The Rosenbach Presents Virtual Programs And Resources During Closure [press release]

For release: immediately

PHILADELPHIA, May 15, 2020—The Rosenbach’s mission is to foster inquiry, learning, and creativity and although our doors are temporarily closed, our collections are still ready to be discovered. The Rosenbach currently offers new resources for students in grades 3-12; free Behind the Bookcase virtual tours to glimpse the 400,000+ object collection of books, manuscripts, and art; growing online literary communities related to collections highlights like Ulysses and Dracula; and much more.

At-home learning resources for studentsThe Rosenbach posts weekly curriculum-based lessons and hands-on activities for families with children in grades 3-12 to help them connect with The Rosenbach’s extraordinary collection of historic letters and rare books. When possible, we will make connections with existing online curriculum. Lessons include units on John Tenniel’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, Phillis Wheatley’s poetry and public image as the first published black poet, Abraham Lincoln’s handwritten manuscript for the Baltimore Address, letters written by George Washington to his brother, and much more.

Virtual programmingThe Rosenbach has launched a series of virtual programs including an in-depth, chapter-by-chapter look at Bram Stoker’s Dracula along with the author’s notes in Sundays with Dracula every Sunday now through November 2020 at 2:00 p.m.; an online communal meeting of our popular Shakespeare Read-Alouds every other Saturday at 1:00 p.m.; and virtual previews of our signature Behind the Bookcase tours like the upcoming 20th Century Gay and Lesbian Lives on May 28 at 12:30 p.m.; and more.

Online literary community: More than 900 people have joined Ulysses Every Day, a new reading challenge created by The Rosenbach to encourage new readers and literary lovers alike to finish James Joyce’s epic Ulysses ahead of Bloomsday on June 16, the day the novel is set in 1904. Every day, a video is posted of a follower from around the globe reading an excerpt from the book. Followers are encouraged to react, respond, and engage with their fellow readers in the Facebook group.

Virtual Bloomsday Festival: As we all strive to limit the impact of COVID-19, we are transitioning our annual Bloomsday Festival into an online format. This yearly festival on Delancey Place is an all-day marathon reading of Ulysses. This year, we’re pleased that the Ulysses Every Day group has captured much of the same spirit of the festival and we are looking forward to a day of new content and surprise guests on Tuesday, June 16. Viewers can tune in online and The Rosenbach’s social media channels.

Access to digital collections and exhibitionsThe Rosenbach is home to a collection of more than 400,000 objects. On our website you’ll find a robust list of catalogs, databases, and collections guides along with our new Gallery Gateway online exhibitions portal. A hybrid of a traditional catalog and a virtual exhibition, The Rosenbach’s Gallery Gateway transforms on-site exhibition content into a readily accessible digital resource.

Full content can be found online.


The Rosenbach is a rare book library and historic house museum which offers tours, exhibitions, public programs, and research opportunities. An affiliate of the Free Library of Philadelphia, The Rosenbach seeks to inspire curiosity, inquiry, and creativity by engaging broad audiences in its remarkable and expanding collections. The combined holdings of The Rosenbach and the Free Library of Philadelphia—which include hundreds of thousands of rare books, manuscripts, and ephemera—inspire unique exhibitions and programs throughout the year.