History is like Frankenstein's monster; all it takes to make it come alive is the right education, a large body of artifacts exhumed from the earth, and an electrical storm. Learn from the past with today's Groupon: for $5, you get one adult admission to the Rosenbach Museum & Library (a $10 value) in Rittenhouse Square.
The Rosenbach Museum, which is built from the rare book, manuscript, antique, and fine art collections of the Rosenbach brothers, preserves cultural treasures such as the only surviving copy of Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard Almanac, illustrator Maurice Sendak's drawings, and artifacts from the Civil War. In addition to special exhibitions, the museum's diligent docents guide guests through the Rosenbach manse's nineteenth-century crannies, exploring the rare book library and fine-art rooms, a replica of poet Marianne Moore's living space, and the giant roll of quarters signifying entry into the National Register of Historic Places.
In its rare book collections, the museum houses the manuscript for James Joyce's Ulysses as well as Bram Stoker's notes for Dracula, where he demands Peter Cushing for the role. Fans of Where the Wild Things Are both young and nonyoung will enjoy viewing artwork from author Maurice Sendak, whose only surviving mural, a 13-foot-wide parade of familiar characters, is being publicly exhibited at the museum on view during special public viewing hours. The exhibit, Exile Among Expats: James Joyce in Paris, displays highlight the city's influence on Joyce, as well as his own experience in the naked city of lights. The Civil War Begins exhibit presents papers from General P.G.T. Beauregard on the First Battle of Manassas, Robert E. Lee's letter of resignation from the U.S. Army, and a cornucopia of edifying artifacts.
The Rosenbach Museum & Library is closed on Mondays and national holidays.