In this issue:

Membership    ·    New Books    ·    Event Calendar

Banner Image: Engraving of The Athenaeum from Gleason's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion, 8/15/1854. Hand colored at a later date.

199th Annual Report

The 199th Annual Report is now available on the Athenaeum's website.  

Please click here

Upcoming Events

Lecture: Conor Lucey, “New Light on Owen Biddle, House Carpenter (1774-1806)."
Saturday, March 7, 1:30PM.  Athenaeum Members Free.  RSVP to or 215-925-2688.  All Others $10. Online payment

Socrates Cafe Discussion Group
Tuesday, March 10, 11:00AM. More Information. RSVP to

An armchair discussion with Peter Binzen, Jonathan Binzen and Deborah Dilworth Bishop. Richardson Dilworth: Last of the Bare Knuckled Aristocrats.
Wednesday, March 11, 5:30PM.  Athenaeum Members Free. RSVP to or 215-925-2688. All Others $10. Online payment.

The Annual Alvin Holm Lecture: Co-sponsored with the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, Philadelphia Chapter. Peter Pennoyer and Anne Walker, New York Transformed: The Architecture of Cross & Cross.
Thursday, March 12, 6:00PM.  Athenaeum and ICAA Philadelphia Members Free. RSVP to or 215-925-2688. All Others $10. Online payment.

Athenaeum Genealogy Group
Wednesday, March 18, 2:00-4:00PM.  More Information. Free.  Athenaeum Members Only.  RSVP to or 215-925-2688.

SOCIETY HILL-HOT AND HEALTHY!: Andrew B. Newberg, M.D., “How to Keep your Brain Healthy!”
Friday, March 20, 2015, 2:30 PM.  Free. RSVP to or 215-925-2688.

WORKSHOP: Amanda D’Amico, “Fun, Folded Instant Books”– Children’s Book Arts Workshop
Saturday, March 21, 2015, 1:00-3:00 PM. Free. RSVP to or 215-925-2688.

LECTURE: Sue Eisenfeld, Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 5:30 PM.  Athenaeum Members Free. RSVP to or 215-925-2688. All Others $10. Online payment.

Exhibition Opening: Yellowbacks: Don’t Judge These Victorian Books by Their Covers

Offered for an astounding price of one or two shillings, “yellowbacks” with their dramatic covers responded to rising literacy in England in the mid to late nineteenth century. Their eye-catching paper covers displayed dramatic scenes intended to draw the reader into the plot while the backs of the books advertised such popular products as Pears’ Soap. The Athenaeum owns over 100 “yellowback” titles, first intended as cheap reading for British travel. These were acquired as they were published in England, clearly indicating a stage in the development of the Athenaeum’s recreational reading collection.

Exhibition Dates: March 6 - March 31, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday, March 6, 2015, 5:00-7:00pm  Free.  RSVP to or 215-925-2688.

Member News

Athenaeum member Cynthia Connolly will participate in this One Book One Philadelphia event.

The History of Orphan Trains

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 7:00PM
National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut St.

Featured author Christina Baker Kline will discuss her research process in writing Orphan Train and give an in-depth historical overview of the real orphan trains, which transported thousands of children to the American Midwest between 1853 and 1929, showing rarely seen photographs of this social program. She will then be interviewed by Cynthia Connolly, Ph.D. RN, Associate Professor of Nursing and Senior Fellow at the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing and Co-Faculty Director of the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research. To RSVP (recommended) visit

New History Making Productions Webisodes

Based on research undertaken by Historical Preservationist John Gallery, History Making Productions has produced two new webisodes, one on the Philadelphia grid and the other on the plan that became the foundation for Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia: Planning a City 

Many cities are organized in a grid pattern, but do you know where that happened first? Learn about the Quaker roots of William Penn's plan to structure Philadelphia around a grid, and the successes and failures of that plan as the colony grew. Watch hereEducational Materials.

The Plan for Pennsylvania In 1687

William Penn was granted a tract of land in the New World. Learn how he took that swath of uncharted land and organized it into areas that we still recognize today. Watch hereEducational Materials.


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