The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

American history starts here, at 13th and Locust Streets

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Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Historical Society
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Research is the main purpose of the handsome, monumental Reading Room at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, but large exhibition cases are carefully installed for the walk-in visitor.

The century-old, brick and marble building in Midtown Village houses approximately 560,000 printed books and 19 million manuscript items, including William Penn’s archives.

The Historical Society counts a printer’s proof of the Declaration of Independence, Martha Washington’s cookbook, muster rolls of the Union Army, and General George Meade’s account of the Battle of Gettysburg among its many treasures.

Special exhibitions throughout the year highlight the collection’s strengths, and occasional evening programs feature notable speakers, including historians, authors and archeologists.

The Experience

The Historical Society maintains 560,000 printed books and 19 million manuscripts.

Nearly every topic in American history is represented at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

In addition to its millions of books and manuscripts, the Historical Society boasts an extensive autograph collection of famous Americans and Europeans, 35,000 prints and maps, 20,000 watercolors and drawings, 250,000 photographs, and thousands of broadsides, sheet music and ephemera.

The History

The American Revolution was fading from memory after nearly 50 years, and Philadelphians preserved the past by saving papers, portraits and even furniture. More than a century and three-quarters later, the massive collection was augmented by a merger with the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies.

Hotel Deal

Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through June 15, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as a $25 We ♥ 13th Street restaurants gift card, a $25 CHeU Noodle restaurants gift card, a $25 gift card to R2L, a free cheesesteak from Campo's and a $10 Lyft credit.

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