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Friends Historical Library

Department Overview

Friends Historical Library was established in 1871 to collect, preserve, and make available archival, manuscript, printed, and visual records concerning the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) from their origins mid-seventeenth century to the present. Friends Historical Library is one of the outstanding research facilities for the study of Quaker history

Besides the obvious focus on Quaker history, the holdings are a significant research collection for the regional and local history of the middle-Atlantic region of the United States and the history of American social reform. Quakers played prominent roles in almost every major reform movement in American history, including abolition, African-American history, Indian rights, women's rights, prison reform, humane treatment of the mentally ill, and temperance. The collections also reflect the significant role Friends played in the development of science, technology, education, and business in Britain and America.  

The Library also maintains the Swarthmore College Archives and the collections of the Swarthmore Historical Society.

Quaker History Resources

Peruse our exhibits, explore our digital collections, find tips on how to use and understand Quaker sources, and more!

Quaker History Resources

Apply Now for a Research Fellowship!

We're now accepting applications for the Moore Fellowship for 2019, supporting research using the resources of the Friends Historical Library and/or the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. The fellowship carries a stipend of $1,200/week for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of six weeks. Applications are due March 15, 2019 March 25, 2019.

Moore Research Fellowship
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In Her Own Right - Celebrating Women Activists 1820-1920

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