Hands-On Tours

Turn the pages of a rare book, test the weight of a delicate teacup, read from a manuscript. Created especially for visitors who seek an in-depth and focused look at our collection, Hands-On Tours allow you unparalleled access to rare and important items that are not usually on view to the public. Led by a member of our staff, you’ll spend an hour getting up-close and personal with a variety of treasures related to a particular theme, like founding fathers, love letters, Irish authors, and more. Recommended for adults and children eight and older.

Advance Registration
Hands-On Tours are offered almost every Friday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Advance registration is strongly recommended, as there are a limited number of spots on each tour and tours without registrants 48 hours in advance will be cancelled. Upon registration, you will be asked to purchase your admission and Hands-On Tour.To register, call (215)732-1600, ext. 123 or e-mail [email protected].

Drop-in Visitors
Any open spots on a tour will become available to drop-in visitors on a first-come first-served basis at noon on the day of the tour. If you plan to drop-in for a Hands-On Tour, please call (215)732-1600 and dial “0” to confirm that the tour is being offered.

Cost
$5 per person (in addition to the cost of general admission).

Upcoming Hands-on Tours

Hands-On Tour
Friday, September 30, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
On this tour, we will take a look at the work of Joseph Conrad, Herman Melville, as well as other writings of life on the tempestuous sea. More
Hands-On Tour
Sunday, October 2, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Explore the ways that Don Quixote has been imagined and illustrated through the centuries, through remarkable drawings and prints by notable artists. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, October 7, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Explore the ways that Don Quixote has been imagined and illustrated through the centuries, through remarkable drawings and prints by notable artists. More
Hands-On Tour
Sunday, October 9, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Looking at some of Shakespeare’s earliest printings and books that inspired his plots, we'll explore how his work has fared at the hands of actors, editors, and forgers. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, October 14, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Among the Rosenbach’s collection of 15th-century books are some of the first books printed in Hebrew. We’ll look at books that originated in modern-day Italy and Portugal, learning about their printers, owners & collectors. More
Hands-On Tour
Sunday, October 16, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
This Wine & Words Hands-On Tour focuses on intoxicating artifacts and rare books that chronicle the history of wine and explore its role within literature. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, October 21, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
The Rosenbach is well known for the works of James Joyce and Bram Stoker, but the “English Literature” collections include many other notable Irish authors as well. In addition to Ulysses and Dracula, we’ll read and handle works by some of these others, and look at their connections and influences. More
Hands-On Tour
Sunday, October 23, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
From George Washington’s earliest known letter (he was just 17!) to a meticulously folded page containing a scientific observation made by Thomas Jefferson while he was walking outside on a misty day, this tour offers an intimate view of the Founding Fathers’ writings to family, friends, colleagues, and even themselves. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, October 28, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Experience the magic of holding a fifteenth-century book and an autographed portrait by Houdini in your hands! More
Hands-On Tour
Sunday, October 30, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Get up close and personal with Bram Stoker’s handwritten notes for Dracula as Rosenbach staff explore what it takes to create an enduring monster. More