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Library Company of Philadelphia

Neighborhood: City Center East
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Address: 1314 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone Number:
+1 215-546-3181
See all hours
Mon - Fri 9:00 am - 4:45 pm

The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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great exhibition on fashion in Philadelphia

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... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed November 9, 2015
ithaca, ny
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5 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 4: English reviews
ithaca, ny
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 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.

Thank soledad99
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
94 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2015

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... More 

Thank bazi43
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
69 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2014

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... More 

Thank CameronAvant
new york
Level Contributor
1,063 reviews
366 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 283 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2013

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... More 

2 Thank nycmom22

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