Dear Friends,

On this Memorial Day, our staff at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia join with you remembering the men and women who have died while faithfully serving our country and protecting our freedoms over the centuries. This week we also celebrate the scholars, researchers, activists, artists, and neighbors who work to protect, preserve, and educate about the history of our built environment. We have learned so much in recent years about the synergy between a city’s built environment and the economic, physical, and spiritual health of its inhabitants.

Our Brain Treats this week reflects that concern. We are delighted to announce this year’s recipients of the Peterson Fellowships, an endowed fellowship program of the Athenaeum. 

As we enter into the final week of May, I encourage you to check out new ebooks to read or periodicals to enjoy on our Press Reader. For help getting set up on the Press Reader, contact Jill Lee , and for help with eBooks contact Lois Reibach .

Don’t forget to register for this Wednesday’s Speaker event at 5:30 pm. Richard Bell will talk about his recent book, Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home , as well as our other events in our Online Speaker Series.

The next meeting of the Athenaeum Open Book Club is June 4 at 3:00pm. The book discussed will be  Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy.  The Athenaeum should have two copies of the ebook. It is also available from Project Gutenberg at Headhouse Books  has it available as both a hardback and paperback. Sign up on Eventbrite .

Wishing all of you a joyful and hopeful week,

Beth Shalom Hessel
Executive Director
Wed, May 27, 2020 5:30 PM EST
Richard Bell on Stolen
Wed, Jun 3, 2020 5:30 PM EST
Catherine Kerrison on Jefferson's Daughters
Charles E. Peterson Fellows Announced
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is pleased to announce the Charles E. Peterson Fellows for 2020-21.
Sandy Sorlien

Sandy Sorlien is a Philadelphia native and longtime resident of Manayunk, a watershed educator at the Fairmount Water Works, and a documentary photographer. The Peterson Fellowship will support the completion of her book, Inland: The Abandoned Canals of the Schuylkill Navigation. Begun in 1816, the 108-mile inland waterway was the first in America to carry anthracite coal, and the longest canal system in the country until the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. Sorlien’s project will document 60+ surviving stone and timber structures including locks, aqueducts, and lock tender’s houses from the mountains of Schuylkill County to tidewater at Fairmount.
Aaron V. Wunsch, Ph.D.

Aaron Wunsch is an associate professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, where he has taught since 2008. He is the author of Palazzos of Power: Central Stations of the Philadelphia Electric Company (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016) . The Peterson Fellowship will support the completion of his book, Parceling the Picturesque: Landscape, Literature, and Urban Life in Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery.  Wunsch is uniquely qualified for this work. Laurel Hill Cemetery figured centrally in his dissertation. He led the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) documentation team there, and he wrote the National Historic Landmark nomination for the site.
About the Charles E. Peterson Fellowship Program

The Fellowship was established in 1989 by the generous gift of Charles E. Peterson to the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Peterson, founder of the Historic American Buildings Survey, and historical architect for Independence National Historical Park, was an Athenaeum shareholder for fifty-two years. This restricted endowment fund is administered by the Athenaeum exclusively for charitable and educational purposes which reflect Peterson's life-long dedication to the study, recording, and preservation of early American architecture and building technology (pre-1860) and the teaching of conservation skills in American schools of architecture.