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March 21, 2017

'We the Detectives' at the Free Library focuses on crime stories

The program includes two exhibits and an interactive experience

Beginning April 8, "We The Detectives" will open. The program's focus will be on the history of crime and detective stories. The genre of fiction has grown to be one of the most popular in the world, captivating audiences for the last 175 years.

There will be two exhibits, one at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Parkway Central branch and one at The Rosenbach, and an interactive experience.

The Rosenbach exhibit is titled "Clever Criminals and Daring Detectives." Fictional crime stories, like Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” Charles Dickens’ "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and Bram Stoker's "Dracula," will be highlighted.

The exhibit at the Free Library is named "Becoming the Detective: The Making of a Genre." It goes beyond the page and explores detective stories on stage, radio, film, television and in board games like Clue. 

Poe’s manuscript for “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” movie posters of Sherlock Holmes, first editions of Hardy Boys novels and Choose Your Own Adventure books will be displayed.

In 1841, while living in Philadelphia, Poe wrote “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” now considered one of the first ever detective stories.

As for the interactive experience, there are two ways to participate. Either sign up for a timed slot and Free Library agents will lead you through the building in search of clues, or use your phone and venture off by yourself.

"GUMSHOE is first and foremost an expedition into the treasures of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Codes, puzzles, disguises, and subterfuge – a bobsled ride into the world of lost books," according to the Library.

All activities are free. New Paradise Laboratories and The Rosenbach helped create the "We the Detectives" program.

We the Detectives

Saturday, April 8 through Friday, Sept. 1
Free Library of Philadelphia: Parkway Central
1901 Vine St.
(215) 686-5322


The Rosenbach
2008 Delancey Pl.
(215) 732-1600