In our brief visit we got to see some highlights from the Elkins Room (including a map by John Dee, a fascinating character who is featured on our Magic hands-on-tour), fantastic material from their Pennsylvania German collections, as well as their First Folio, several medieval books of hours, and the Ferrara Bible (which our curator Judy Guston remembered vividly from Chosen). We all wished we had more time, but luckily this is only the beginning.
Here is Janine Pollock, the head of the rare book department, retrieving a book for us in Elkins room. To learn more about William McIntire Elkins and his collecting, you can check out this essay by Ellen Schaffer. We all coveted the elegant library ladder that you see in the foreground of this picture, but it seems that the staff actually use the more prosaic steps that Janine is standing on.
We neglected to take a group shot, but we want to extend our thanks to all the folks at the Free Library who took time out of their busy schedules to spend with us. We are looking forward to returning the favor.