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Revitalizing the Rosenbach with Derick Dreher, Ph.D
October 6 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pmFree
The Rosenbach has long been known as one of Philadelphia’s treasures, with people making pilgrimages to see the original manuscript of James Joyce’s Ulysses, or Lincoln’s handwritten Baltimore Address, or Bram Stoker’s notes for Dracula, and more. But visitors today no longer want to stare in quiet appreciation. They want to participate in unique and interactive experiences based on collections. Over the past several years, the Rosenbach has begun to lure larger, younger and more diverse audiences to take part in hands-on tours, literary-themed cocktail parties, reading groups, talk-backs and more, both on site and online. Rosenbach Director Derick Dreher will sketch out the history of the museum, from the brothers who founded it in the first half of the 20th century, to its physical expansion some, 20 years ago, to the more recent affiliation with the Free Library of Philadelphia, culminating in its rebirth as a thriving cultural center.
Derick Dreher is the John C. Haas Director of the Rosenbach, which is known for its extraordinary holdings of rare books. He also serves as VP of Special Collections at the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Rosenbach’s formal partner, which likewise preserves vast special collections. His work at these institutions centers on the effort to activate collections through compelling programs that engage larger and more diverse audiences. Dreher studied art history at Princeton and then Yale, where he received a Ph.D. for his thesis on German old master drawings. In addition to his work with the Rosenbach and the Free Library, he serves on the boards of Lyrasis, a national library technology consortium, and of the Independence Foundation, which makes grants in the areas of arts and culture, public interest law, health care and social services. He lives in Center City with his wife and nine-year-old son.