The Library Company of Philadelphia

If you’re looking for books, prints, periodicals, photos or ephemera from Colonial America through the 19th century, this is the place to go!

Like so many things in our city, the Library Company of Philadelphia (LCP) was a Ben Franklin creation.

He started the Junto, a self-improvement club that debated morals, politics and natural philosophy. When members realized they needed printed matter to prove their points, Franklin and the Junto began the Library Company of Philadelphia, the first subscription library in the U.S.