In this issue:


Banner Image: Perspective rendering of a design for the Athenaeum at the corner of 6th and Walnut Sts.  Competition entry by John Notman, 1840.

Membership    ∑    New Books        Event Calendar

Banner Image: Perspective rendering of a design for the Athenaeum at the corner of 6th and Walnut Sts.  Competition entry by John Notman, 1840.

Construction Update

Those of you who are tower-dwellers may have noticed the activity on the Athenaeum's roof as the lantern/skylight has been renovated to prevent some of the leaks which have plagued the third floor ceiling. Those of you who visit the Athenaeum regularly have also seen that the grand stair chandelier, acquired by the Athenaeum in 1981, has been lowered to the basement landing for cleaning. 


Photo: Lantern work, June 19, 2013.

Upstairs / Downstairs

Next time you visit the Athenaeum, check out our "upstairs" exhibition about "downstairs." In a case in the Reading Room, Temple student Agatha Olbrys has created a display of some of the Athenaeum's nineteenth century books related to household servants. On view are items such as The Footman's Guide, which diagrams how to properly arrange the table for a dinner party for fourteen and The Greatest Plague of Life: or, The Adventures of a Lady in Search of a Good Servant. We also have a selection of more modern books which are available for circulation, such as Servants' Hall and Royal Service as well as DVDs of Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs. Stop in and explore life below stairs.


Photo: Augustus Mayhew, The Greatest Plague of Life: Adventures of a Lady in Search of a Good Servant...New York: H. Long and Brother, [1852?]


Summer Interns


The Athenaeum was fortunate to have the services of two Charles E. Peterson Interns this summer.  


Stephen Howard, returned to us for a third summer after completing his Masters in Architecture at the University of Illinois. Stephen spent most of his time processing, and re-housing more than 300 rolls of architectural drawings in the H2L2 collection. Stephen will be starting a full time position on August 12 with Hartman-Cox, an architectural office in Washington DC. 


Adam Iezzi, a 2012 graduate from Temple University, processed and digitized a collection of more than 400 black and white photographs from the Old Philadelphia Survey (OPS). Begun in 1932, the OPS was an effort of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects to provide employment for destitute architects and draftsmen by surveying historic buildings. This successful program became a prototype of the nation-wide Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) founded by the Athenaeumís own Charles E. Peterson in 1933. Adam will be returning to Templeís graduate school later this month to pursue a teaching certification and a Masters in Social Studies Education.



Temple University work study students Madeleine Barbush and Agatha Olbrys have provided valuable assistance to the library this summer.  Re-shelving, cataloging, and online record keeping have all been assigned to them, and each student also designed a display in the exhibition case in the Reading Room.


Top: Adam (L) and Steven (R).

Bottom: Madeleine (L) and Agatha (R).


Member News


Dr. Harold A. Rashkis, M.D., Ph.D. (1920-2013)

Retired psychiatrist, Dr. Harold A. Rashkis was the Athenaeum's most faithful "Member Critic" and a longtime participant in the Socrates Cafe discussions. His memoir At the Edge of the War is available on Amazon.

Photo: Dr. Harold Rashkis.


Monday-Friday:  9:00am-5:00pm

First three Saturdays of the month: 11:00am-3:00pm (excluding July and August).



219 S. 6th Street

Philadelphia, PA  19106 


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Group tours and research visits are by appointment only. 


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