The Rosenbach Museum

Hand-written notes from Bram Stoker's Dracula

In my previous posts about Benjamin Franklin and Edgar Allan Poe, I talked about how Philadelphia was unexpectedly and wonderfully literary. I am an English Major, if you didn’t already know, so when I discovered the Rosenbach Museum my head almost exploded. The Rosenbach Museum is an English Major’s dream and an antique collector’s dream and I just happen to be both.

James Joyce's Ulysses Manuscript
A page from James Joyce’s Ulysses Manuscript

When we arrived at the museum we were the only visitors there so we were given a private tour. Sadly, they do not allow photography but they kindly agreed to let me use pictures off of their website. I wanted to take pictures of everything. Literally everything, down to the doorknobs.

Mummy eye-covers
Those aren’t boobies. They are eyes. Perve. Mummy Eye-Covers.

The first stop on the tour was to a little room that has multiple pictures on the wall. The pictures represent the Rosenbach family and many of the authors that are included in their epic library. They have the handwritten manuscript of James Joyce’s Ulysses, Lewis Carroll’s personal copy of Alice in Wonderland, and Bram Stoker’s handwritten notes from when he was writing Dracula. They also have handwritten letters from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. A-mazing.

Abraham Lincoln Discharge Letter
A short note written by Abraham Lincoln ordering the discharge of a prisoner of war.

On our tour we were able to see a few examples of these amazing pieces but the mind-blowing thing is that you can make a private appointment and hold anything from the library that you want. You obviously cannot take home these historic literary writings, but to hold in your hands a piece of paper that was written on by Abraham Lincoln? Maybe I’m just a nerd, but I think that is pretty freakin’ cool.

St. Michael Statue
A statue of St. Michael dated between 1500-1520 from either Southern Germany or Austria.

The Rosenbach Museum is named such because Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach and his brother Philip left behind the core of the collection that is held at the museum. They were dealers of fine art, literature, and manuscripts but would occasionally stumble upon pieces that they couldn’t bear to part with. Thus the Rosenbach Museum was born.

Hand-written notes from Bram Stoker's Dracula
Notes from Bram Stoker’s Dracula

So basically, if you are ever in Philadelphia and you’re a lover of literature, fine art, or antiques you should definitely check this place out. They have some of the most beautiful and unique pieces that I have ever seen. I’m pretty much ready to move in. I think my socks would go quite nicely in this little gold embellished trunk. Don’t you?

Ornate Trunk from England
An insanely gorgeous trunk from England.

All Pictures are from the Rosenbach Museum Website which you can visit here.

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