The Paper Menagerie: Animals on the Page in the Kislak Center’s Special Collections – October 15, 2015

Thursday, October 15, 5:30-7:30 PMarchives15_300

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, 6th Floor
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Free and open to the public (please show photo ID at entrance)
Registration for this talk is appreciated but not required. Please RSVP HERE or contact or 215.898.7088

Human fascination with animals has always inspired us to recreate their form in a variety of media; from cave paintings of prehistoric creatures to plush teddy bears, we surround ourselves with them. They are loyal companions and bloodthirsty predators, and they intrigue us with their strength and beauty. As part of Archives Month Philly, fearsome beasts and fluffy friends alike will leap from the pages of the Kislak Center’s collections. Join the cataloging staff for an evening safari that will include vicious lions, colorful fish, beautiful bugs, and perhaps even a few zoological mysteries!

Archives Month Philly Film Screening – October 28, 2015

screening01screening02October 28, 2015 at 7pm

531 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

A screening of 8 or 9 works, originally on film, that are housed in local Philadelphia repositories. Thanks to the generosity of NFL Films, five of these works were transferred to digital files and are now accessible to the public. They include home movie footage, documentaries and even Muppets! Representatives from all the organizations involved will be on hand to discuss the films and answer questions.

Films contributed by:
University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center
Hagley Museum and Library
Penn Museum
History Making Productions
Philadelphia City Archives
German Society of Pennsylvania
Fairmount Park Historic Resource Archives

Cataloging Conflict – October 16, 2014

archives14_300Thursday, October 16, 2014, 5:30 PM

Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Free and open to the public (please show photo ID at entrance)
Registration for this talk is appreciated but not required. Please RSVP HERE or contact or 215.898.7088

One hundred years ago, the first shots of World War I resonated around the world. The scale of conflict was unprecedented and affected soldiers, civilians, governments, the arts, and industry. But what many hoped would be the “War to End All Wars” instead launched a century of conflict and continued humankind’s long history of warfare.

As part of Philly Archives Month, the catalogers of the Special Collections Processing Center will display items from Penn’s collections that document, or were inspired by, conflict. Please join us to see propaganda toilet paper, letters to soldiers, 15th-century indulgences sold to raise money for papal armies, soldiers’ songs performed by Marian Anderson, sketchbooks from battlefronts, photograph albums, and … Penn’s famous Rocket Cats!

Romance Between the Sheets…of Paper! at University of Pennsylvania – October 22, 2013

 John W. Mauchly's Little Problematic Buttercup (aka his wife)

John W. Mauchly’s Little Problematic Buttercup (aka his wife)

Tuesday October 22, 5:30-6:30pm
University of Pennsylvania
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
University of Pennsylvania, Van Pelt Library, 3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Enter on the south side of the building, look for the big button!
(not on the side of the building that runs along Walnut St)
Class of 78 Pavilion (Room 602)

RSVPs requested, but not required. Email Holly Mengel at

In every repository of primary sources, processors and researchers alike will discover surprising bits of history and stories that remind us of how human the creators of the collections really were. This is especially true when the discoveries are of a romantic nature! Sure, we expect authors and artists to have passionate and volatile natures (and they do!), but who expects the co-inventor of the computer to have a sweet and romantic side that emerges through the data, calculations, and manuals that make up his collection? From authors, to diarists, to scientists: love seems to be a unifying feature in these ordinary and extraordinary people who created amazing records of our collective past.

Join the University of Pennsylvania Kislak Center staff to learn about some of our favorite lovely, romantic, and scandalous stories found in the collections held by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

James T. Farrell's Troubling Diaries

James T. Farrell’s Troubling Diaries