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“Great private library in elegant house museum ”

Rosenbach Museum and Library
Ranked #101 of 488 things to do in Philadelphia
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Rosenbach Museum & Library seeks to inspire curiosity, inquiry, and creativity by engaging broad audiences in exhibitions, programs and research based on its remarkable and expanding collections. With an outstanding collection of rare books, manuscripts, furniture, and art, the Rosenbach is a museum and world-renowned research library, set within two historic 1865 townhouses, that reflects an age when great collectors lived among their treasures.
Reviewed 27 May 2017 via mobile

We took a taxi to this museum thinking we could arrive any time for a self-guided tour, but except for a couple of small exhibits, you can only see the museum and library on a guided tour. We had to wait for the next scheduled tour, supposedly 45 minutes, but our volunteer guide exceeded an hour. You can't leave before the tour is over; the group must stay together. The family history is fascinating and the rooms we visited were beautifully furnished with antiques. The library rooms were impressive and contained many rare books and first editions. Maurice Sendak donated his collection of books to the museum and that is viewable without a guide.
In a lovely residential neighborhood.

Thank Dobbstraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"maurice sendak"
in 17 reviews
"book lovers"
in 9 reviews
"book collection"
in 6 reviews
"alice in wonderland"
in 7 reviews
"rittenhouse square"
in 10 reviews
"original manuscripts"
in 5 reviews
"love books"
in 5 reviews
"famous authors"
in 4 reviews
"house tour"
in 4 reviews
"guided tour"
in 9 reviews
"family history"
in 3 reviews
"antique furniture"
in 2 reviews
"behind glass"
in 2 reviews
"fantastic collection"
in 2 reviews
"on display"
in 4 reviews
"knowledgeable guide"
in 2 reviews
"philadelphia history"
in 2 reviews
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12 - 16 of 77 reviews

Reviewed 28 March 2017 via mobile

There are three parts to this gem. The exhibits which are constantly rotating but include such rarities as Alice in Wonderland and Barbar James Joyce and Moby Dick. The second part is the old house that the Rosenbach lived in with period pieces and many historic books. The third part, is actually off-limits without a special appointment which is the actual library itself. Tours of the historic house are only given on the hour and is the only way to see the house. Staff and tour guides are very friendly and helpful.

A little off the beaten path, near Rittenhouse Square and accessibly by nearby bus 19 which runs up market street through all the tourist areas before turning towards the museum and library. Also accessible with a half mile walk from trolley lines. Well worth the extra effort to get there and really only a short bus ride from the main tourist attractions.

1  Thank Frequent001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2017

Practically or should I say "literally" the only museum open today in Philadelphia. We were the only people on the 2pm tour and very grateful we were too. An amazing house and what a collection of books, manuscripts, book plates, ephemera they have. The furniture and the story behind it and the paintings etc is very interesting and we would highly recommend a visit. V knowledgeable and personable guide. Excellent value.

Thank HONORIA1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2017

I have lived 15 miles away from Philly for my entire life and never knew about this gem. I wish that the city would promote this museum more. If you love books, or history, or the history of books; this museum is for you! It is not large, but the museum itself is housed in 2 former homes that are now part of the historic street area around Rittenhouse Square. The Rosenbach brothers lived here with their families. One of the brothers loved books, especially first editions, a few are the only editions on the planet. Maurice Sendak has a collection here as well. Definitely take the tour. Show your student ID to pay half price. According to a neighbor passing by, the whole block closes down once a year to have a block party and read Ulysses. Don't pass this one by!

1  Thank abura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 February 2017

I am a bibliophile and book eater of the largest proportions (by my own estimation) so finding this gem near our AirBnB in Rittenhouse last weekend was an absolute delight. We managed to snag an hourly tour and this DID NOT DISAPPOINT. You will not find a more well rounded and impressive collection of literature on this continent I don't imagine. The value is millions and the collection vast. Signed Beatrix Potter....Signed Brothers Grimm....Henry James....Original Babar....William Blake illustrations...and this was just rooms #1 & 2 that are not even on the tour of the rest of the home. Art, sculpture, iron work....and books books books. You can even sign up to actually handle the books which is FREE with your meagre admission price. I'll definitely be back just to handle a few of the books on the treasured collection at the top of the house. These brothers Sendak / Rosenbach lived an amazing life of adventure and it's awesomeness is completely on display...hidden treasure doesn't come close to describing this museum.

Thank Sasha G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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