The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia

A wonderland for lovers of books and antiques

1 of 1
Photo by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia
1 of 1

Location & Contact:

View All Info


Tucked away among the elegant 19th-century townhomes near Rittenhouse Square, The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia houses one of the world’s great collections of manuscripts, literature and rare books.

A list of some of the treasures amassed by the Rosenbach brothers is amazing in itself – Lewis Carroll’s own copy of Alice in Wonderland, a first edition of Don Quixote, James Joyce’s handwritten manuscript for Ulysses, and the earliest extant letter from George Washington.

The real treat is to see the works displayed among the Egyptian statuary, Persian rugs, 18th-century furniture and Thomas Sully paintings that graced the 1860s mansion during the Rosenbachs’ lifetime.

The library houses more than 130,000 manuscripts and 30,000 rare books and boasts the largest U.S. collection of miniature portraits painted in oil on metal.

The History

The Rosenbach houses more than 130,000 manuscripts and 30,000 rare books.

In 1954, after the deaths of the Rosenbach brothers – Dr. A.S.W., a dealer in rare books and manuscripts, and Philip, a dealer of fine arts and antiques – their individual libraries and collections were organized in the doctor’s townhouse. In 2002, The Rosenbach expanded into the historic house next door for more research and display space.

Don’t Miss

The entire Greenwich Village living room of poet Marianne Moore, complete with photographs of her beloved Brooklyn Dodgers, has been installed at the museum.


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.

Book Now

Stay in Touch

We apologize, something went wrong on our end. Please try again later.