Philadelphia Sights

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Library Hall

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Library Hall Review

This 20th-century building is a reconstruction of Franklin's Library Company of Philadelphia, the first public library in the colonies. The American Philosophical Society, one of the country's leading institutions for the study of science, has its library here. The vaults contain such treasures as a copy of the Declaration of Independence handwritten by Thomas Jefferson, William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges, and journals from the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1803–06. The library's collection also includes first editions of Newton's Principia Mathematica, Franklin's Experiments and Observations, and Darwin's On the Origin of Species.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 105 S. 5th St., Historic Area, Philadelphia, PA, 19106 | Map It
  • Phone: 215/440–3400
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Weekdays 9–4:45
  • Website:
  • Subway: 5th & Market Sts
  • Location: Historic Area
Updated: 05-19-2011

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Another historic building

    Another historic building in this area, worth a look in. Contains a few historic items in case display. Has more restrictive hours than some other area attractions.

    by bachslunch, 10/19/08
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    Library Hall Review

    As one of the most important historical sites in the US, it is something great to see. Bear in mind that tickets are required, even though the tour is free, because space is limited. That means, especially early in the day, the tours are packed. You get to see 2 rooms in Independence hall, and both are "decorated" as they would have been in the late 1700s. Overall, it's a must-see stop on a tour of historic Philadelphia.

    by AllysonK, 5/12/11

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