Iconographic Treasures at the Library Company of Philadelphia

In the summer of 1731, Benjamin Franklin later re­counted in his autobiography, “I set on foot my first Proj­ect of a public Nature, that for a Subscription Library.” He encouraged fifty subscribers to contribute forty shillings each for the purchase of books that were considered indispen­sable to colonial Americans, but were generally too expensive for any one individual alone to...
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A Country Seat on the Susquehanna: Wright’s Ferry Mansion

On the eastern bank of the Susquehanna River in southeastern Pennsylvania, ten miles west of Lancaster, Wright’s Ferry Man­sion was built in 1738 for a remarkable English Quaker, Susanna Wright. In 1726, when Susanna was twenty-nine, she purchased one hundred acres in this region on the fringes of Pennsylvania wilderness, then inhabited by a small tribe of Indians and known as...
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A Treasure Trove of Books

Considered one of the finest repositories of rare books in the nation, the Rare Book Collection of the State Library of Pennsylvania was, at its conception, nothing more than an accumulation of law books necessary for the founding fathers to organize and govern the province. In­deed, for two more centuries, the collection of rarities and unique volumes, as it is known and safeguarded today, was...
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A Salute to the Bicentennial of the Keystone State

The current Bicentennial celebration commemorates not the birth of the United States, but the proclama­tion of thirteen British-American colonies that were “free and independent states” as of July 4, 17.76. When they formed a loose compact in 1761, their articles of confederation declared that “each state retains its sover­eignty, freedom and independence.” The...
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The African-American Clan

Recent publications and media presentations have spurred an unusual interest in genealogical research. This enthusiasm extends from the academic community to large numbers of lay people who are attempting to retrace their roots. As is well known, genealogical research in its simplest form results in the ability to construct a blood-line tree that presents the kinship relationships between people...
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Shorts

Fort Hunter Day, a celebra­tion of autumn, will be hosted on Sunday, September 19 [1993], from 10 A. M. to 5 P. M. by Fort Hunter Mansion and Park. The event, free and open to the public, will feature crafts show and demonstrations, carriage rides, period entertainment, and numerous activities designed especially for children. Also featured throughout the day will be demonstrations of...
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Currents

Fancy That! “Capricious Fancy: Draping and Curtaining, 1790-1930,” an exhibition tracing the history of design sources for draping and curtaining American and European interiors during the span of nearly one hundred and fifty years, will open at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia on Monday, December 6 [1993]. On view will be a selection of rare books, prints, and trade catalogues drawn...
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Currents

Feathered Friends An exhibition entitled “Fine Feathered Friends: Rare Ornithological Books from the Francis R. Cope, Jr., Collec­tion” will open at the Library Company of Philadelphia on Monday, April 25 [1994]. The collection contains major works by the most important ornithologists of the nine­teenth century, including John James Audubon, John Gould, Daniel Giraud Elliot, and R....
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Shorts

Nearly one hundred watercolors and drawings of fruits, flowers, ani­mals, and saints by artists working in the cities of Jaipur and Bikaner, India, will remain on view at the Carnegie Mellon University’s Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation through Friday, February 24, 1995. The exhibition of natural history works of art features pieces created in Rajasthan, the desert state of...
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Shorts

“Making History,” a major exhibit illustrating how evidence from the past is discovered in documents, books, artifacts, objects, and photographs at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, will remain on view through Saturday, May 27 [1995]. The exhibit will also examine the ways in which selections drawn from the society’s extensive holdings have been used to...
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