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“Wonderful mansion turned into museum and library”

Rosenbach Museum and Library
Ranked #103 of 443 things to do in Philadelphia
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Rosenbach Museum & Library seeks to inspire curiosity, inquiry, and creativity by engaging broad audiences in exhibitions, programs and research based on its remarkable and expanding collections. With an outstanding collection of rare books, manuscripts, furniture, and art, the Rosenbach is a museum and world-renowned research library, set within two historic 1865 townhouses, that reflects an age when great collectors lived among their treasures.
Kutztown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
1,940 reviews
1,069 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,891 helpful votes
“Wonderful mansion turned into museum and library”
Reviewed September 26, 2012

How often do you get a chance to visit a great 4 story Philadelphia mansion in one of the classiest sections of the city. The houses were built in the 1860s and Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach lived here for over 25 years until he died in 1952. During that time, he and his brother bought, sold and collected classic books, original manuscripts and decorative arts much of which can be seen in the house, museum and library.

The house has been moderized in some ways with an elevator, rest rooms, etc, however, much of the classic style remains with some original furniture, great paintings (one room has paintings by famous American artist Thomas Sully of members of the Gratz family, who were well known in Philadelphia), original manuscripts such as James Joyce's Utysses and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. In the vast library they also have the only original copy of Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac.

The mansion is visited by means of a guided tour with an excellent tour guide, then you are allowed in some of the galleries on your own, especially to see the work of Maurice Sendak, who gave the museum much of his work and some of his whimsical pictures are on display.

This place is a real find and a joy to visit. Entrance fee is $10. It is associated with other museums as part of the North American Reciprocal Museums, so membership in one of those museums allows for free entrance.

Visited September 2012
Thank Pnemiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Harker Heights, Texas
Level Contributor
236 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2012

Not only does this museum house an incredible amount of first editions, the tour guides are knowledgeable and visitor friendly. If you're interested in literature, make this an essential stop when you're in Philly.

Visited June 2012
Thank TONY263
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Small but very smart!”
Reviewed July 19, 2012

Maurice Sendak, Herman Melville, Marianne Moore and James Joyce! Such exalted company, all in one exceptional small museum!
Housed in the former home of the Rosenbach brothers, now a small gem of a museum, there are both book and decorative arts treasures to amuse and delight anyone interested in furniture, object d'art and especially rare and beautiful books. A favorite haunt!

Visited May 2012
Thank Mchsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
141 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Most unusual museum..with private sollection of Sendak's stuff”
Reviewed June 6, 2012

To see Maurice Sendaks original works is a stimulating experience. My kids favpriote books

Visited September 2011
Thank BarbaraAnnWordmaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
245 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2012

This is a wonderful museum and great library with some outstanding treasures. The staff could not have been more helpful

Visited April 2012
Thank Albanach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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