In this issue:

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

Membership        New Books        Donate        Current Exhibition        Event Calendar

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


Thank You, Volunteers!

Beginning this fall, the Athenaeum will open on both First and Third Saturdays from 11am to 3pm.  We can do this because willing volunteers have come forward again to help staff maintain these hours.  Our initial Third Saturday opening will happen on September 15. 


National Museum Day

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, the Athenaeum will open its doors along with 1,400 other participating venues for the eighth annual Museum Day Live! This immensely successful program encourages learning and the spread of knowledge nationwide. Museum Day Live! tickets are available to download at Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues for one day only. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. For a list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please click here.


Exhibition Opening- "Three Generations of Book Collectors: The Evan Turner Gift at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia"

Evan Turnerís gift to the Athenaeum consists primarily of books acquired over a forty year period, beginning in the 1930s by Albert Morton Turner. The collection reflects Turnerís personal interest in classical and Renaissance authors, fine printing and the book arts, book provenance, and, in particular English literature. Although the Turner Collection owes it breadth and depth to Albert Morton Turner, it also represents the collecting interests of prior generations of the Turner/Bierstadt family, an educated, intellectually engaged, but not wealthy New England family of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In 2006 the Turner Collection was donated to the Athenaeum of Philadelphia by his son, Evan H. Turner, former Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art . The collection was cataloged on-line through a grant from The Barra Foundation of Wayne, Pennsylvania. The current exhibition catalog is funded by grants from the The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation of New York and the Samuel S. Fels Fund of Philadelphia.

This exhibition is curated by Samuel A. Streit, retired Brown University Special Collections Librarian, and Daniel H. Traister, recently retired Curator for Research Services at the University of
Pennsylvania's Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Exhibition Dates: September 7-November 7, 2012

Special Events: First Friday Opening, September 7, 5:00pm-7:00pm, Remarks by the curators at 5:30pm.

Gallery Talk, November 3, 1:00pm.  RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or 


New Research Tool At The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum is pleased to offer members and on-site researchers a new service. The American Antiquarian Society (AAS), the premier library documenting the life of America's people from the Colonial Era through the Civil War and Reconstruction provides digital access to the most comprehensive collection of American periodicals published between 1691 and 1877.

This collection includes digitized images of American magazines and journals never before available outside the walls of the AAS. More than 7,600 periodicals comprised of over seven million pages are available, eclipsing all other online resources in this area. The Athenaeum has acquired the series covering 1821 to 1877, with the service that allows both printing and e-mailing of the articles found.

Non-member researchers may access this research tool only on the premises of the Athenaeum, but Athenaeum members may request a password for home use and an orientation from Jill Lee ( 

Upcoming Events

Grace Gary, Nemours: A Portrait of Alfred I. DuPontís House, by Gary Young and Grace Gary, with Photography by Cotton Coulson.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 5:30 PM

Nemours Mansion and Gardens spreads over 222 acres and represents the home of Alfred I. DuPont, a multi-talented philanthropist and heir to the DuPont fortune. The mansion and gardens, designed by the New York office of Carrere & Hastings in 1909 and recently restored by John Milner Architects, Inc., has been compared to such estates as the Breakers in Newport, RI, and Hearst Castle in California. Grace Gary is executive director of Nemours Mansion and Gardens.

Free for Athenaeum Members. RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or  all others $10, online payment

Donald W. Linebaugh, The Springfield Gas Machine: Illuminating History and Leisure, 1860s-1920s.

Friday, September 21, 2012, 3:30 PM

Just after the Civil War the Springfield Gas Machine brought changes and greater ease to both commercial and domestic gas lighting in buildings outside of a city gas works. For Philadelphians who wanted to move to the country, the Springfield Gas Machine, a self-contained unit, helped the new owners find modern comforts. On the industrial side, the Springfield Gas Machine offered a more efficient production which allowed longer work hours. Using newspapers, magazine articles, advertisements, patents and mail-order catalogs, Donald Linebaugh, Asssociate Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland and Director of the Universityís historic preservation program, illuminates this important part of the history of lighting in the United States. He is also the author of The Man Who Found Thoreau: Roland Wells Robbins and the Rise of Historical Archaeology in America and co-editor of Saugus Iron Works: The Roland W. Robbins Excavations, 1948Ė1953.

Free for Athenaeum Members. RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or  all others $10, online payment

Frank Furness Historical Marker Dedication

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission together with The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and AIA Philadelphia cordially invite you to attend the dedication of an official State Historical Marker commemorating Frank Furness (1839-1912).

A nationally influential architect, Frank Furness's forceful designs and bold use of industrial materials helped shape American modernism.  His works include the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania Library.  Furness served with distinction in the Civil War and is the only American architect of note to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.


Friday, September 14, 2012


Peirce College
1426 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA  19102

Reception to follow

RSVP by Friday Sept 7th, to Nancy Thorne at 215-898-8323 or

Printable Flyer

2012 Peterson Prize Winners Announced

A student competition of measured drawings, the Charles E. Peterson Prize is presented jointly by the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) of the National Park Service, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the American Institute of Architects. The annual competition, currently in its 30th year, honors Charles E. Peterson, FAIA (1906-2004), founder of the HABS program, and is intended to heighten awareness about historic buildings in the United States and to augment the HABS collection of measured drawings at the Library of Congress. In addition to generating over 5,800 sheets of drawings for the collection to date, the competition presents awards totaling $7,500 to the winning student teams. Drawings must be of a building that has not been recorded by HABS through measured drawings, or be an addendum to existing set of HABS drawings that makes a substantial contribution to the understanding of the significance of the building.

Click here for the list of winners


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