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

Washington, George, (1732-1799).Autographed Letter Signed, 1749 May 5, Ferry Far
Hands-On Tour
Friday, April 29, 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
Sunday, May 1, 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
Dracula, Dust Jacket. EL3 .S874d 897
Hands-On Tour
Friday, May 6, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Get up close and personal with Bram Stoker's hand-written notes for the novel as Rosenbach staff discuss what it takes to create an enduring monster. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, May 13, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
This tour explores issues of Philadelphia craftsmanship, style, and the changing world in which artisans and their patrons lived and worked. More
Hands-On Tour
Sunday, May 15, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Mathematician and cleric Charles Lutwidge Dodgson published children’s books under the pen name Lewis Carroll. This tour will explore both the man and the author. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, May 20, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
When is Shakespeare not Shakespeare? And what is a folio, anyway? After seeing 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
Sunday, May 22, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Learn about Mercedes de Acosta, an accomplished writer and an influential figure in the café society of the 1930s. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, June 3, 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
Sunday, June 5, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
“Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever,” from Moby-Dick. On this tour, we will examine manuscript pages of Joseph Conrad, read stories of castaways, the influential poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” and other writings of life on the tempestuous sea. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, June 10, 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