Exhibit | January 25, 2013

Library Company Commemorates Emancipation Proclamation

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — January 24, 2012 — The Library Company of Philadelphia will honor the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a special exhibition and a teaching symposium. The exhibition opening January 28 will chronicle the evolution of this historic document by exhibiting three stages in its development, including one rare manuscript from Abraham Lincoln's pen. Additionally, the teaching symposium Beyond the Proclamation: Interpreting Emancipation for Today's Youth will explore the complexities of teaching this tumultuous period.


The Library Company possesses printed copies of the final Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, and a September 1862 "preliminary" Proclamation, notifying the Confederacy of the President's intention to end slavery in 100 days-as well as a rare manuscript in Abraham Lincoln's hand from July 25, 1862. As a precursor to the final Emancipation Proclamation, this hand-written document marks one of the first instances of Lincoln wielding his presidential authority against slavery. The exhibition will also provide a historical context for the evolution of Lincoln's thinking and the political landscape with related documents from the Library Company's collections. The Emancipation Proclamation: One Step Toward Freedomwill be on view in the Logan Room beginning January 28.

On February 23, the Library Company will partner with the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Independence National Historical Park, and the University of Delaware to present the symposium "Beyond the Proclamation: Interpreting Emancipation for Today's Youth." "Beyond the Proclamation" will feature a keynote address by Dr. Benjamin Filene, Associate Professor and Director of Public History at the University of North Carolina. Library Company Program in African American History Director Erica Dunbar, seen recently in the PBS mini-series "The Abolitionists" speaking about Frederick Douglass, will introduce the first panel Reaching Students in the Classroom and the Field, which will include Naomi Coquillon from the National Museum of American History; Michelle Evans of Connor Prairie Interactive History Park; Masterman High School's Amy Cohen, and Krystal Appiah, African American History Specialist at the Library Company of Philadelphia.


Beyond the Proclamation: Interpreting Emancipation for Today's Youth will be held at WHYY, Independence Mall West, 150 N. Sixth Street, Philadelphia. Visit friendsofindependence.org to register and receive more information.

Networking and material distribution will occur between 8 am to 8:45am; panel discussions are scheduled from 9 am to 1 pm (with breaks); and the day will conclude with a keynote luncheon from 1 pm to 3 pm. Participating teachers are eligible for Act 48 credits. The cost of the symposium including lunch is $70, and discounts are available for members of hosting institutions. Pre-registration is required to attend the symposium. Visit friendsofindependence.org to register and receive more information. You can also register by calling the Friends' office at 215-861-4971 or by e-mailing attn@friendsofindependence.org.  

The Library Company of Philadelphia

The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library specializing in American history and culture from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company is America's oldest cultural institution and served as the Library of Congress from the Revolutionary War to 1800. The Library Company was the largest public library in America until the Civil War and includes the extensive personal libraries of such prominent early American bibliophiles such as James Logan. Open to the public free of charge, the Library Company houses an extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art, and the second largest holding of early American imprints. Particular strengths of the collection include economic history, women's history, African American history, history of medicine, history of philanthropy, and visual culture. To find out more, please visit www.librarycompany.org.