NEWS: December 2008

Vol. 1, No. 12

In This Issue:

Athenaeum in December 1955


Holiday and Snow Closing reminders

Please remember that the Athenaeum will be closed for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and December 26th. We will also close for New Year’s Day, but will re-open for January 2nd and 3rd (First Saturday, 10am to 2pm). Although we haven’t had any major snowfalls yet, please also remember that if the Philadelphia public schools close, so does the Athenaeum.


Reference Room to close from December 22 – January 20
The Athenaeum's Reference Department will close at the end of business on Friday, December 19th and will reopen on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. During this time, there will be no appointments available for research, but the reference staff will respond to inquiries made by mail and email. The Regional Digital Imaging Center will remain open during this time. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

Banner Image: Athenaeum in December 1955.

New Staff

Lois R. Reibach has joined the Athenaeum as Part-Time Cataloger. Prior to coming to the Athenaeum staff, she worked as Technical Services and Catalog Librarian at the Lutheran Theological Seminary. For all of you interested in the business of libraries and of cataloging, Lois is also the author of a blog on cataloging, “Collocate and Disambiguate” at

Photo by Jim Carroll.


Decorative Arts Detectives

University of the Arts graduate student Christine McMonagle and Athenaeum volunteer Mary Ellen Weber have been entering Athenaeum decorative arts records into Past Perfect, a program that will allow the Athenaeum to better manage its decorative and fine arts collections and share them with the world. Both Christine and Mary Ellen have been acting as decorative arts detectives, tracking down objects, matching them to their accession numbers, and making new digital images of each. They have based their work on the detailed records compiled by former Executive Director Roger W. Moss, whose research has greatly aided this project. Christine McMonagle comes to us this semester as a graduate assistant in the Museum Communications program at the University of the Arts.


Above: Chiron & Apollo, bronze, late 19th century. Photo by Jim Carroll.


"Kelty" Open House, Tour and Lecture

Designed in 1897 by William L. Price as his own residence, Kelty is a wonderful example of Tudor Revival style and combines many of the features of the Arts & Crafts style that would soon become the focus of Price’s life and work. One of the most unusual features of the house is the 1500 square foot third floor that encompasses Price’s studio, a ballroom and a stage where his “Seekers After Knowledge” performed. Since 1973, Kelty has been the home of Athenaeum Literary Award Winner, the late Chaim Potok and his wife, Adena. 

Architectural Historian George E. Thomas, author of Arts and Crafts to Modern Design William L. Price, will speak on the importance of the house in Price’s nationally influential career.

Date: December 13, 2008

Time: 1:00-3:30

Lecture at 2:00
Guided Tours at 1:30 and 2:45

Light Refreshments will be served

Location: 20 Berwick Road, Merion Station, PA

Cost: $25 per person


Proceeds benefit The Athenaeum of Philadelphia.

Click here for additional information and registration information.

Sponsored by Athenaeum member J. Scott Laughlin of Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors

Above: "Kelty" Courtesy Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, 2008.

Save the Date:  

December 6: First Saturday (Athenaeum Open 10:00-2:00).

December 9: Socrates Cafe, 11:00AM

December 13: "Kelty" House Tour

See the Event Calendar for details and additional events.

The Athenaeum is open 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday-Friday and 10:00AM-2:00PM on the first Saturday of each month. The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Group tours and research visits are by appointment only. Please visit our website for more information, or call 215-925-2688.


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