Event – Detail

January 18 at 6:00 PM
19th Century Movements for Prison Reform and Anti-Slavery
Beth Hessel

Course Description:

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia gathered local and international reformers like the Marquis de Lafayette, Charles Dickens, and Alexis de Toqueville in the 19th century as they debated pressing issues like prison reform and slavery. Using common readings and documents in our collection, we will enter into these conversations about the expansion of liberty for dispossessed peoples in the United States and abroad.


About the Instructor:

Beth Hessel, Ph. D. (she/her) Beth joined the Athenaeum in July, 2019. Previously Executive Director of The Presbyterian Historical Society, a national archive located a few blocks south of the Athenaeum, Beth is also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who has served congregations across the U.S. and is a popular speaker who has lectured and taught in corporate, nonprofit, and university settings. She holds a B.A. in history from UC Davis, an MA in U.S. Women’s History from Binghamton University, an M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in history from Texas Christian University.



January 18 ( Zoom)

February 15 (Zoom)

March 15 (Zoom)

April 12 (In person)

All from 6:00pm-7:30pm


About L&L: How have libraries aided the cause of liberty, in the United States and elsewhere? What kind of liberty, and for whom? What role do libraries play now in ensuring the continued freedom of people in our country and around the world? The Libraries & Liberty seminar series is a collaboration between The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and The Rosenbach. Each seminar will build on the last as these three cultural institutions use their collections and areas of expertise to engage with these questions.

First three sessions online via Zoom. Last session will be held in person at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

For questions or assistance with registration, email Tess Galen, events@philaathenaeum.org

Members of The Athenaeum, The Library Company and The Rosenbach receive 10% off.

Non-member price: $200.00
Athenaeum member price: $180.00