The Barnwell Society is the Penn Libraries’ unrestricted annual giving leadership association. The Society— named in honor of James G. Barnwell, Penn’s first professional librarian — recognizes distinguished donors who make gifts and pledge payments of $2,500 or more to the Penn Libraries Fund in a given fiscal year. The vision and generosity of Barnwell Society members, like that of the Society’s namesake, shape the future of the Penn Libraries and resonate across campus and around the world.

Membership levels include:

Your gift funds:

  • The acquisition of unique and distinctive materials — from physical objects to digital resources — that enrich our holdings in a specific area of study for research, teaching, and learning
  • Digitization of up to 1,700 individual pages, which will extend online access of our world-class collections to students, faculty, and researchers
Associate membership rates for recent graduates:
0-4 years post-graduation: $250
5-9 years post-graduation: $500
10-14 years post-graduation: $1000

Your gift supports:

  • A one-year fellowship for an undergraduate student, which will provide firsthand experience in the field of information science and mentoring by our seasoned team of professional librarians
  • An acquisition trip for one of our distinguished librarians or bibliographers, so that we may continue to expand our diverse and distinctive collections
  • 20 hours of treatment by the team of experts in our Conservation Lab to ensure our Special Collections are preserved for use by generations of students and researchers to come

Your gift supports:

  • Technology upgrades for our group study spaces across campus, which inspire creativity and connection and help to sustain welcoming and inclusive facilities for scholars of all ages
  • Undergraduate access to hands-on training in digital literacy and emerging technologies — skills that provide graduating seniors a competitive edge in the modern workplace

Your gift funds:

  • One year of community archiving workshops that bring the Penn Libraries’ processing, cataloging, preservation, and digitization resources to local communities to assist with creating an accessible, lasting historical record
  • Continuing education and staff development initiatives to sustain and enhance our talented staff’s ability to support student and faculty research in a rapidly changing academic landscape

All Barnwell Society members receive important updates from Libraries leadership, an annual Investors’ Report, distinction in the Libraries’ annual Donor Honor Roll, and an invitation to our annual Leadership Celebration on campus, in addition to membership in Penn’s leadership annual giving circle, the Benjamin Franklin Society (BFS).

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