NEWS: February 2008

Vol. 1, No. 1

In This Issue:

Athenaeum c. 1923


Greetings from the Executive Director, Sandra L. Tatman.  Welcome to the first issue of the Athenaeum online newsletter, designed to bring members and friends all the latest news from the Athenaeum - exciting projects, upcoming programs, recent acquisitions, hidden treasures and other items of interest. 

As many of you know already, I succeeded Dr. Roger W. Moss, whose tenure here lasted some 40 years. As a way for me to get to know more of you, we have planned three "meet the new Director" programs which will also give you an insider's look at Athenaeum collections and programs. We have scheduled these for: 


Wednesday, February 20, 2008, 5:30 PM 

Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 3:00 PM 

Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 5:30 PM 

ACCEPTANCES ONLY: 215-925-2688 or  If you cannot attend one of these sessions, please stop by and see me or make sure that I meet you during another program. Also, let me know what you think of our newsletter. E-mail me at

Avery Index Online Now Available

Underwritten by a generous donation by one of its board members, the Athenaeum has purchased a subscription to the Avery Index OnLine. This online version of Columbia University's index to more than 1500 periodicals on architecture, urban design, historic preservation, and urban planning history adds a key reference source for our researchers and staff. Avery Index OnLine is available for members and non-member readers alike, on the research workstations in the Chess Room.

Collection of William L. Price Photos and Manuscripts Acquired

In the spring of 2007, architectural historian George E. Thomas transferred a collection of 13 cubic feet of photographs, glass plate negatives and manuscripts documenting the career of prolific Philadelphia architect, William Lightfoot Price (1861-1916) to the Athenaeum. Included in the collection are hundreds of images and manuscripts that document the founding of the Arts & Crafts community at Rose Valley, Pennsylvania as well as the furniture produced in the shops there. Also in the collection are documents for scores of other Price commissions including the Traymore and Marlborough-Blenheim Hotels in Atlantic City.

Processing of the collection will begin in the spring and the materials should be fully accessible by year end. This valuable collection joins thousands of drawings by William Price and his brothers Frank (1855-1919) and Walter (1859-1951), as well as the work of M. Hawley McLanahan (1864-1929), already in the Athenaeum's collection.

Above: Portrait of William Price.

Right: Jacob Reed's Sons Store, 1424-26 Chestnut St.


Palazzos of Power Gallery Talks

Join us for a gallery talk on our current exhibition Palazzos of Power: The Generating Stations of the Philadelphia Electric Company, 1900-1930.  Photographs by Joseph E. B. Elliott.


February 12th at 3:00 PM, with Joseph E. B. Elliott, Photographer

March 7th at 4:00 PM with Bruce Laverty, Curator

Reservations required 215-925-2688 or (Each date will be limited to 30 guests)

Photo: Turbine Hall, Chester Station. Joseph E. B. Elliott, photographer.

Circulation Librarian Ellen Rose To Retire

The Athenaeum's circulation librarian, Ellen L. Rose, will retire on March 31, 2008 after 29 years of service.  Before coming to the Athenaeum, she worked for 9 years at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.  Jill LeMin Lee has been appointed her successor.  Jill originally came to the Athenaeum as Ellen's assistant, and has been the Athenaeum's bibliographer for 9 years.  She covers for Ellen when she is away, and knows many of the stockholders already.

All stockholders are invited to stop by for tea and cookies in the member's reading room on Monday March 31 between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM to say goodbye to Ellen and to welcome Jill.

Photo: Jill Lee (left) and Ellen Rose (right). Jim Carroll, photographer.

In The Next Issue: Athenaeum begins oral history initiative with senior Philadelphia architects. 

The Athenaeum is open 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday-Friday.  The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Group tours and research visits are by appointment only. Please visit our website for more information, or call 215-925-2688

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Banner Image: The Athenaeum, c. 1923