College Archives Policies

Cyanotype photograph of Parrish Hall

Parrish Hall rebuilt after it burned down in 1881

Collecting Scope

The Archives is committed to collecting the official records of Swarthmore College, as well as certain unofficial records pertaining to the College in a variety of formats, including print, visual, audio, and electronic. The College Archives focuses its collecting efforts in the following areas, in descending order of emphasis:

  1. The official records of Swarthmore College, including documents in various formats that have been created and collected by the College and its offices and departments from its origins to the present day. These documents include (but are not limited to): publications, correspondence, committee minutes, ledgers and other financial records, clippings, photographs, films, and sound recordings. See also: Records Management at Swarthmore College
  2. Records of student clubs, faculty committees, staff groups, semi-autonomous organizations (e.g. the Scott Arboretum), and other bodies affiliated with the College.
  3. Papers or materials of students, alumni, faculty, or staff members that directly document college operations or campus community life. Please note that due to space limitations and other practical constraints, the College Archives generally avoids collecting personal papers, faculty research, and other materials that aren’t focused specifically on Swarthmore College.

While the above areas describe the College Archives’ collecting scope, other criteria that impact the Archives’ ability to preserve materials and make them accessible - such as format, condition, and legal and ethical considerations - may factor into acquisitions decisions.

Please see the Friends Historical Library's page on donating to collections for answers to frequently asked questions about access restrictions, literary rights, monetary appraisals, and more.

To discuss donating or transferring materials to the Swarthmore College Archives, please email archives@swarthmore.edu or call the Friends Historical Library, 610-328-8496.