The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Jay I. Kislak Symposium

In 2013, the Penn Libraries celebrated the dedication of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, named in honor of Jay I. Kislak (Wharton 1943). Jay I. Kislak and the Kislak Family Foundation donated $5.5 million to the Penn Libraries to complete the renovation of the 5th and 6th floors of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center and also contributed to ongoing Kislak Center programming.

Image based on the sign used by the Gotham Book Mart

Past Symposia

Gilgamesh Dream Tablet
  • Symposium
December 2-3, 2021 @ Virtual

The Ethics of Collecting in the 21st Century

The 2021 Jay I. Kislak Symposium is focused on the ethical issues involved in collecting, archiving, and recording.

  • Virtual
Open to the Public
Joanna Banks in her library, 2018
  • Lecture
February 20-21, 2020

Writing Across Genres

Black Women Writing Across Genres in the Late 20th Century

  • Kamin and Goldstein Family Galleries, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, first and sixth floors
Open to the Public
Portrait of Swift
  • Symposium
February 22-24, 2018

Jonathan Swift in the 21st Century

This conference and exhibit examine Swift and his works through a contemporary lens, exploring how they have travelled across three centuries and around the world.

  • Virtual
Open to the Public
Detail from Holy Land Travel Manuscript c. 1690 (UPenn CAJS Rar Ms 455)
  • Exhibit
On Exhibit February 9, 2017 - May 19, 2017

Expanding Earth: Travel, Encounter, and Exchange

This exhibit examines historical records of the movement and exchange of people, ideas, and objects throughout the world, and looks beyond Eurocentric ideas of exploration, conquest, and "discovery."

  • Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, 6th Floor, Kislak Center
Open to the Public

Image above: Image based on the sign used by the Gotham Book Mart