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

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.