Benjamin Franklin Papers

The Benjamin Franklin Papers (over 800 items) include correspondence and documents, 1705-1788, primarily relating to Franklin's stay in France during the American Revolution and his role in the negotiations between France and the Continental Congress. Some earlier documents and printed materials are also part of the collection.

Woodcut of tooth extraction from title page of Artzney Buchlein (Leipzig, 1530)

Dental Library Special Collections

Penn Dental Medicine is one of the oldest dental schools in the nation. Dr. Thomas W. Evans, a Philadelphia native, who became the dentist to the courts of Europe during France’s Second Empire and confidant of Napoleon III, left his estate in 1897 to create and maintain a dental school that would be “second to none.” Dr. Evans’ collection did not though fund the formation of a dental library that was left to future generations.

Vintage photograph of Edgar Fahs Smith in his office in Harrison Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania.

Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection

The Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection is devoted to the history of chemistry and collects broadly in that field, emphasizing periods prior to 1900. The collection includes early and modern works on chemistry, alchemy, early medicine and pharmacology, dyeing, metallurgy, mineralogy, and pyrotechnics; biographies of chemists; works on the chemical industry; and the history of chemical education.

Eugene Ormandy, ca 1950

Eugene Ormandy Collection

The collection documents Ormandy's extraordinary 64-year career and may be consulted by researchers through the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Original Gotham Book Mart sign that declares "Wise Men Fish Here"

Gotham Book Mart Collection

The Gotham Book Mart was a vital bookstore in the New York literary scene from its creation in 1920 to its closing in 2006. In 2008, after the closure of the bookstore, the Penn Libraries received the remaining stock of books, along with papers and other items from this landmark institution.

Postcard from Trinidad, Port of Spain.

Indo-Caribbean Collection

Penn Libraries has a substantive Indo-Caribbean collection that strives to reveal histories, communities, and cultural expressions that have remained underrepresented in most research libraries.

Covers of Kaigun magazine.

Japanese Naval Collection

The Naval Collection focuses on the Meiji through early Shōwa periods, and is especially strong in materials related to the training fleet (renshū kantai 練習艦隊).