America, until the Civil War. Its mission is to foster scholarship in and increase public understanding of American history before 1900 by preserving, interpreting, and making available its non-circulating collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art. A 2014 Center grant supported Common Touch: The Art of the Senses in the History of the Blind, a multi-sensory exhibition created by artist-in-residence Teresa Jaynes based on the Library Company’s extraordinary collection of pre-Braille texts for the visually impaired. With support from a 2018 Center grant, The Library Company presents Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America, an exhibition and a newly commissioned graphic novel that re-contextualize 18th-century historic events from the perspective of indigenous communities.