Hands-On Tour: Love Letters

Date / Time

  • June 23, 2017
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join us for this rare peek into some of the most personal and emotional writing in our collections. The Rosenbach is home to a variety of love letters, including the aching yearnings of poet John Keats, the dying wishes of a Civil War soldier, correspondence from Marlene Dietrich to Mercedes DeAcosta, and handwritten pages from James Joyce’s Ulysses.






Hands On Tour: James Joyce and Irish Authors

Date / Time

  • June 9, 2017
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Rosenbach is well known for the works of James Joyce and Bram Stoker, but the “English Literature” collections include many other notable Irish authors as well. In addition to Ulysses and Dracula, we’ll read and handle works by some of these others, and look at their connections and influences extending from Thomas Jefferson and Moby Dick to the present day.






Hands-On Tour: Dracula

Date / Time

  • June 2, 2017
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Get up close and personal with Bram Stoker’s handwritten notes (character and chapter outlines, chronologies, and more!) for Dracula as Rosenbach staff explore what it takes to create an enduring monster.






“Cant” Stop Wondering about Criminal Slang?

One of the first things you may see when you enter Clever Criminals and Daring Detectives is a wall of extremely odd words in bold typography: Peg tantrums. Tip the velvet. Potatoe trap. What could these strange expressions mean? These colorful idioms come from A Dictionary of the Slang and Cant Languages by George Andrews …

The Trials of William Blake in Three Books

Some good news for William Blake fans: the William Blake Archive is online, and our Recent Acquisitions from the Bequest of Maurice Sendak exhibition has been extended through May 28, so you have another month to feast your eyes on some of Blake’s most beautiful engravings. The three works by Blake on display in our …

5 Questions with Michael Sims

A series of informal, intimate talks given by literary and cultural luminaries, In Conversation with the Rosenbach delves into fascinating histories, intellectual curiosities, and inspiring ideas. Each program offers the audience a chance to join the conversation after the talk and share their own thoughts and questions. In conjunction with our Clever Criminals and Daring …

Not by Shakespeare: The White Devil by John Webster

Date / Time

  • May 11, 2017
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • May 17, 2017
    8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Authored by masterful playwright (and contemporary of Shakespeare) John Webster, The White Devil is loosely based on a murder and trial in Italy 1585. Webster’s Italian courtiers seethe, cavort, and kill, but their schemes serve a covert purpose in satirizing the English royal court of his own day. This program features a one-time discussion of The White Devil, followed by a group trip to see the play as performed by The Philadelphia Artists Collective at the Broad Street Ministry.






Hands-on Tour: Sleuths and Spies

Date / Time

  • May 26, 2017
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The game is afoot to ferret out the realm of detective and spy literature at the Rosenbach. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to explore items including early mystery stories, a manuscript of Joseph Conrad’s Secret Agent, and an album belonging to a female Civil War spy. Synchronize your watches to 1500 hours and join us!






Hands-On Tour: Shaping Shakespeare

Date / Time

  • May 19, 2017
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

When is Shakespeare not Shakespeare? And what is a folio, anyway? After seeing some of Shakespeare’s earliest printings and books that inspired his plots, we’ll explore how his work has fared at the hands of actors, editors, and forgers.






Hands-On Tour: Charles Dickens (CANCELLED)

Date / Time

  • May 5, 2017
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Even if you’ve never read a line of Charles Dickens’s work, you know some of his creations. In this tour we’ll look at the original portrayals of Oliver Twist, Scrooge, and other memorable characters. Through manuscripts, letters, and other documents we’ll follow their creator’s progress from ambitious unknown to international celebrity.