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The mission of the Free Library of Philadelphia is to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity. Its vision is to build an enlightened community devoted to lifelong learning.
The Free Library of Philadelphia is home to one of the nation's great collections of rare books and manuscripts, housed at two locations: the Beaux Arts flagship Free Library branch on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the historic townhouse of the Rosenbach brothers on Delancey Place. From manuscripts of Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde, Abraham Lincoln, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, to letters written by Thomas Jefferson, Emily Dickenson, and John Keats, to first editions of Miguel de Cervantes and Phyllis Wheatley, original artwork by Beatrix Potter, Howard Pyle, Kate Greenaway, and NC Wyeth, Elizabethan portrait miniatures, Judaica, ancient Egyptian artifacts, Charles Dickens' desk, and Herman Melville’s bookcase, the Free Library is home to a unique, world-class humanities collection.