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

George Cruikshank, hand colored woodcut print. London, ca. 1840. 1954.1880. 3871
Hands-On Tour
Friday, September 2, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Join us for this rare peek into some of the most personal and emotional writing in our collections. From the aching yearnings of poet John Keats to the dying wishes of a Civil War solider, the Rosenbach is home to a variety of love letters More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, September 9, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Even if you’ve never read a line of Charles Dickens’ work, you know some of his creations. In this tour we’ll look at the original portrayals of Oliver Twist, Scrooge, and other memorable characters. More
Hands-On Tour
Sunday, September 11, 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
Friday, September 16, 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
Hands-On Tour
Friday, September 23, 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
Sunday, September 25, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
During Banned Books Week (9/25-10/1), take banned books back into your own hands, discuss the controversies surrounding them, and celebrate your freedom to read. More
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