Mission & History

Mission:

The Rosenbach seeks to inspire curiosity, inquiry, and creativity by engaging broad audiences in exhibitions, programs, and research based on its remarkable and expanding collections.

History:

The Rosenbach Museum & Library was founded in 1954 through a testamentary gift by Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach (1876-1952) and his brother, Philip (1863-1953). Renowned dealers in books, manuscripts, and fine art, the brothers played a central role in the development of private libraries that later became our nation’s most important public collections of rare books, such as the Folger and Huntington Libraries. The brothers’ own personal collection, now the core of the Rosenbach, features treasures the brothers were unable to part with, including the only surviving copy of Benjamin Franklin’s firstPoor RichardAlmanacand the manuscript of James Joyce’sUlysses. The collection has since grown to include the papers of poet Marianne Moore, Bram Stoker’s notes forDracula, and the drawings of Maurice Sendak, adding richness and relevance to the experience of visiting the Rosenbach.

The Rosenbach brothers’ 1865 townhouse at 2010 Delancey Place is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features an official marker placed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in recognition of the enduring legacy of the Rosenbach brothers. Since 2003, the adjacent Maurice Sendak Building offers spaces for public programs and exhibitions.

 

To download a pdf of our brochure, please click here.