Browse Collections (12 total)

Athenaeum Archives


The Athenaeum Archives Collection contains institutional records and items pertaining to the history of The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Examples include financial ledgers, membership records, collections records, photographs, and objects. Also, records pertaining to the superintendence of the Athenaeum's National Historic Landmark Building. (This online collection will grow as items are digitized)

Bonaparte Collection


The Bonaparte Collection contains items related to Napoleon, Joseph, Charlotte and other members of the Bonaparte Family. It also includes Bonaparte souvenirs, and decorative items that may be described as "French Philadelphia" or from the Napoleonic Era.

Japanese Paintings Collection

A collection of Japanese paintings imported by the J. B. Millett Co. of Boston, c. 1900.

Magee Collection

Collection of 65 picture post cards, c. 1905-1910 of Philadelphia area sites, primarily Germantown. Nearly all cards are postmarked and addressed to Miss Clara Baumann, 5037 Pulaski Street, Germantown. Gift of Eileen M. Magee, 2017

Portraits and Paintings and Paintings/resized/AP58.01.jpg

Presented here are portraits and paintings found in various Athenaeum collections. Most are oil paintings, though a few portraits have been included that were created in other mediums. There are additional portraits and paintings in the Bonaparte Collection, also available on this site.

Robert L. M. Camden Collection


The Camden Collection consists of the artwork and personal materials of artist and graphic designer Robert L. M. Camden (1855-1922). It includes drawings, prints, photographs, and manuscripts. Examples of his work include cigar box designs, notepad covers, lettering and company logos. For most of his career, Camden worked as a solo artist and illustrator based in Philadelphia. In 1887, he briefly partnered with René Théophile de Quélin as "Camden & Quelin Artists, Designers & Illustrators."

Robert M. Skaler Postcard Collection

Gift of retired architect Robert M. Skaler, 2016. These 1899 postcards, (bulk dates 1900-1976), depict Philadelphia and surrounding area. Originally arranged in 14 ring binders, roughly by subject or type. The number following PC in each item's local id number indicates the original binder number. Binder subjects were as follows: 1-Atlantic City 2-Parks 3-Schools 4-Linens 5-Hotels/Restaurants 6-Center City/Waterfront 7-Churches/Hospitals/Clubs/Prisons/Cemeteries 8-Real Postcards 9-North Broad Street 10-South Broad Street 11-North Philadelphia Real Postcards 12-Art Cards 13-Commerce 14-Lutz/Architects/Panorama/Neighborhoods

Sarah Josepha Hale Collection

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879) was a major literary figure of the 19th century. Born in New Hampshire, she was educated at home and by her mother and brother, Horatio. She married a young lawyer, David Hale, who died in 1822. As a result she had to find a way to support herself and her five children. She utilized her literary skills and published a collection of poems with mild success followed by her first novel entitled Northwood in 1827. Northwood advocated the repatriation of slaves to Africa by means of Liberia and called for New England style morality throughout the nation. In 1828 she began editing The Ladies’ Magazine of Boston, the first magazine for women to be edited by a woman. It had its financial difficulties and was united with Godey’s Lady’s Book (the majorly influential women’s magazine of the 19th century) in 1837. Godey’s was based in Philadelphia and she eventually she moved to Philadelphia from Boston to become more involved in her editorship of the magazine. These magazines acted as her platform to promote her moral agendas. She was a major proponent of equal education for women; however she was not a suffragist. She pushed for men and women to remain within their god-given spheres and believed women needed education to be better moral upholders of the home. Aside from being the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, she wrote many books and poems while lobbying for educational and social reform. Hale is also the author of Mary had a Little Lamb and the main person responsible for making Thanksgiving a national holiday (it was previously only celebrated in her native New England). Hale died in 1879 and was survived by four children (her oldest son died in 1839).

Sculpture Collection


The Athenaeum’s Sculpture Collection comprises a variety of European and American works in marble, bronze, plaster and ceramic, dating mostly from the 19th century. A variety of historical literary, mythological, ancient classical, political, military, arts and science figures are represented.

Additional sculptures relating to Napoleon Bonaparte and his family may be viewed online in the Athenaeum's Featured Collection, "Bonaparte Collection."

Sino-Japanese War Ukiyo-e Prints War Ukiyo-e Prints_279/279-PR-2005.jpg

A collection of ukiyo-e (Japanese wood block) prints produced during the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), depicting various battles and scenes of the war.

Stone Collecton


James N. Stone Jr. (1851-1911) was a lawyer and amateur photographer. He became a member of the Philadelphia Photographic Society in 1868. The Stone Collection contains photographic images in a variety of formats, some of which were taken by Stone, and others which he simply collected. Among the highlights are a photo album assembled by his son Frank S. Stone in 1912 (which contains photos taken by James Stone Jr. and Ellersbie Wallace Jr.), a rare daguerreotype by Robert Cornelius and a photo of Independence Hall taken from the Philadelphia Photographic Society’s rooms at 520 Walnut St.