Benjamin Franklin accomplished much during his lifetime.
He printed the Pennsylvania Gazette, authored the advice in Poor Richard’s Almanack, experimented with electricity, and negotiated an alliance between the United States and France.
But did you know that he also founded the first successful lending library in North America?
We launch the Ben Franklin’s World podcast with not one, but three episodes that explore “Benjamin Franklin’s Library,” the Library Company of Philadelphia.
Benjamin Franklin viewed the establishment of the Library Company as one of his greatest achievements. This 3-part special will allow you to consider Franklin’s accomplishment by providing you with a survey of the past, present, and future of the Library Company of Philadelphia, the oldest cultural institution in the United States.
Are you ready to join me for an audio tour of the Library Company?
Series Sneak Preview
Episode 001: Our special launch series begins with an interview with James N. Green, Librarian of the Library Company of Philadelphia (LCP). Our conversation with Jim takes us through the history of Benjamin Franklin and the Library Company.
Episode 002: In the second part of our 3-part launch special, we talk with Cornelia King, Chief of Reference at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Connie discusses the Library Company’s exhibition “That’s So Gay: Outing Early America,” to give us a behind-the-scenes look at how the Library Company displays and interprets the historical items in its collections for the education and enjoyment of its visitors.
Episode 003: Our 3-part launch special concludes with a conversation with Richard S. Newman, Director of the Library Company of Philadelphia. Rich discusses the efforts of the Library Company to fulfill its mission to increase public understanding of American history before 1900.
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In this episode, we chat with James N. Green, Librarian at the Library Company of Philadelphia and co-author of Benjamin Franklin: Writer And Printer.
Jim explores the role Benjamin Franklin played in the founding of the Library Company of Philadelphia, the history of libraries in colonial North America, and the Junto, Franklin’s sociability and improvement club for Philadelphia tradesmen.
What You’ll Discover
- More about the Library Company of Philadelphia
- What type of work Jim performs as the Librarian
- How the Library Company received its nickname: “Benjamin Franklin’s Library”
- Information about the Junto, Franklin’s sociability and improvement club for Philadelphia tradesmen
- Why Franklin founded the Library Company as a “company”
- The origin of library late fees
- The types of people who subscribed as members of the Library Company
- Contributions Franklin made to the Library Company
- What happened to the Library Company and its holdings during the American Revolution and the British occupation of Philadelphia in 1777
- How the Library Company became known as the “‘de facto’ Library of Congress
- More about the types of books, manuscripts, pamphlets, and ephemera that make up the Library Company’s extensive collections
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- James N. Green
- About the Library Company of Philadelphia
- Online Catalog for the Library Company
- Library Company Fellowships
- Library Company Blog
- Twitter: @librarycompany
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