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Copies, Permissions, and Research Help

Research Help

Send an email to, including as much specific information as you can. If you don't have access to email, you may call us at 610-328-8496. Unfortunately, we have a very small staff and we don't have the capacity to do research on the part of off-site patrons. If you can specify particular folder(s) or materials and would like a low-resolution PDF copy, we can usually accommodate requests up to about 100 pages. Or if you have a research question that we can readily find the answer to, we will be happy to oblige. Otherwise, we can refer you to an independent researcher/genealogist who is experienced using Quaker sources to help with more in-depth questions or lengthy photocopy/scan requests.

Self-Serve Copying

We recommend that researchers coming to FHL bring a digital camera or smartphone (for copying from books or manuscripts) and a thumb drive (for copying from microfilm). There is an iPad available for patrons to use for taking pictures. There is also a photocopier available for making paper copies. Patrons must show Reading Room Staff all materials prior to photocopying, as some items are too fragile to be placed on the machine. 

Some materials may be governed by copyright restrictions. Researchers using the Library assume legal responsibility for observing these regulations and agree to indemnify the Library for any liability incurred through their use of the Library's holdings.

High-Resolution Copies and/or Publication Permission

As owners of the physical materials in our collections, the Friends Historical Library's policy is to provide high-resolution scans of our materials only after researchers agree to comply with our Permission and Use Agreement. Please write to with the details of your request and describing the use, and we will advise you how to proceed. Friends Historical Library staff will supply any known information about the copyright status of a requested item. Researchers using the Library assume legal responsibility for observing copyright regulations and agree to indemnify the Library for any liability incurred through their use of the Library's holdings.

In recognition of the staff time it takes to locate and scan items, we recommend a $25 donation per scan. Donations can be made via the College's "Make a Gift" form - in the drop-down designation field, please select "Other" and write "Friends Historical Library" as the recipient of your gift. 

If an item/image is reproduced in a publication, the requestor must supply a copy of the book or publication (where applicable). Our mailing address is:
     Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
     500 College Ave.
     Swarthmore, PA 19081