In this issue:


Banner Image: Members' Reading Room, 2012.

Membership        New Books        Event Calendar

Banner Image: Members' Reading Room, 2012.

June Events

Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 12:00-1:00PM - Exploring the Athenaeum: Tips of the Iceberg- Join Executive Director Sandra Tatman for the next talk in this monthly series.  June will focus on the sculpture Pauline Bonaparte Borghese by Antonio Canova, ca.1811.  Free.  RSVP by calling 215-925-2688 or email

Wednesday, June 18, 5:30 PM - James R. Hedtke, The Freckleton, England, Air Disaster: The B-24 Crash That Killed 38 Preschoolers and 23 Adults, August 23, 1944.  Free for Athenaeum Members, All others $10.  Online payment.  Members RSVP by calling 215-925-2688 or email

Tuesday, June 10, 11:00AM - Socrates Cafe Discussion Group.

Wednesday, June 25, 2:00 PM - Athenaeum Genealogy Group.

Athenaeum Book Sale 


Saturday June 7 and 14, 11:00am-3:00pm

Monday-Friday, June 9-13, 10:00am-4:00pm

Athenaeum members receive a 50% discount on Collectible Books.

Opening Reception for Athenaeum Members Only
(Wine and Cheese)

Friday, June 6, 5:30-7:30pm

RSVP by calling 215-925-2688 or email

2014 Celebration of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia's 200th Anniversary Art Exhibition.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia brings you an art competition and exhibition focusing on historic buildings, including the stately exterior and majestic interior of the Athenaeum itself.

Exhibition Dates: June 29-August 8

Opening Reception: Sunday, June 29, 2:00-5:00pm

For artists who have not yet entered, the deadline is June 1st!  Entry instructions are located here.

This Month In 1814:  A Look Back At The Athenaeum's Founding Year

At a meeting on June 20, 1814, the Board of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia agreed to the following motion: 

"That the Purchasing Committee be authorized to invest a sum not exceeding $100, in American publications of merit, and present the same to the Liverpool Athenaeum in the name of this Institution." 

This resolution is curious for several reasons. $100 was a sizable amount for the young institution to spend on a gift to another library. At the next meeting, Treasurer Roberts Vaux reported that the Athenaeum had a total of $128 in hand. The Liverpool Athenaeum dates its founding to 1797 when a document titled 'Outlines of a plan for a library and newsroom' was circulated to potential subscribers. Its library opened in 1800, so they were already well established.  Another obstacle was the War of 1812 which was still ongoing.  On June 28th the USS Wasp captured and burned the HMS Reindeer off the coast of France. Even if the Athenaeum had purchased books to be sent to Liverpool, it remains to be seen how that could have happened logistically. 

There is no further mention of this motion in the Athenaeum of Philadelphia minutes, and there is no record of a gift in the accession records and minute books of the Liverpool Athenaeum. Despite the fact that it probably never came to fruition, this episode demonstrates a remarkable sense of collegiality with the Liverpool Athenaeum on the part of our founders, one that even war could not diminish.

Above: Liverpool Athenaeum, Monthly Magazine & British Register. July 1799, Vol. 7 Issue 46, p.430.


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