The American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, proudly bears the title of the nation's oldest learned society.  Our founders participated in the birth of American democracy. It pains us greatly that all these years later, our nation's promise has yet to be fulfilled.  We join all Americans of good will in deploring the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Over these past months the Society has hosted a number of virtual programs.  Even as we now resume our work with the offering of new programs, our attention remains focused on the senseless loss of innocent lives and our commitment to the difficult, necessary conversations and actions we must all take to begin to ensure that such tragedies end. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. Read more about the APS response to COVID-19.

The Past, Present, and Future of Libraries

In commemoration of the American Philosophical Society’s 275th anniversary, the Society’s Library is hosting an interdisciplinary conference that explores the history of libraries, the present opportunities for libraries, and the potential future for libraries as they continue to evolve in the 21st century. The conference will run from September 27-29, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA. It is free of charge and open to the public. This event is co-sponsored by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

The conference will begin with a keynote focused on the future of libraries on Thursday, September 27, hosted by Sarah E. Thomas (Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences) and including Mary Lee Kennedy (Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries), Khalil Gibran Muhammad (Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and Suzanne Young Murray Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies), and Michael Witmore (Director, Folger Shakespeare Library).  

A second keynote discussion on "The Making of Digital Libraries for the Scholarly Community" with Deanna Marcum (Senior Advisor, Ithaka S+R) and Donald J. Waters (Senior Program Officer for Scholarly Communications, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) will be held on Friday, September 28.