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“Yes, it is "a little gem."”

Rosenbach Museum and Library
Ranked #106 of 457 things to do in Philadelphia
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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.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

I've been to the Rosenbach twice -- my son used to live a couple of blocks away, so we took the tour together one day. He was dubious, but ended up being very glad he went. There is a wealth of things to look at: portraits of the Gratz family, the Rosenbach brothers, et al; maps and art objects; beautiful furniture. There is a small exhibit about Frances Anne Kemble, the English actress who married a slave-owner from Georgia and wrote a book about it. And of course, there are the books! The Rosenbachs had superb taste in everything, and the book collection is amazing. The second time I visited, I looked at every spine (I think) and asked to have a Cotton Mather manuscript pulled out so I could just cast my peepers upon it. Amazing! One has to make an appointment 2-3 weeks in advance in order actually to be able to read a book; that's my next visit. My son moved to Chicago, more's the pity... .

1  Thank 565polly_G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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33 - 37 of 68 reviews

Reviewed June 22, 2013

We happened to be in Philadelphia over the weekend of Blooms' Day (I'll leave it to readers to look that up!). As result, we spotted a poster for the Rosenbach Museum; and I'd found it as well here on TripAdvisor. They have original manuscripts of several rare books, as well as a delightful collection of old books. Dr. Rosenbach was a rare book deal, who with his brother, collected and sold books, and other "conversation pieces" as our tour guide told us. When we were there, they had a lovely room with an exhibit on Maurice Sendak's book, Where the Wild Things Are, that was delightful. Although you have to have a guided tour of the private library rooms, it was worth the wait. Our guide allowed up to take our time looking at the library's content (reading the spines - you need a different kind of appointment if you want to actually read or examine a book). We are book lovers, so it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours on a hot afternoon. They had another couple of rooms with an exhibit on the Civil War with original letters, and a contemporary installation in one room as well. There were interesting sounding lectures, and events, so check it out. The walk to the museum is lovely, and the neighborhood is also a treasure to explore.

2  Thank DrSharonGreenfieldMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

After a walking tour of historic Philly, we were anxious to see the interior of one of these marvelous townhouses. At the Rosenbach, your tour takes you through the rooms, libraries, and collections of this old Philadelphia family. Among the many objects there are the Maurice Sendak archives and the original edition of James Joyce's Ulysses.

1  Thank TravelInsuranceLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

The Rosenbachs assembled a magnificent collection. It's interesting to be able to see Joyce's original pages of "Ulysses." But the museum continues to keep lively and current. This week an exhibit of Maurice Sendak's original work on "Where the Wild Things Are" opened. And there is an art installation of "Ulysses" written in its entirety on yellow latex gloves, which are hung from a spiral of wire on the ceiling; an interesting connection between Joyce and women.
My guided tour was outstanding.

1  Thank fromphila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Very poor and unhelpful staff. Shame. After travelling from Scotland, we hoped to view some of the exhibits. No such luck - we were told if we waited half an hour we could see the desk the book usually sat.

A waste of $10.

Thank Joyce H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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