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“If you cant find it here...”

Free Library of Philadelphia
Ranked #87 of 458 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This magnificent building modeled after the Place de Concorde in Paris has an excellent and eclectic collection. If its medieval manuscripts you want or early American hornbooks, youll find it here.
Reviewed June 16, 2012

The main library in Philly is huge with all things imaginable for a library if you can't find it here it probably does not exist....

1  Thank Errick D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 - 67 of 80 reviews

Reviewed April 19, 2012

The library's collection of Dickens and other original masterpieces is stupendous. The courteous guard welcomed us upstairs, locked away our backpacks, and allowed us to peruse the displays in private.

Definitely one of Philadelphia's best kept secrets, although you need to appreciate the value of the collection for the visit to be worthwhile.

4  Thank Cherry_Wonderdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2012

While in Philly, we had two hours to kill before our bus departed for home. We hoped to find a free attraction near our hotel. We saw banners hanging on the library spelling "DICKENS" between the Grecian columns. Being fans of the author, and knowing that this is the 200th anniversary of his birth, we decided to drop in.

There is a small exhibit on the ground floor, giving an overview of his novels. On the third floor, there is a very interesting exhibit in the rare books room, with original letters, signed copies of his books, and personal memorabilia (including his stuffed pet raven and writing desk). This is a scholarly exhibit, and probably not of interest to some, but we really enjoyed seeing some of the original books and pamphlets of this great author. The employee who assisted us was very knowledgeable and very helpful. It was really a pity that we didn't have more time to see the whole exhibit slowly.

1  Thank mimsydee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2012

The Free Library of Philadelphia is a complex series of rooms, hallways and areas to be educated in the fine arena of books. However the best part of this library is not what is easily accessible. Go upstairs to the third floor and go into the rare collections. In rare collections are books that are several hundred years old and other first edition rarities.

By far the most interesting item is not a book but a stuffed raven by the name of "Grip," who is lodged in an aquarium sized tank. This bird has such a history surrounding it I'm surprised it doesn't have it's own wing (sorry for the pun). Grip, you see, was the catalyst for Edgar Allen Poe's masterpiece, "The Raven." Additionally it was the pet of Charles Dickens' kids. A literary bird to say the least.

Before you go make sure you make an appointment during open hours, when necessary, and no flash photography is allowed.

1  Thank quoththrvnpoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2017 via mobile
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Thank Jing L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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