Rosenbach exhibit examines the Titanic’s connection to Philly

A.S.W. Rosenbach got his big break in the rare books world when he took over the Widener collection.

April 15 marks 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic, so you can bet on everything from restaurants to Hollywood to free newspapers cashing in on a little nostalgia. But the Rosenbach Museum & Library has an actual connection to the doomed passenger liner: Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach got his big break as a rare books dealer when Harry Elkins Widener — a 27-year-old Philadelphian and book collector — was among the 1,517 who never made it ashore. As a trusted family friend, Rosenbach was called in to finish a collection that Widener had begun for Harvard University.

Now on view, “Titanic: Rise of Rosenbach” chronicles Rosenbach’s work with the Widener collection through items from the archive and correspondences, including a brief telegram from London announcing Widener’s passing.

According to legends circulating in the rare books world, Widener made an ominous prediction about the Titanic shortly before boarding. After purchasing his last book, a particularly elusive copy of essays by Francis Bacon published in 1598, he told the dealer, according to exhibit co-curator and Rosenbach librarian Elizabeth E. Fuller, “I’ve put Bacon in my pocket — if I’m shipwrecked, it will go down with me.”

While a good anecdote, it’s not quite as sensational as the one that would later be recounted, where he declared his allegiance to the book on the decks as the ship was going under.

Rosenbach told both versions, although Fuller tends to believe the first account. “He was a great storyteller,” she says, “but we like to tell true stories when we can.”

On the anniversary

On April 15, the Rosenbach, along with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, will host an anniversary reading of Titanic survivor accounts. That we’re still fascinated by the tragedy 100 years later doesn’t come as a surprise to Fuller. “Any story that touches such deep issues of life and death and tragedy and heroism, of what might have been, will capture people’s attention and imagination,” she says.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

Local

Number of New York City smokers increase, topping…

For the first time since 2007, there are  more than one million smokers in New York City, according to the New York City Department of…

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll is still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

Movies

If you don't like Simon Pegg's new film,…

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting…

Arts

Art in Chelsea: Don't miss these 3 galleries

We selected three sure bets for seeing cool art in the galleries of Chelsea.

Music

Robin Thicke blurs lines further with new 'Blurred…

"The reality is," said Robin Thicke about "Blurred Lines" in a court deposition, "Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song."

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.

Education

The top 5 regrets recent high school grads…

College application season can seem like a blur for many students - as test prep, campus visits and filling out a seemingly endless stream of…

Parenting

Tech execs tend to limit their kids' screen…

You probably got your iPad before Bill Gates's kids did.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing: Daybreaker returns, Ray Rice jersey trade, Sweet…

  Now that Ray Rice is no longer with the Baltimore Ravens — or any other NFL team — after video footage surfaced showing him…