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19th Century Cloth Bindings Database
A searchable database detailing the structure, condition, and appearance of approximately 4000 cloth bindings. Search the 19th Century Cloth Bindings Database.

Aero Service Corporation Photographic Negative Collection
Views of the greater Philadelphia area taken circa 1920s-1930s by Aero Service Corporation, an aerial photography firm established in Philadelphia in 1919.

African Americana Collection
Visual and textual materials from the Library Company's African American history collections, 16th-early 20th centuries.

African Americana from the Thomas Richardson Scrapbook
Depictions of African Americans contained within a scrapbook compiled by Philadelphia banknote printer Thomas Richardson, ca. 1855- ca. 1857.

Amateur Newspapers and Journals Collection
Short runs and single issues of 19th-century self-published newspapers. Mostly 1870s.

American Celebrities Albums
Two volume set of albums containing predominately cartes-de-visite photographic portraits of prominent American 19th-century figures in politics, education, and the arts, ca. 1870.

American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads and Poetical Broadsides Collection
Collection of 5,462 lyric sheets, also known as slip ballads, published in the 19th century and offered for sale by stationers, street-corner vendors, and by catalog through the mail.

Art and Artifacts Collection
The Library Company’s collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, scientific instruments, and other artifacts.

"At the Instance" Illustration Collection
112 images chosen for "At the Instance of Benjamin Franklin" : A Brief History of the Library Company of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Printed for the Library Company of Philadelphia by York Graphic Services Inc., 1995).

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Album
Album containing photographs of railroad bridges and stations along the B&O Railroad's Philadelphia Division taken on a trip made by a small group of B&O Railroad employees who surveyed the line, March 1891.

Bartlett & French Stereograph Collection
George O. Bartlett and William French were in partnership circa 1867-1869. Collection of Bartlett and French stereographs depicting Philadelphia streetscapes, including Chestnut Street; public buildings, including the State House, Post Office, and Custom House; cultural institutions, including the Academy of Natural Sciences and Horticultural Hall on Broad Street; and Fairmount Waterworks. Many views are from the series, Gems of Penn’a scenery, Philadelphia and vicinity.

Bartlett & Smith Stereograph Collection
Bartlett & Smith was a partnership from circa 1867- 1869 between George O. Bartlett and a photographer named Smith. Over 20 stereographs depicting Philadelphia views including commercial buildings along Chestnut Street including the Jayne Building, the Continental Hotel, the United States Custom House, and First National Bank; buildings along Broad Street, including the Union League, LaPierre House, and Broad Street Presbyterian Church; the Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River; and the Wissahickon. Two stereographs from this collection were not digitized, [Chestnut St. west of 6th St. with Jayne Building] [(8)1322.F.23h] and View on the Wissahicken near Philla. [(8)1322.F.8].

Helen Beitler Graphic Ephemera Collection
Collection of illustrated ephemera, primarily trade cards, envelopes, receipts, letterheads, billheads, and labels, for predominantly Pennsylvania businesses and trades, ca. 1830-ca. 1910.

Frank Berry Photographic Negative Collection
Collection of negatives taken 1900-1910 by Philadelphia music teacher and amateur photographer Frank Berry (b. 1863). Images primarily document Berry's neighborhood in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia and the nearby Wissahickon Valley. Contains images of scenes and buildings in Manayunk including Berry's home on Righter Street; friends and family posed for informal portraits; children engaged in recreational activities including sledding, biking, boating, fishing, and swimming; bridges, trails, and landscapes in the Wissahickon Valley; the construction of Walnut Lane Bridge (1906-1908); and several beach scenes. Also includes views of the Historical Pageant in 1912; the Northeast Manual Training School; St. Stephen's Episcopal Church; altar decorations; Josephine Berry playing a piano; a man posed with a motorcycle; the family Christmas tree; a childrens' street band; a liquor store at 5226 Ridge Avenue; Berry with his camera; and children taking photographs.

William Russell Birch Graphics and Manuscripts
Collection containing primarily engravings, watercolors, and drawings executed by English-born artist and engraver William Birch and his descendants between the 18th and later 19th century. Several of the graphic materials are by William Birch and represent engraved work he completed in Britain before 1794 and following his immigration to the United States that same year. Birch’s works in the collection take the form of watercolors, drawings, paintings, a sketchbook, and as photographic reproductions.

Bits of Nature and Some Art Products in Fairmount Park at Philadelphia, Penna.
Volume of lithographs and etchings of Fairmount Park by prominent Philadelphia lithographer and artist Augustus Kollner, ca. 1878.

John C. Browne Photograph Albums
Views of Photographic Society of Philadelphia excursions, Philadelphia landmarks, and regional natural scenery, 1873-1882.

John C. Bullock Lantern Slide Collection
Collection containing 182 glass lantern slides primarily created between 1910 and 1915 to illustrate the third edition of Charles F. Jenkins’ local history book, The Guide Book to Historic Germantown.

Capitalism by Gaslight: The Shadow Economies of 19th-Century America
Capitalism by Gaslight was a 2012 exhibition at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Taking its title from a 19th-century literary genre that exposed the darker side of American life, Capitalism by Gaslight introduces us to many of these shadowy entrepreneurs. At its heart the exhibition attempts to neither romanticize nor condemn, but to present the commerce of extra-legal businesspeople in more nuanced yet concrete ways. Although these transactions occurred most expediently in secluded back alleys and basement hideouts, many conmen benefited from the air of legitimacy given to schemes pulled off in broad daylight. And although entrepreneurs working in gray and black markets were excoriated by prominent businessmen, reformers, and authorities, they often had intimate ties to legitimate commercial networks and enjoyed the fruits of their very critics’ patronage. Possessing an entrepreneurial spirit, many underworld operators closely resembled respected businessmen. Perhaps most surprisingly, these illegal forms of commerce were integral to the success of the larger American economy and continue in varied forms today.