Catalogs, Databases, & Collections Guides

Rosenbach catalog records may include harmful or offensive content. Please refer to the Rosenbach’s statement on reparative cataloging and potentially harmful content for more information.

Phil: Object Catalog

The Rosenbach’s collections database, Phil, is the best starting point for users who want to explore our extensive collections of fine and decorative arts, photographs, rare books, and manuscripts.

We recommend running a keyword search, but you may also search the catalog for specific objects, subjects, or artists/authors.

Please note that the Rosenbach’s cataloging efforts are a work in progress–some records are brief, preliminary, and not standardized. If you have any questions about collections objects or their catalog records, please submit a collections inquiry.

Rosy: Library Catalog

Most of the Rosenbach’s rare books remain cataloged in our card catalog system, which is available to on-site researchers, but Rosy is the growing online catalog of the Rosenbach library collection. To date, you will find detailed records for most of the Rosenbach’s manuscripts and approximately 60% of the printed books in the Marianne Moore Collection.

If you do not find what you are looking for in Phil, Rosy, or one of the Collections Guides below, please submit a collections inquiry.

Collections Guides & Finding Aids

Collections guides offer researchers a lens through which segments of our collection can be viewed, whether that might be objects, photographs, books, or manuscripts. These guides comprise works by and about a specific person, family, population, or subject.

Finding aids describe an archival collection.

Other Resources for Rosenbach Collections 


Our Rosenblog is a wonderful way to explore the Rosenbach collections. Members of the Rosenstaff regularly contribute long-form pieces about their projects, archive finds, little-known historical tales, and much more. You can also search our blog by topic or keyword. 

Digitized collections

Different portions of the Rosenbach collection have been digitized as part of special projects and can be found below. Scans and photographs of specific materials may be requested through the Images and Permissions page.

Today in the Civil War

The Rosenbach’s collections are rich in important materials related to the Civil War, including letters and documents by Lincoln, Grant, Lee, and many other political and military leaders; as well as materials about slavery and abolition. Today in the Civil War: Dispatches from the Rosenbach Collection reproduced Civil War-era documents from the Rosenbach collection 150 years after they were originally created.  Each is accompanied by a transcript, either full or partial, depending on the length of the document. Items bearing an exact date (e.g. letters, newspapers) were posted on that date. Material where only the year is known (e.g. books) were posted during the appropriate year. Items which date from the Civil War period but do not have a specific date (e.g. photographs) appeared from time to time as well.

MO: Manuscripts Online

Manuscripts Online is a searchable database of a small number of selected manuscripts available in full, searchable text and high-resolution images. Here you will find a rich and varied collection of manuscripts illuminating the personal and professional lives of some of the most important figures in American history, including Abraham Lincoln, Robert Morris, and George Washington.   

Although they are not currently online, digitized scans of other manuscripts may be available. Please search Phil for our manuscript collection and then complete an image request. 

Marianne Moore Digital Archive

In partnership with the Marianne Moore Digital Archive at the University at Buffalo, select Marianne Moore notebooks from our collection have been digitized. Moore scholars are using the digital images to transcribe the contents, which include notes on the vast array of reading, lectures, conversations, and other sources from which Moore drew inspiration for her poems; as well as drafts of some of the poems themselves. 

The Rosenbach’s extensive Marianne Moore collection is not fully represented in the MMDA, nor are all of her correspondents represented in the Guide to Marianne Moore Holdings in the Rosenbach.

Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis 

Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis (Bibliophilly) is a project of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries. It contains digital editions of more than 400 western European medieval and early modern codices, plus selected leaves and cuttings from fifteen PACSCL member institutions, including the Rosenbach.  

Here you will find the Rosenbach’s 31 medieval and Renaissance manuscripts have been fully digitized. The images are available for free viewing and downloading and are provided under a Creative Commons license for you to reuse in any way you wish. 

This project was generously funded by a grant from the Hidden Collections initiative of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The Hidden Collections initiative in turn is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

Philadelphia Area Archives

The Philadelphia Area Archives site, formerly the Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal (PAARP) and PACSCL Finding Aids Site, provides access to descriptions of more than 5,000 collections from over 200 regional institutions. Please note: the Rosenbach’s finding aids are not currently online through PAA.


The following resources provide detailed content about some of the Rosenbach’s literary manuscripts, particularly its commonplace books.

Union First Line Index of English Verse 

Although the Rosenbach is not listed as a major repository, the Union First Line Index, hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, D.C.), contains entries for all the poems in the Rosenbach’s twelve 17th-century commonplace books, searchable by first line, author, title, shelfmark, and keyword. 

Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700 (CELM) 

Detailed descriptions of the Rosenbach’s complete holdings of selected British authors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Search for the Rosenbach on the Repositories page.

If you need further assistance, the collections staff also welcomes and answers brief inquiries from off-site researchers by phone, e-mail, or via our on-line Collections-Based Inquiries form.