Back to top


Arthur Power Dudden Travel Ephemera Collection
Collection of ephemera documenting the travels of the Charles J. Clarke family between 1865 and 1875.

Thomas Eakins' Motion Studies Photographs
Series of nude male motion studies photographed by Thomas Eakins at the University of Pennsylvania, ca. 1884.

Scrapbook of Engravings, Lithographs, and Photographs
Scrapbook containing primarily engraved gift book and periodical illustrations issued between circa 1832 and 1868 from American and British publications, including "Columbian Lady’s and Gentlemen’s Magazine"; "Godey's Lady's Book"; "Ladies Companion"; "New Mirror"; and "Sartain's Magazine." Illustrations, several engraved by A. L. Dick, predominantly depict sentimental, romantic, religious, genre and allegorical views and often include children and animals. Titles include "The Draught Players"; "The Lovers"; "The Philosopher & His Kite" (showing Benjamin Franklin); "They sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites [sic] for twenty pieces of silver; "Lake See Hoo and Temple of the Thundering Winds from the Vale of Tombs"; "Schuylkill Water Works"; "Luther on Christmas Eve"; "Farmers Nooning," including an African American man farm hand (after 1843 W. S. Mount painting); "Cup-tossing" (reading of tea leaves); "The Opera Box"; and "The Village School." Portrait prints, including an image of Jenny Lind, and a few architectural design prints also encompass the illustrations., Also contains chromolithographs and the illustrated title page from Henry Harbaugh's "Birds of the Bible" (1854) and many tinted lithographs printed by Ackerman from "Reports of Explorations and surveys,...for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean (1855-1861); several photographic reproductions of original paintings showing genre views, landscapes, and marinescapes, including the work of J. S. Fenimore; George C. Lambdin; Edward and Thomas Moran, W. T. Richards, Samuel Sartain, Christian Schussele, N. H. Trotter, and S. B. Waugh; and photographs of a paddle boat near the Fairmount Water Works and views of the Wissahickon. Some pages also include embossed and color vignettes of birds, flower vases, and flowers. Other lithographs and chromolithographs depict sentimental and religious views, including a baby "hatching" from a flower and the T. Sinclair religious tableauxes "Pontius Pilatus" and "Manoah’s Sacrifice"., Probably compiled by Mrs. H. Godley., Title from stamp on the leather spine., Inserts: Envelope inscribed "Mrs. H. Godley, 1725 Vine St." and engraved portraits of "Robert Moffat" and "Girl in a Florentine Costume of A.D. 1500." "Girl" print includes amateur pencil alterations., Various artists, engravers, lithographers, and printers including Ackerman; W. Allan; T. Allom; W. H. Bartlett; W. Bennett; J. Burnet; J. G. Chapman; A. L. Dick; T. Doney; Durand & Co.; J. B. Forrest; A. W. Graham; Charles Heath; J. R. Herbert; J. B. Longacre; W. S. Mount; J. Neale; E. T. Parris; Nicolas Poussin: Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Smillie; Rice & Buttre; H. S. Sadd; John Sartain; Eliza Sharp; Thomas Sinclair; and Benjamin Franklin Waitt., Various publishers, including American Sunday-School Union; Henry F. Annears; L.A. Godey; and Hurst, Chance & Co., Cataloging funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (PW-506-19-10), 2010-2012., Description revised 2021., Access points revised 2021., Purchase 1986.

Engravings by William Humphrys Scrapbook
Scrapbook of print specimens and proofs engraved by Philadelphia and London engraver William Humphrys. Contents include postage stamp proofs, book and periodical illustrations, tile pages, portrait prints, advertisements, and cut outs of banknote and certificate vignettes. Majority of graphics depict allegorical imagery or illustrations of genre, religious, sentimental, and literary scenes, some from the plays of Shakespeare. Illustrations include scenes of courtship; female friendship; children with animals; a ghoulish-looking woman with a torch; a European man smoking a hookah; Jesus Christ; Adam & Eve; and imagery from Edmund Spencer's "Faery Queen", John Milton's "Palemon's Story," and John Gay's "Thursday: or The Spell." Allegorical works depict the figures of Columbia, Minerva, Mercury, Neptune, Bounty, Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Hope, and Apollo, as well as scenes with the American eagle; caducei for the "Liverpool Apothecaries Company"; citizens fighting a fire; cherubs charting a globe; Native Americans; a family; sailing ships; and symbols of farming, trade, and industry. Vignettes also show a portrait of Benjamin Franklin; Pocahontas saving John Smith; and a female warrior slaying a man of royalty captioned "Sic Semper Tyranus."

Benjamin Evans Watercolor Collection
Later 19th-century watercolors, many commissioned by antiquarian and jeweler Ferdinand J. Dreer (1812-1902), from a collection of over 150 views of Philadelphia streetscapes by architect and artist Benjamin R. Evans. Some of the images are based on earlier prints, drawing, and photographs of the depicted site.

Fels African Americana Image Project
Collection created through a Samuel S. Fels Community Fellowship Grant in 2003 of over 300 book and periodical illustrations from the 16th - to 19th -centuries depicting all aspects of African American history and life. Images range in date from 1595 (Giralomo Benzoni, Americae Pars Quinta) to 1914 (John Wesley Cromwell, The Negro in American History) and include views from 17th through 19th centuries travel and history texts of the social life and agricultural, industrial, and craft work of African peoples; graphics from the antislavery movements in France, Great Britain, and the United States detailing the brutality of slave life and the violence of slave resistance; and a selection of racist caricatures and cartoons from the 19th century reflecting the growing denigration and dehumanizing of African Americans in the era’s American popular print culture.

The Game of Philadelphia Buildings Flashcards
Card game containing fifty-three cards depicting landmarks and historic and well-known sites in the city.

Frederick Gutekunst Pennsylvania Railroad Stereograph Collection
Collection of 142 stereographic views documenting the Philadelphia, Middle, and Pittsburgh divisions of the Pennsylvania Railroad issued by Philadelphia photographer Frederick Gutekunst, ca. 1875.

Alfred Hand Photographic Negative Collection
Collection of 179 glass and film negatives created by Alfred Hand between 1920 and 1921. They depict historic houses, places of worship, and Revolutionary War sites in Germantown and the Philadelphia region, and are accompanied by negative sleeves with descriptive manuscript notes about each site.

Albert Hatch Photograph Album
Photographs compiled and possibly taken by Albert Hatch showing city and landscape views as well as family views and portraits, ca. 1866-ca. 1888.

William H. Helfand Comic Valentine Collection
Collection of comic valentines satirizing professional, ethnic, and gender stereotypes of the late 19th century.

William H. Helfand Popular Medicine Collection
Collection of ephemera primarily from the pharmaceutical and medical trades. Contains stationery, receipts, fliers, form letters, trade cards, business cards, calendars, and circulars, ca. 1800-ca. 1940.

Improved Authors with Portraits & Autographs Card Game
Incomplete card game containing 68 illustrated cards. Cards depict the bust-length portraits of Thomas Bailey Aldrich; William Cullen Bryant; Robert Burns; Samuel L. Clemens, "Mark Twain"; J. Fenimore Cooper; Ralph Waldo Emerson; James T. Fields; F. Bret Harte; Oliver Wendell Holmes; William Dean Howells; Henry W. Longfellow; James Russell Lowell; Samuel Rogers; Bayard Taylor; Alfred Tennyson; Charles Dudley Warner; Richard Grant White; and John G. Whittier. Some portraits are in profile. Versos of cards contain an allegorical image composed of a stack of books, scrolls and leaves of paper, a laurel wreath, and a quill pen. Includes small number of incomplete sets for J. Fenimore Cooper, Henry W. Longfellow; James Russell Lowell, and Richard Grant White. Lowell set includes a cut-out of the portrait from an original card.

Jackson-Cross Company Realtors Property Photograph Collection
Collection of 38 views of properties owned by Jackson-Cross Company, a commercial real estate firm founded by Joseph T. Jackson in 1876. The company merged with the Cross Company in 1936 and became Jackson-Cross Company. The firm operated until 1998 when Insignia Financial Group acquired it. The collection depicts a number of sites throughout Philadelphia during the 1940s, including office buildings, industrial sites, hospitals, banks, and stores and shops.

Jennings Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Company Building Construction Photograph Collection
Part of a series of progress photographs by Philadelphia commercial photographer William Nicholson Jennings (1860-1946) commissioned by the builders Irwin & Leighton to document the construction of the Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Company building, March 1927-early 1928. Images show the clearing of the site, laying of the foundations, the erection of steel framing, the progress of exterior masonry work and the completed building. Also contains interior views of the framing between floors and details of the ornamental doorway.

John Frank Keith Photograph Collection
Collection of 250 portrait photographs on postcard stock depicting residents of South Philadelphia and Kensington by amateur photographer John Frank Keith (1883-1947), ca. 1910-ca. 1940. Keith documented hundreds of, typically unidentified, working-class Philadelphians, individually, and as groups standing on sidewalks, in front of streetscape, and sitting on stoops. The majority of photographs date to the 1920s and show men, women, and children.

Frank W. Kohler Bicycling Events Scrapbook
Personal scrapbook, including clippings, programs, ribbons, photographs and other ephemera related to bicycle clubs compiled by the prominent long-distance bicyclist and Philadelphia executive, 1884.

William and Frederick Langenheim Stereograph Collection
Collection of stereographs issued circa 1855-circa 1862 by pioneer Philadelphia photographers William and Frederick Langenheim , the first publishers of stereoviews in the United States in 1854. Photographs show business interiors, panoramic views of the city, Fairmount Park, including Laurel Hill Cemetery, and scenes along the Delaware Riverfront. Businesses depicted include jewelers Bailey & Co., hatter Charles Oakford, and opticians McAllister and Brother.

George Albert Lewis Old Houses and Stores Album
Memory album compiled by Lewis containing written narratives, photographs, watercolors, textiles, drawings, prints and ephemera documenting his childhood and his lineage and family businesses and residences from the late 18th century to mid 19th century. Specific narrative topics include the provenance of the "Pictures" included in the album; "Memorabilia"; the "Marriage of our Ancestor, 1786. Johann Andreas Philipp Ludwig (i.e., J. A. P. Lewis) and Anna Maria Klingemann"; 'In Memoriam: Johann Andreas Philipp Ludwig' "; the "Memorials of the old Houses, Stores &c.," including deed, plot, architectural, and decor information pertaining to Lewis family residences at 121, i.e., 311 North Fifth Street (1791-1797), 60, i.e., 128 North Fourth Street (1797-1805), 82, i.e., 132 North Second Street (1814-1818), 124, i.e., 264 South Third Street (1818-1824), 148, i.e., 264 South Second Street (1824-1840) and rear storehouse on Laurel Street, and Sixteenth and Walnut streets (1840-1858), and the stores at Walnut and Front streets (1829-1856).

Library Company of Philadelphia finding aids
A collection of PDF finding aids from the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Library Company of Philadelphia Menus and Culinary History Collection
Menus and ephemera related to Philadelphia restaurants, including announcements and invitations, mid-19th century. The collection was started with menus from the John A. McAllister collection and additional menus have accrued over the years. Most significantly, in 1984, Charles E. Rosenberg donated eleven menus from the anniversary dinners of the Shakespeare Society, dating from 1855 to 1874. The collection is open to new additions.

Library Company of Philadelphia Miscellaneous Ephemera Collection
Ephemera related to Philadelphia area institutions including announcements, trade cards, programs, receipts, tickets, religious tracts, circulars, ballots, certificates, and newspaper clippings.

Library Company of Philadelphia Scrapbooks
Two scrapbooks compiled by the Library Company of Philadelphia. The earlier contains the correspondence of the Librarian and photographs of the Library Company's first building (Fifth & Library streets), 1818-ca. 1934. The later contains newspaper clippings, photographs, magazine articles, documents referring to membership, exhibitions, items on loan to other institutions, fund raising, etc., ca. 1865-ca. 1971.

The Library Company Papers Project
The Library Company Papers Project is a three-year, NEH-funded project to review, process, and digitize institutional records from the institution’s founding in 1731 through 1881.

Life in Philadelphia Collection
Collection of primarily racist social caricatures lampooning the etiquette and conventions of early 19th-century, middle-class Philadelphians, particularly the growing community of free African American persons. Eliciting the heightened racism in the antebellum North, the African American men, women, and children characters are depicted with exaggerated features, wearing boldly-patterned and colored clothes, and speaking in a vernacular to be portrayed and denigrated as illegitimate elite society. Caricatures address courtship, consumerism, society balls, fashion, freemasonry, and the election of Andrew Jackson. Some caricatures also represent the sexism of the era. Originally published in Philadelphia as a set of fourteen prints; the first eleven were issued in 1828 and 1829 by William Simpson, a proprietor of a "fancy store." Sarah Hart and Son, stationers, published plates 12 and 13 in 1829. The last plate was issued by Sarah Hart alone in 1830. Probably in 1830 Sarah Hart reprinted the entire series. Additional African American caricatures by Clay, "Sketches of Character. At Home. Abroad," "The Dead Cut," "Back to Back," and "Philadelphia Fashions" published between 1829 and 1837 have generally been accepted and are identified as a part of the series., LCP holds entire series. Ten of the fourteen are first editions and four are reprints. LCP AR [Annual Report] 1967 p. 51-53; 1968 p. 18-20. Nancy Reynolds Davison's E.W. Clay: American Political Caricaturist of the Jacksonian Era. (PhD. diss., The University of Michigan, 1980), p. 85-100. Nancy R. Davison, ‘E.W Clay’s Life in Philadelphia: A Moment in Time,’ Imprint: Journal of the American Historical Print Collector’s Society (Autumn 2018), p. 2-29. Jean Fagen Yellin and John Van Horne, eds. The Abolitionist Sisterhood (Ithaca: Cornell University Press in cooperation with the Library Company of Philadelphia, 1994), p. 218-222. Jasmine Cobb, Picture freedom: Remaking Black visuality in the 19th century (New York: New York University Press, 2015), p. 148-220. Bulk of collection was accessioned in 1999. One print (5656.F.39) accessioned in 1893. Several of the prints were acquired and/or accessioned between 1968 and 1971. Added to African Americana Digital Collection through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of the Commonwealth Libraries, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, Governor, 2013-2014.

Louella: Home of J. Henry Askin Album
Album containing 27 photographs showing the grounds and residence of the estate in Radnor Township, later Wayne, Pa.

McAllister & Brother Church Photograph Collection
The McAllister & Brother firm descended from the Scottish émigré´ John McAllister Sr. (1786-1866) who operated a store in Philadelphia from the late eighteenth throughout the nineteenth century. The business, originally a cane and whip manufactory, evolved over the years to become a spectacle shop and later the premier opticians’ shop of the city. The shop sold lenses, cameras, and stereoviewers and served a major role in the development and the promotion of early photography. The McAllister & Brother Stereograph Collection comprises some of the oldest photographic views of Philadelphia church exteriors and interiors. Issued circa 1860-circa 1863, the photographs provide images of such prominent religious structures as Christ Church, St. Peter’s Church, Gloria Dei, and St. Mark’s Church.

McAllister Civil War Prints, Ephemera, and Scrapbooks
The McAllister Graphics Collection of prints, ephemera, and scrapbooks reflect the collecting efforts of Philadelphia antiquarian John A. McAllister (1822-1896) during the Civil War. The Civil War graphics include prints and photographs of camps, forts and battlefields; political cartoons; portraiture; certificates; architectural and engineering plans; textiles and ephemera. A large segment of the prints are lithographic views of camps and battle scenes, with over 100 printed by the Philadelphia printer L.N. Rosenthal and New York firm Currier & Ives as well as a small number printed on textiles by Boston Chemical Printing Company. Also significant is the Civil War ephemera, which includes envelopes, stationery, and paper novelties such as toy soldiers. The Civil War Envelope and Stationery collections contain over 7,000 items illustrated with patriotic designs and slogans. Several envelopes by prolific publishers King & Baird and Charles Magnus are included in this collection. A smaller ephemera collection is the Civil War paper soldiers. The paper toys, a small number published by McLoughlin Bros. and G. Heerbrandt, depict soldiers from over a dozen different New York regiments. Three scrapbooks of Civil War envelopes and portrait prints and photographs of prominent military and political figures also comprise collection.

McAllister Family Collection
The McAllister family's original and transcribed correspondence, receipts, certificates, and Library Company membership shares, 19th century.

James McClees Philadelphia Photograph Collection
James McClees (1821-1887), a pioneer Philadelphia photographer, produced a significant number of the oldest paper photographs held in the graphics collection. The views, dated 1853-1859, depict prominent residential, public, and commercial buildings that document the changing architectural landscape of the city of Philadelphia. A large number of the images show churches and educational institutions, including Seventh Presbyterian Church, Dr. Chamber’s Independent Church, the Fourth Baptist Church, Central High School, Jefferson Medical College, and the Spring Garden Institute. In addition, views of the Old London Coffee House, the Graff house, the State House, and Chestnut Street Theatre record the historic city that was becoming overshadowed by newer construction such as the Farmers and Mechanics Bank, Spring Garden Institute, and the West Philadelphia Water Works. McClees also photographed prominent residences; bridges over the Schuylkill; the aftermath of the 1856 fire at Sixth and Market streets; businesses and industries, including his daguerreotype studio; cemeteries, theaters; hotels; the Fairmount Water Works; and the Academy of Natural Sciences. A series of panoramic views of the city from the State House steeple forms the collection as well.

Mary McPhilomy Portrait Photograph Album
Portraits, including Catholic priests, compiled by Philadelphia resident Mary McPhilomy, ca. 1865-ca. 1920.

Memories of the home of Grandma Lewis Scrapbook
Memory album compiled by Lewis containing written narratives, photographs, watercolors, textiles, drawings, prints and ephemera documenting her marriage, early married life, households and residences, and family events and excursions between 1851 and the 1890s. Specific narrative topics include the Lewis's honeymoon to Niagara; the death of their parents the Larcombes and John F. and Eliza Lewis; the birth of grandchildren; the method and style of interior decoration of their residences at Sixteenth and Walnut streets (1851-1855), 325 South Eighteenth Street (1855-1874), and 1834 DeLancey Place (1874-1915); the Civil War, Sanitary Fair, and Centennial Exhibition (1876); their religious life in the First Baptist Church; club meetings of the Lewis children when older and parlor "teas"; recreational activities, including sailing and skating on the Schuylkill River, carriage and horse back rides, excursions to Broad Top Mountain House (Pa.), and visits to their summer residences in Wallingford and the Bryn Mawr Hotel; boarding near Bryn Mawr ("Eachus Place") and the Delaware Water Gap ("Mr. Croasdale"); Anne and G. Albert's European trip (1891); and family pets.

Peter Moran Sketchbooks
Pencil sketches and watercolors of bucolic scenes and animal and human figure studies by Philadelphia landscape artist Peter Moran, 1882.

Marriott C. Morris Collection
Collection of over 2500 glass and film negatives, photographic prints, and lantern slides taken by amateur Philadelphia photographer Marriott C. Morris (1863-1948). A member of a prominent Quaker family descended from Philadelphia merchant Anthony Morris, Morris was also a philanthropist, executor and trustee of estates, and founder of the Germantown Boys’ Club. Images include formal and candid portraits of the extended Morris family and friends, views from family travels to Bermuda, the Poconos, and the family summer homes "Avocado" and “Cedar Mer” in Sea Girt, New Jersey. The collection also features numerous photographs of Germantown, including several depicting the exterior and interior of the family residence the Deshler-Morris House (5442 Germantown Ave) and Boys’ Parlor building and excursions. Other images depict Philadelphia and the nearby area, including Haverford College, Pelham (Philadelphia, Pa.), Cedar Grove (Montgomery County, Pa.), Delaware Water Gap, and Olney, Pa.; Haddonfield, N.J., Wilmington, De.; Catskills; the coast of Maine; Lake Hopatcong, N.J.; the Natural Bridge, Va.; Baltimore, Md.; West Point, N.Y.; the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893; views of railroad excursions, including the Catawissa Railroad and Shenandoah Valley Railroad; and Pennsylvania and New Jersey Friends’ meeting houses. Also contains a small number of negatives photographed by the photographer’s mother Martha Canby Morris, and his brother Samuel Canby Morris.

Nature Prints of Leaves Albums
Albums of predominantly nature prints of leaves produced by inking both sides of the specimen, placing it between a folded sheet of paper, and pulling the sheet through a printing press. Sheets contain one to several specimens (a few numbered) and several are annotated with the date of printing, inscriptions, and identifications of specimens. Some sheets contain manuscript notes about the provenance of and how the specimens were dried or inked, the condition of the leaves, their medicinal uses, and descriptions of the plants from which they came. Inscriptions of note include "Engraven by the Greatest and Best engraver in the Universe"(v. 1, p. 2); "... leaves dried and press'd in my Heap of News-Papers for 7 or 8 years" (v. 1, p. 43); "Done July 18th 1742, when I impress'd 6 or 8 sheets more for my Frd's Kent, Bard, Pratt, Browne, Shoemaker, &" (v. 1, p. 74); "These were done in my new Press which Joseph Watkins made & now brought Home 2nd of May 1734" (v. 1, p. 94); "Done July 1st 1744 with L' & Vel't B'll"(v. 1, p. 95) and "From Jno. Bartram 18th Augst. 1734. The most excellent remedy for the bite of a Rattlesnake - Sysimachia Quadrafolia - 1st 7br 1734 - "An Indian specific for fevers and aguas [sic] and a substitute for tea [I think Green]" - "From Peter Sonmans (who brought it from Albany). Done 31st Augst. 1734. A famous Snake weed" - "Mem the other Side I sent to Peter Collinson, June 1735" (v.2, p. 58).