Library Company of Philadelphia

1314 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5698

General information: (215) 546-3181
Reading Room: (215) 546-2456
Print Room: (215) 546-8229
Fax (215) 546-5167
  Hours: Reading Room and Exhibition Gallery: 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. weekdays
Print Room: by appointment only
The Library Company is closed on national holidays.


Note: The Library Company of Philadelphia has agreed to make the digital surrogates of their holdings that are posted here accessible via the web exclusively for consultation. As with other parts of this website, no image may be reproduced, redistributed, or republished in any way without the express prior written permission of the repositories that have provided them. Users must agree to must agree to accept these conditions in order to proceed into this website.

visit the LCP Rights and Reproductions Office



W. L. Breton views: William L. Breton created several dozen watercolor views of the Philadelphia area. Most of these date from the 1820s and 1830s; in addition to those paintings at the Library Company of Philadelphia are collections at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and other repositories. This website features a representative and growing number of Breton's works.

Photographs of early watercolors: at the Library Company, in a scrapbook previously owned by photographer John Moran, are several 19th-century photographs of early watercolors. Many of the original paintings have been attributed to either William L. Breton or Edward William Mumford.

Wainwright's Inventory: In 1958, Nicholas B. Wainwright published Philadelphia in the Romantic Age of Lithography, a list of nearly 500 lithographs, a small proportion of which were illustrated. The Library Company of Philadelphia has provided word-processed versions of this list, from which we've created two searchable, web-based versions. The first uses Wainwright's sequence, and is ordered alphabetically by title; the second is ordered chronologically. Furthermore, we have begun to link titles on these lists to images from various repositories. For further details on using or acquiring specific images, visit the portion of this site devoted to holdings by repository.

Frederick De Bourg Richards: This collection, which was made available for scanning by the Library Company of Philadelphia, consists of about 104 photographs taken in the 1850s by photographer Frederick De B. Richards. The scans are linked to a list, which one can browse or search (using a text-string via the find feature of most browsers). Most of these photographs have attached commentary by the photographer.

Robert Newell: The Library Company of Philadelphia's Newell collection features 225 of his photographs, taken between 1865 and 1886. As above, digitized verions are linked through a list which can be browsed or searched. This collection stands out for its diverse selection of subjects, ranging from churches of all denominations, to obscure hotels in Philadelphia. The originals of may be seen at the Library Co.

John Moran: Included in this Library Company collection are photographs taken by John Moran in the 1860s, as well as photographs, drawings and watercolors collected by John Moran. These are also presented as a list. The Library Company also has a scrapbook, previously owned by John Moran, with number of photographs and watercolors which were apparently added later; many depict Library Company buildings.

Aerial Photograph Index: Thousands of views held by the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Free Library of Philadelphia (as a text-string searchable table).

Brightbill Postcard Collection: A richly annotated catalogue of several thousand Philadelphia-themed postcards collected by George D. Brightbill and now at the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Charles A. Poulson Scrapbooks: 10 vols., ca. 1853-1859. This series of scrapbooks, titled "Illustrations of Philadelphia," is comprised of clippings, and more importantly, prints from various sources. Some of these, along with all the photographs, have been removed to other parts of the Library Company collections. These trace the remaking of the downtown business district and the development of the first streetcar and railroad suburbs in West Philadelphia and Germantown. (LCP: photocopy in reading room)

Evans views: Benjamin R. Evans painted hundreds of views of Philadelphia in the mid- to late- eighteen hundreds. Three hundred and forty-seven of these -- most of Evan's extant works -- are currently held in individual collections at the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. This on-line collection, the most complete ever published, draws on both holdings. Digitized views may be accessed alphabetically, by location, or through an annoted abridged list.

Edward Mumford Drawings: Thirty-two small, detailed scenes of Philadelphia buildings and history. The Library Company's collection is digitally reproduced, with the usual list of linked titles.

George Mark Wilson Photograph Collection

C. H. Wells Drawing Collection
ca. 12 Philadelphia views.

C. A. Poulson Drawing Collection
ca. 11 Philadelphia views.




Watercolors and Drawings

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