Library Tours

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Philadelphia is full of historic, treasured libraries and these tours will provide you the opportunity to visit some of our country's oldest and most valued library collections and antiques. There is no charge to participate, however, two tours require the purchase of public transportation tokens. It is recommended that you purchase these tokens in advance. Advance registration is required for all tours by June 22 and is on a first-come/first-serve basis. Due to limited availability, please sign up for only one tour. Tours are subject to cancellation if there is insufficient registration.

Tours will begin at the AALL Hospitality Desk in the Pennsylvania Convention Center 10 minutes prior to the event departure time listed below. Attendee badges and photo IDs may be required for tour participation.  

Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library: German Society of Pennsylvania
Fisher Fine Arts Library: University of Pennsylvania
Theodore F. Jenkins Memorial Law Library - FULL
Saul Ewing Library
The Library Company of Philadelphia - FULL
The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia
- tour on your own



Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library: German Society of Pennsylvania 
Saturday, July 18 • 9:30-11:00 a.m.


Both a lending library and a research facility, this library is housed in an original 1888 reading room built for that purpose and recently restored by the Society. The library houses more than 60,000 volumes of which three-quarters are in German. It is considered the largest (non-university) private collection of German books in the United States.

Transportation:  Participants will walk roughly 10 minutes each way with an escort and take bus #23 with two tokens ($3.60). 
Maximum number of participants: 19


Fisher Fine Arts Library: University of Pennsylvania 
Sunday, July 19 • 12:30-2:00 p.m.

Originally built in the late 19th century as the University of Pennsylvania's primary library, Fisher is now the university's art library with collections including architecture, historic preservation and art history. Fisher was designed by Philadelphia-based Victorian architect Frank Furness and is a National Historic Landmark.

Transportation:  Participants will walk roughly 10 minutes each way with an escort and take the Market Frankfurt Line subway with two tokens ($3.60).
Maximum number of participants: 19 


Theodore F. Jenkins Memorial Law Library - FULL
Monday, July 20 • 11:15-12:30 p.m. 


Founded in 1802, this is the United States' oldest law library. Jenkins provides service to the public and members of the Philadelphia Bar Association, though it is not supported by money from the Bar. Jenkins houses a fine portrait gallery and its collection of over 300,000 volumes includes extensive current materials as well as centuries-old rare materials. 

Transportation:  Participants will walk roughly 15 minutes each way with an escort.
Maximum number of participants:  19 - This tour has reached capacity.


Saul Ewing Library
Tuesday, July 21 • 11:00-12:30 p.m.


The Saul Ewing Library is one of the largest private law libraries in Philadelphia with roots that can be traced to attorney and art collector John G. Johnson, the most prominent and influential Philadelphia lawyer of the late 19th century. Visit this 94 year-old law library's collection and appreciate its magnificent views.

Transportation:  Participants will walk roughly 10 minutes each way with an escort.
Maximum number of participants:  19 


The Library Company of Philadelphia - FULL
Tuesday, July 21 • 2:30-4:00 p.m.


The Library Company is America's first successful lending library and oldest cultural institution. It was found in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin as a subscription library supported by its shareholders, as it is to this day.

Transportation:  Participants will walk roughly 10 minutes each way with an escort.
Maximum number of participants:  19 - This tour has reached capacity.



The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphiatour on your own
2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia

Although The Rosenbach was unable to organize a group tour, they offer free admission to any AALL attendees with a conference badge.

Transportation:  Accessible on Bus #17 with two tokens at $3.60 (roundtrip). 
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