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.

Welcome to the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts! 

The Kislak Center is the principal site for rare books, manuscripts, and archives at the University of Pennsylvania and a hub for events, exhibits, and research. The Kislak Center is open to all.  We invite you to visit us on the sixth floor of Van-Pelt Library and explore our collections. 

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Portrait of Benjamin Franklin from the Edgar Fahs Smith Image Collection


Our Mission and History

Book of Hours

Reading Room

Access Kislak Center Collections On-Site and Remotely

From Kyōka zuan; 京華図案, by Keika Hasegawa


Fellowships and Support for Researchers, Students, and Faculty 



Civic Engagement

Partnerships celebrating the history, culture, and people of Philadelphia.

Spines of five old, leather-bound books with Hebrew titles.

Judaica Digital Humanities

Creative research and development in Jewish studies, informed by digital humanities, Jewish studies, and public scholarship.




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Sean Quimby

Associate University Librarian & Director of the Jay I. Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts | Director of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies

Location and Accessibility


The accessible entrance of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center opens into the Goldstein Undergraduate Study Center. This entrance is on the ground floor of the building facing Blanche P. Levy Park and College Hall. A wheelchair accessible doorbell is located on the railing leading toward the door.

Additional Information

Accessible Entrance

Accessible entrance on the ground floor. A brick walk leads from the north side of Levy Park to the accessible door. At the end of the walk are 2 doors. The accessible door is on the right.

Directions to the accessible entrance:   Word   |   PDF