NEWS: February 2010

Vol. 3, No. 2

In This Issue:

Terrestrial Globe manufactured by Thomas Malby & Son (London, c.1867).



By now you should have received your Winter/Spring 2010 list of programs. If you have not, please either e-mail or call us so that we can send another out to you. I just want to clarify one item on the schedule where we have been receiving questions. Beginning with this season, we are initiating fees for non-members who want to attend our programs. Now, for most of you this does not pose any problems, but I do want to make sure that you understand that your membership (stockholding, subscriber, or associate) is a household membership. Therefore, if you are planning on bringing along a spouse, a child, a sibling, etc., who lives at the same address, you do not have to pay the extra fee. They are part of your household and, therefore, part of your membership. Please call if you have any questions.

A second point that I want to discuss is our upcoming book sale. We have been gathering books (both hardcover and paperback) for the sale, but we always need more. If you have books that you would like to contribute, please contact us; and we will arrange for a pickup. This will represent a charitable contribution to the Athenaeum, and you should receive a tax deduction for the gift. 


Thank you!



The Athenaeum will be closed on February 15th for President's Day.


Banner Image: Terrestrial Globe manufactured by Thomas Malby & Son (London, c.1867).

New Books for February

Athenaeum Bookshelf  02-2010

Thomas Fleming Lecture and Book Signing

Tom Fleming returns to the Athenaeum with his latest.  Here he examines the women who were at the center of the lives of the founding fathers.  Fleming takes us through a great deal of early American history, as his founding fathers strove to reconcile the private and public, often beset by a media every bit as gossip seeking and inflammatory as ours today.  He also offers a powerful look at the challenges women faced in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  




February 24, 2010

5:30 PM


Free to Members  (Contact Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or to RSVP)


All others $10, Register Here


Wi-Fi Now Available In the Reading Rooms

Wireless internet access is now available in the Members' Reading Room, the Busch Room and the Chess Room.  Visit the circulation or reference desks to obtain the password.




Coming Soon

Inspired by the success of our “Enchanting Simplicity” exhibition showcasing children’s books in the Athenaeum collections, Claudia McGill has given the Athenaeum a collection of contemporary children’s books suitable for circulation. These will be shelved in the Reading Room once they are catalogued, and we encourage members with children or members with children visiting to come in and borrow a book. We are delighted to offer this service to our members and grateful to Claudia McGill and her family for thinking of us in this way.

New Book Available on Architect Albert W. Leh

The Athenaeum is pleased to announce the publication of A Living Legacy: Architecture of A.W. Leh, by Kenneth Raniere, which examines the career of a prolific early twentieth-century Lehigh Valley architect.  Much of Mr. Raniere’s research was conducted at the Athenaeum and features beautiful modern exterior and interior photographs of surviving Leh buildings and scores of architectural drawings reproduced from the Athenaeum’s extensive archive of Leh materials. The Athenaeum acquired the Leh Collection in 1984 from member, Myles Pettengill. 

The book can be purchased from the Athenaeum's online bookstore.

Member Critics

Downey, Kirstin.  The Woman Behind the New Deal; The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience.

Frances Perkins qualifies as the unsung hero of the New Deal and her story is very relevant to today's politics. With the approval of President Roosevelt, she did the basic research, followed through and brought programs such as unemployment insurance, old age pensions, welfare, child labor laws and inspection of working conditions in mines and factories to fruition, after she became Labor Secretary in 1933, (the first woman appointee to a such a position). She was also involved in bringing about The Fair Labor Standards Act which brought about the minimum wage, the forty-hour workweek and paying for overtime. She was responsible for the enactment of all of the above while Franklin Delano Roosevelt took the credit. Universal Health Care was also on her agenda but WW II intervened. There is more, including a very complicated and challenging personal life and her close relationship with FDR.

Author Kirstin Downey balances her subject's personal life and political perspective very well, as her journalistic experience and awards would indicate. 

-Nancy Frenze 


Do you have a book that you loved (or hated), and would you be willing to share that opinion on the Athenaeum e-newsletter?  If so, please send your short essay to


Save the Date:  

February 6: First Saturday, Athenaeum open, 10:00am-2:00pm

February 10: Socrates Cafe, 11:00am.

February 24: Thomas Fleming, The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers. Lecture and Book Signing, 5:30pm

March 1: Coffee Day in Members' Reading Room


See the Event Calendar for details and additional events.

The Athenaeum is open 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday-Friday and the first Saturday of the month from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. 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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