In 1743, Benjamin Franklin founded the American Philosophical Society (APS), one of America’s oldest learned and scientific societies. Since 1789, Philosophical Hall has been the home of APS, hosting meetings of members including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John J. Audubon, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein, and Robert Frost.
Over the years the APS has gathered a museum collection that traces American history and science from the founding fathers to the computer age. It includes iconic treasures like a draft copy of the Declaration of Independence hand-written by Thomas Jefferson, the original journals of Lewis and Clark, and the largest collection of Benjamin Franklin papers in the world. Housed in Philosophical Hall and open to the public, the museum includes scientific specimens and instruments, patent models, portraits, maps, art works, rare books, collections on Native American anthropology, and more than ten million manuscripts.
Keystone Fund grants repaired the roof of Philosophical Hall, ensuring the long-term preservation of the museum’s important collections. The repairs maintained the building’s form and integrity as part of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. Independence National Park preserves several sites associated with the American Revolution, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were constructed.