The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia

1 Dec 2016


From neuroscience and blood transfusions to hypnotism and phonograph recordings, Stoker’s Dracula is as much a chronicle of scientific, medical, and technological advances as it is the tale of the monster that threatens it all. Courtesy of The Rosenbach.


Title page of the first English edition of Frankenstein, 1818. Courtesy of The Rosenbach.

The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia opened to the public in 1954 and is located in the former home of brothers Philip and Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, international dealers in rare books, manuscripts, and fine and decorative arts. Their Americana collections include letters and other writings of figures such as Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, Grant, and many lesser-known soldiers and citizens. In 2011, War Stories: Hard Earned. Unforgettably Told connected military families with the Rosenbach's collections in a Center-funded exhibition and program for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, based on historical letters written by soldiers. In 2015, the Rosenbach received Center funding for Frankenstein & Dracula: Gothic Monsters, Modern Science, an exhibition highlighting Mary Shelley's 1818 novel and Bram Stoker's Dracula and their connection to the ethical and scientific questions that continue to challenge us today.