In this issue:


Banner Image: Seascape by Thomas Birch, 1835.

Membership    ·    New Books    ·    Event Calendar

Banner Image: Seascape by Thomas Birch, 1835.


Lecture and Book Signing- Carl Rollyson, Amy Lowell Anew

The controversial American poet Amy Lowell (1874-1925) was a founding member of the Imagist group that included D. H. Lawrence. Described by T. S. Eliot as the “demon saleswoman” of poetry, and ridiculed by Ezra Pound, Lowell has been treated by previous biographers as an obese, sex-starved, inferior poet who smoked cigars and made a spectacle of herself, canvassing the country on lecture tours that drew crowds in the hundreds for her electrifying performances. Drawing on recently discovered archival material, Carl Rollyson forces a new interpretation for this Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, acknowledging and appreciating her life with retired actress Ada Russell. Carl Rollyson is a professor of journalism at Baruch College, The City University of New York. He has published more than 40 books, including American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath, which he presented at the Athenaeum. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among others. Visit his website:

Wednesday, October 2, 5:30PM

Book signing and reception to follow. Free for Athenaeum Members, All others $10. RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or

Susan Gallo Retires

Beloved Athenaeum receptionist Susan Gallo will retire on October 11, 2013. She came to the Athenaeum in February 2006, succeeding her daughter Sara, and has been the welcoming voice and face for both members and visitors ever since.

Please join us in celebrating Susan's time with the Athenaeum. Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be served in the Reading Room from 9:30 am to noon on Friday, October 11th.  For those of you who cannot attend at that time, Susan will return to her desk for the afternoon.

Above: Susan Gallo.  Photo by Jim Carroll.

Gallery Talk- Laurie Olin: Sketchbooks from the Mediterranean

Landscape Architect Laurie Olin will give a gallery talk about the current exhibition of his Mediterranean sketchbooks on Saturday, October 5th at 2:00PM.

RSVP required. Contact Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or

Right: Mykonos.  Watercolor by Laurie Olin, 1980. 


Member News


This summer members of the Octavia Hill Association decided to honor William Davison on the occasion of his retirement from their Board by donating funding to the Athenaeum to purchase books in the area of American history.  Altogether they raised $1500 for book purchases, a very welcome donation, and one which matches Bill's interest in history.  Bill Davison had served on the Octavia Hill Association Board since the mid-1970s and also spent many years as the OHA Treasurer, a position which he holds with the Athenaeum as well. Thank you to the Octavia Hill Association and to Bill Davison for this very timely donation.


William Davison (2nd from left) and Sandra Tatman with members of the OHA Board.


Ancestry Library Edition Workshop with Jill Lee


Ancestry, the most popular genealogical online resource, provides access to billions of records to help everyone from novice family researchers to experienced genealogists. Records available include census, military, immigration, and more. New to genealogy? No problem! Our Circulation Librarian, Jill LeMin Lee, can help to get you started and guide you through the resources available. Please bring a laptop computer or iPad if you wish to follow along. Remember, the Athenaeum has a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition which is available to our members through the public computer in the Busch Room, or through your own computer when connected to our wireless network. Free. Athenaeum members only.


Saturday, October 19, 12:00-2:00PM


RSVP required. Contact Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or


Washington Square Walking Tour

There are only a few places left for the Washington Square Walking Tour on Saturday, October 26.  The tour will begin at 1:00PM at The Athenaeum.

Ticket prices: Individual Ticket: $125.00

To reserve your ticket(s), click here or send your check to Susan Gallo at the Athenaeum, 219 S. 6th St., Philadelphia, PA 19106.

Refund Policy: In the event you are unable to attend the tour, refunds can only be made through Friday, October 11, 2013.

Your support of this event benefits the continued preservation and restoration of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia's National Historic Landmark Building.


Lecture and Book Signing- Kenneth D. Alford, Sacking Aladdin's Cave


Near the close of World War II, two American units moved toward the village of Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps. Both units would converge on Hitler’s hideaway, where a treasure trove collected by Hermann Göring waited. Paintings, jewels, and other art objects were gathered by the Americans, some ending up in American museums, others still lost. This book details the magnitude of Göring’s looting and the destinies of the objects (some now repatriated) taken by the Americans. Kenneth D. Alford has been researching archival material relating to the World War II lootings for over 30 years. He is a frequent consultant for television productions involving Nazi plunder, and his first book, Spoils of World War II, was the subject of a History Channel documentary. 


Wednesday, October 30, 5:30PM


Book signing and reception to follow. Free for Athenaeum Members, all others $10. RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688 or


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 


The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.  

Group tours and research visits are by appointment only. 


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