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 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 rsvp@rosenbach.org.

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, February 24, 2017 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Explore items including The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel), early editions of Sherlock Holmes, and an album belonging to a female Civil War spy. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, March 3, 2017 - 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
Sunday, March 5, 2017 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Explore items including The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel), early editions of Sherlock Holmes, and an album belonging to a female Civil War spy. More
Sarony Studio, Portrait of Marianne Moore. New York, 1924. 2006. 5116
Hands-On Tour
Friday, March 10, 2017 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Marianne Moore, like Pablo Picasso, broke free of tradition and reassembled the pieces in a new and sometimes confounding way. In this tour, we will study her letters, clippings and the objects she surrounded herself with to find out more about the sources for her revolutionary and groundbreaking work. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, March 17, 2017 - 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
Friday, March 24, 2017 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Scattered among the Rosenbach’s collection of 15th-century, printed books known by bibliophiles as incunabula are among the first books printed in the Hebrew language. We’ll look at books that originated in modern-day Italy, Portugal, Germany, and the Netherlands, as well as the United States. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, March 31, 2017 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Religious inclinations of European Christians and Jews, governments with financial aspirations, and linguistic misapprehensions make for a fascinating mix of books that tell a fascinating story. More
Hands-On Tour
Friday, April 7, 2017 - 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, April 14, 2017 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Explore items including The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel), early editions of Sherlock Holmes, and an album belonging to a female Civil War spy. More
George Cruikshank, hand colored woodcut print. London, ca. 1840. 1954.1880. 3871
Hands-On Tour
Friday, April 21, 2017 - 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