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, but Rosy is the growing catalog of the Rosenbach library collection. To date you will find detailed records for the Rush-Williams-Biddle Family Papers and approximately 60% of the printed books in the Marianne Moore Collection.

Records for the majority of the Rosenbach’s manuscript collections are temporarily housed in Phil. Some manuscript collections also include photographs; these can be also be searched and viewed in Phil.

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

You can find help for using Rosy with the Help link in every screen. See also our page of Tips for Using Rosy for information about some of the specialized indexes.

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.

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.  If your requested manuscripts are not currently available, they can be scanned for you once we return to our normal operating hours. 


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 to our blog about their projects, archive finds, little-known historical tales, and much more. You can also search our blog by topic or keyword. 

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. If you don’t find what you’re looking for please contact the collections staff with this form.  

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 here

The images 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. 

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. Learn more

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. Click here for a list of included authors.

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. 


PACSCL Finding Aids

Created and hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries catalog presents finding aids (or guides to the collections) and not facsimiles of manuscripts, images, and other archival material. Unless specifically noted, the holdings described within the guides are physically available in the respective reading rooms of the participating repositories, and not digitally available through the web.

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.