List of libraries in 19th-century Philadelphia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The following is a list of libraries located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, active in the 19th century. Included are public libraries, academic libraries, medical libraries, church libraries, government libraries, circulating libraries, and subscription libraries.

Advertisement for John Phillips' circulating library, Philadelphia, 1806
Advertisement for Shallus's Circulating Library, Philadelphia, 1811
Apprentices Library, Philadelphia, 19th century
Mercantile Library, 19th century
Central High School, Philadelphia, c. 1852
Interior, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1859
Library Company of Philadelphia (built 1790). The library occupied this building until 1880[1]
Reading Room, YMCA, c. 1893
Women's Christian Association, c. 1894
Interior, American Philosophical Society, 1890s
  • Baptist Historical Society[8]
  • George E. Blake's circulating library[9]
  • Board of Missions of Presbyterian Church[2]
  • Boarding and Day School for Young Ladies[3]
  • Broad Street Academy Library[3]
  • Brotherhead's Circulating Library[9]
  • Burd Orphan Asylum[3]
  • Byberry Library[9]
  • Carpenters' Company[2][3]
  • Catholic Philopatrian Society[3]
  • Central High School[2][3]
  • Chalk's Circulating Library, North Third St.[9]
  • Challen's Circulating Library[10]
  • Chase's Circulating Library[11]
  • Chestnut Hill Free Library[5]
  • Chestnut St. Female Seminary[2]
  • Christ Church Hospital[3]
  • Christ Church Library[2]
  • Christian Hall Library Company[3]
  • Church of the Holy Apostle, Sunday School Library[3]
  • College Avenue Anat. School[2]
  • College of Physicians of Philadelphia[3]
  • College of St. Thomas of Villa Nova[2]
  • Colored Reading Society[12]
  • Controllers of Public Schools Library[2]
  • Edward Corfield's circulating library[13]
  • Disston Library[3]
  • Drexel Institute Library (est.1891)[14]
  • Institute for Colored Youth[2]
  • Institution for the Blind[2][3]
  • Institution for Deaf and Dumb[2]
  • Irish Library of the Cathedral[3]
  • James Page Library Company[3]
  • Jefferson Medical College[2]
  • Kensington Literary Institute (est.1853)[2][23]
  • La Salle College[3]
  • Law Association of Philadelphia[2][3]
  • Leopold's Circulating Library[10]
  • Library and Reading Room Association of 23rd Ward (est.1857)[23]
  • Library Association of Friends[2][3]
  • Library Company of Colored Persons[12]
  • Library Company of Philadelphia (est. 1731), also called the Philadelphia Library[2][3][7]
  • Library of Foreign Classical Literature and Science[23]
  • Library of the Four Monthly Meetings of Friends[2]
  • Lovett Memorial Free Library[5]
  • Mantua Academy[2]
  • Mariners' Church Library for Seamen[3]
  • Sarah McDonald's circulating library, S. 11th St.[25]
  • Mechanics' Institute of Southwark[2][3]
  • Medical Institute of Philadelphia[2]
  • Medico-Chirurgical College[2]
  • Memorial Free Library (Mount Airy)[3]
  • Mercantile Library Company[3][7]
  • Ann Miller's circulating library[25]
  • Moyamensing Literary Institute (est.1852)[2][3]
  • Mutual Library Co.[26]
  • New Church Book Association[3]
  • North Broad Street Select School[3]
  • Northern Dispensary of Philadelphia[3]
  • Northern Home[3]
  • Northern Liberties Franklin Library[2]
  • Northern Liberties Library and Reading Room Co. (est.1830)[23]
  • Numismatic and Antiquarian Society[3]
  • Odd Fellows' Library[3]
  • Page Library[2]
  • Peirce College of Business
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts[2]
  • Pennsylvania College, Medical Dept.[2]
  • Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery[2]
  • Pennsylvania Horticultural Society[2][3]
  • Pennsylvania Hospital Medical Library[2][3]
  • Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane[2][3]
  • Pennsylvania Institution for Deaf and Dumb[3]
  • Pennsylvania Seamen's Friend Society[2]
  • Philadelphia Board of Trade[3]
  • Philadelphia City Institute[2][3]
  • The Philadelphia Club Library[3]
  • Philadelphia College of Dental Surgery[2]
  • Philadelphia College of Medicine[2]
  • Philadelphia College of Pharmacy[2][3]
  • Philadelphia County Prison[3]
  • Philadelphia Divinity School[3]
  • Philadelphia Hospital Library[3]
  • Philadelphia Library Association of Colored Brethren[2]
  • Philadelphia Maritime Exchange[3]
  • Philadelphia Museum library[4]
  • Philadelphia Public Library (est.1892), administered by the city Board of Education. Also called City Library[14]
    • Branch no.1: Montgomery Ave. and 17th St.[5]
    • Branch no.2: Broad and Federal St.[5]
    • Branch no.3: Frankfort Ave.[5]
    • Branch no.4: Roxboro[5]
    • Branch no.5: West Philadelphia Institute, 40th St.[5]
    • Branch no.6: Main St. and Chelten Ave., Germantown[5]
  • Philadelphia School of Anatomy[2]
  • Philadelphia Seminary[3]
  • Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture[2]
  • Philadelphia Turngemeinde[3]
  • Philips' Circulating Library, Third St.[27]
  • John Phillips' circulating library, South Fourth St.
  • Polytechnic College[2]
  • Mrs. S. Potts' circulating library, Walnut St.[25]
  • Presbyterian Board of Publication[2][3]
  • Presbyterian Historical Society[2][3]
  • Presbyterian Home for Widows and Single Women[3]
  • Public Library for People of Color[2]
  • Roxborough Lyceum[3]
  • Teachers' Institute of Philadelphia[3]
  • Theological Seminary (Mount Airy)[3]
  • Theological Seminary Reformed Presbyterian Church[2]
  • Theological Seminary St. Charles of Boromeo[2]
  • Three Monthly Meetings of Friends[29]
  • Wagner Free Institute of Science[2][3]
  • Walnut St. Female Seminary[2]
  • West Philadelphia Institute[2][3]
  • Western Library Association of Philadelphia (est.1854)[23]
  • Wills Hospital[2]
  • Wilson's Circulating Library, South 11th St.[26]
  • Wistar Medical College[2]
  • Women's Christian Association[29][30]
  • Women's Hospital[29]


  1. ^ C.E. Peterson (1951). "The Library Hall: Home of the Library Company of Philadelphia, 1790-1880". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 95: 266–285. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz William Jones Rhees (1859), Manual of Public Libraries, Institutions, and Societies, Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., OCLC 3991453, OL 6937678M 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd Weston Flint (1893), "(Philadelphia)", Statistics of Public Libraries in the United States and Canada, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office 
  4. ^ a b c "Politics and Statistics: Pennsylvania", New England Magazine, September 1833 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n William E. Meehan (1896), Rand McNally and Company's Handy Guide to Philadelphia and Environs, NY: Rand McNally and Company 
  6. ^ J.F. Lewis (1924), History of the Apprentices' Library of Philadelphia 1820-1920, the Oldest Free Circulating Library in America, Philadelphia, OCLC 626688 
  7. ^ a b c d e McElroy's Philadelphia City Directory, Philadelphia: A. McElroy & Co., 1837, OCLC 81524238, OL 24395626M 
  8. ^ a b Taylor, ed. (1893), City of Philadelphia as it Appears in the Year 1893, Philadelphia: Trade League of Philadelphia; Geo. S. Harris & Sons, hdl:2027/nyp.33433081788949 
  9. ^ a b c d e Davies Project. "American Libraries before 1876". Princeton University. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Philadelphia Inquirer, August 1, 1865 
  11. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer, February 26, 1864 
  12. ^ a b Elizabeth McHenry (2007). "'An Association of Kindred Spirits': Black Readers and their Reading Rooms". Institutions of Reading: the Social Life of Libraries in the United States. Boston: University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 9781558495906. 
  13. ^ McElroy's Philadelphia Directory. 1843. 
  14. ^ a b c d e Civic Club Digest of the Educational & Charitable Institutions & Societies in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, 1895 
  15. ^ "Free Library of Philadelphia", The Citizen, Philadelphia: American Society for the Extension of University Teaching, 1 (9), November 1895 
  16. ^ "History". Walnut Street West. Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Horner Memorial Library". German Society of Pennsylvania. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  18. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer, July 11, 1867 
  19. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer, September 18, 1867 
  20. ^ "Drexel University College of Medicine History". Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  21. ^ "TU Law History". Temple Univ. Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  22. ^ Hirst is sometimes spelled "Hurst"
  23. ^ a b c d e f James G. Barnwell (April 1900), "Proprietary Libraries in Philadelphia", Library Journal, 25 
  24. ^ Ridgway is sometimes spelled "Ridgeway"
  25. ^ a b c d McElroy's Philadelphia City Directory, Philadelphia: A. McElroy & Co., 1839 
  26. ^ a b Boyd's Philadelphia Blue Book. Philadelphia: C.E. Howe Co. 1890–1891. 
  27. ^ James Mease (1811). Picture of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: B. & T. Kite. 
  28. ^ Karen Nipps (Spring 1991). "Ann Shallus's Circulating Library". Journal of Library History. 26 (4): 608–610. 
  29. ^ a b c "Public Libraries in the United States", Library Journal, 12, January 1887 
  30. ^ The City of Philadelphia as it Appears in the Year 1894. G.S. Harris & Sons. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]