Library and Archives

Beginning October 1, 2017, the Library and Archives will be undergoing renovations that will last into 2019. Library and archives materials will not be accessible between October 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. During the remainder of the renovation, we will not be displaying or holding page turnings of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America. We hope to provide limited access to Library and Archives materials beginning in January 2018. Please check back in 2018 for more information on available services.

Plate 387, Birds of America

The Academy Library and Archives is internationally recognized for its extraordinarily rare and historic books, journals, art, artifacts, manuscripts, photographs, and the unique papers and research of Academy members and staff. The Library holds more than 250,000 titles that span five centuries (1520 to present) and two-thirds of all titles predate the 20th century. The 2,000 Archives collections contain over a million items, including manuscripts, field notebooks, correspondence, films, journals, and photographs.The Archives collections span four centuries (1692 to present), including art and artifacts.

Items in the Library collection may be searched, using the Academy Online Catalog and Online Journals. Archive collections may be searched using Finding Aids and Guides. Images from both the Library and Archives are found in Digital Collections.

Until October 1, the Library and Archives are open to the public for research on weekdays from 10:00am-1:00pm, by appointment. Call 215-299-1040 or email or to schedule appointments. Please see Visitor Information for more details.                       

The Library Reading Room is open to the public every weekday from 1:00pm-4:00pm. During that time, the page turning of the double elephant-sized folio of John James Audubon's, Birds of America takes place at 3:15pm. Also on view in the Reading Room is the current exhibit, Recent Additions to the Academy Collections, which displays specimens, minerals, books, and archival items new to our Museum.