We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Open today: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Save
Review Highlights
Hidden gem and a must for history buffs

I like to plan trips for friends to expose them to more of Philly than the iconic places. While... read more

Reviewed 27 September 2018
Beth_McD05
,
Newark, Delaware
Maybe Philly's best kept secret

Wonderful old home housing an amazing rare book collection. We went on a summer Sunday and it was... read more

Reviewed 19 August 2018
Trup
,
New York, NY
Read all 78 reviews
  
Recommended experiences in and around Philadelphia
from USD 33.00
More Info
from USD 32.00
More Info
from USD 25.00
More Info
from USD 29.00
More Info
Reviews (78)
Filter reviews
78 results
Traveller rating
55
17
2
1
3
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
55
17
2
1
3
Show reviews that mention
All reviews maurice sendak book lovers book collection alice in wonderland rittenhouse square original manuscripts love books famous authors house tour guided tour family history antique furniture behind glass fantastic collection come alive on display knowledgeable guide
Filter
Updating list...
7 - 12 of 78 reviews
Reviewed 20 October 2017

A.S.W. Rosenbach was the 20th century's most important dealer of rare books and manuscripts, and his stately former home houses his priceless collection of literature. The catch? Most of it is secreted away, behind glass.

Take the house tour at the top of each hour. Our guide was entertaining and showed us what he could. But in the library upstairs, out of the countless manuscripts by famous authors, the only things on display were a few handwritten pages of Ulysses, written in James Joyce's sloping hand. Don't get me wrong – that's really cool. But it was maddening to watch our guide point out all the super-famous works by super-famous authors, all locked behind glass bookcase doors. It's like going to the Louvre and being told, "Inside that cardboard tube over there is the Mona Lisa."

That's the only reason this place gets 4 stars. I'd love to visit a Rosenbach with much more work on display. But this is not a vast museum. It's just a nice old house. There's only so much space.

There is a room downstairs with rotating exhibitions – when we were there, it was Bram Stoker's notes for Dracula and Mary Shelley's manuscript for Frankenstein, very atmospherically presented. This room alone makes the house a worthwhile destination for literature buffs.

Date of experience: October 2017
1  Thank forcor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2017 via mobile

Museum was a book lovers heaven.

Admission was inexpensive and included a tour and Dracula and Frankenstein exhibit.

The tour was of the library of the Rosenbachs which included many rare and interesting books.

Handicapped accessible.

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank Alec P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2017

Fantastic collection of rare books, first editions, and original manuscripts, some dating dating back to the 1600's.

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank tmg821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2017

Whether you are there in June for the complete reading (by serial readers) of James Joyce' Ulysses or enjoying the collections of famous authors or playing detective and appreciating the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle, Poe and others of this genre - good time can be had by all.

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank Bruce S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2017

Since I visit Philadelphia often I was running out of touristy things to do. I went into the Rosenbach slightly skeptical of what I would find. What a pleasant surprise! I had no idea the house itself is filled with such treasures and interesting artifacts! Upstairs the library does house unique manuscripts and rare books. Our docent was a wealth of knowledge. This is not to be missed!

Date of experience: June 2017
1  Thank kiwiandmolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews