This 1847 print shows a view looking southwest toward the three-story Italianate-style library building, the Athenaeum, built 1845–47 after the designs of Scottish-born architect John Notman. The building was located at 219-221 South Sixth Street in Philadelphia. The adjacent building can also be seen in this view, and trees are visible beyond a brick wall in the background. The Athenaeum was founded in 1814 to collect materials "connected with the history and antiquities of America, and the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge" for the public benefit. This lithograph was created by Peter A. Nicholson, modeled after an 1845 wash drawing by John Notman, which is included in the collections of the Athenaeum. The printer, Thomas S. Sinclair (circa 1805–81), was born in the Orkney Islands of Scotland and was active in Philadelphia by 1833, where he soon had his own business and was one of the first local printmakers to experiment with color lithography. A practical lithographer throughout his career, Sinclair produced all genres of lithographs, including maps, advertisements, city and landscape views, sheet music covers, portraiture, political cartoons, certificates, and book illustrations.

Last updated: January 8, 2018