RLG Programs 2008 Annual Partners Meeting Agenda

Optional Half-Day Institutional Visits
Thursday, June 5

Time Event

10:00 a.m.–Noon

Tour of The Library Company of Pennsylvania, an RLG Partner Institution
1314 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 546-3181
Fax: (215) 546-5167

The Library Company is America's oldest cultural institution, founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin and a group of his friends as a subscription library. From the Revolutionary War to 1800, when the national government was located in Philadelphia, the Library Company served as the de facto library of Congress, and until the Civil War it was the largest public library in America. The Library Company's collections grew with the nation and reflected the country's many faces and varied interests during its formative years.

Specializing in all aspects of American history and culture from the 17th–19th centuries, the Library Company now houses an extensive collection of approximately 500,000 rare books, broadsides, graphics, ephemera, manuscripts and works of art. The 1950s marked the Library Company's transformation into a modern research library, and at that time it began aggressively adding to its collections and our programming in order to better serve the public and new generations of researchers. Its primary building is located next door to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to facilitate cross-collection research, and its publications and Web site make materials available to researchers anywhere.

2:00–4:00 p.m.

Tour of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 732-6200
Fax: (215) 732-2680

Founded in 1824 in Philadelphia, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest historical societies in the United States and holds many national treasures. The Society's building, designed by Addison Hutton and listed on the City of Philadelphia's Register of Historical Places, houses some 600,000 printed items and over 19 million manuscript and graphic items. The Society is one of the largest family history libraries in the nation, has preeminent printed collections on Pennsylvania and regional history, and offers superb manuscript collections renowned for their strength in 17th–, 18th–, and 19th–century history.

With the addition of the holdings of The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in 2002 (and those of The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in 2006 through a Strategic Alliance Agreement), the Society has become a chief center for the documentation and study of the ethnic communities and immigrant experiences shared by people whose American history began more recently-between the late nineteenth century and our own times. Together these holdings, old and new, make the Society one of the nation's most important special collections libraries—a center of historical documentation and study, education, and engagement.