Thursday, May 7, 2009

Juneteenth Freedom Forum

Friday, June 19, 2009

Reception at 5:30 p.m., program at 6:00.

Join us at the Library Company on Friday, June 19th for our Juneteenth Freedom Forum, featuring three area scholars discussing the African American struggle for freedom in the era of the Civil War and beyond.

Dr. Robert Francis Engs, Professor of History (retired) University of Pennsylvania, “Who Freed the Slaves? The black Revolutionary Struggle for Freedom.”

Dr. Elizabeth Varon, Professor of History and Associate Director, Center for the Humanities, Temple University, “From Appomattox to Juneteenth: Lee’s Defeat and the End of Slavery.”

Dr. Randall M. Miller, Professor of History, St. Joseph’s University, “Juneteenth, Before and After: African American Freedom Celebrations, Historical Memory, and Contemporary Activism.”

This event is the Library Company’s third annual Juneteenth commemoration, sponsored by our Program in African American History with support from The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation.

The event is open to the public free of charge, but seating is limited and advance registration is requested. To register, phone 215-546-3181, or e-mail

Above image: View of Transparency in Front of Headquarters of Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Regiments . . . in Commemoration of Emancipation in Maryland, November 1, 1864. Wood engraving (Philadelphia: Ringwalt and Brown, 1864).

New Exhibition

On May 4 the Library Company unveiled its new exhibition, Mirror of a City: Views of Philadelphia Recently Acquired from the Jay T. Snider Collection. Mr. Snider, a former Library Company Trustee and avid collector of historical items, sold much of his Philadelphia-related material at a November 2008 sale organized by the New York City office of Bloomsbury Auctions. Over the years, Mr. Snider had gathered a very comprehensive collection of the iconography of the growth and development of Philadelphia. From a rare 1684 Dutch edition of Thomas Holme’s plan of Philadelphia to astonishingly beautiful mid-19th-century graphics of a bustling, vibrant city, the 375 lots comprising the sale chronicled the city’s past. “It is unlikely,” wrote auctioneer Jeremy Markowitz, “that such an assemblage of important books, manuscripts, and graphics all relating to Philadelphia, could be assembled again.” Thanks in part to the generous financial assistance of Mr. Snider and the efforts of antiquarian bookseller Clarence Wolf (who represented the Library Company at the auction without charge), the Library Company successfully acquired thirty-one of the thirty-six lots on which we bid.
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