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Tips for Searching the Online Catalogues

Photograph of telephone operators at the Bell of Pennsylvania exchange at 215 Harvard Avenue in Swarthmore in 1940
Telephone operators at the Bell of Pennsylvania exchange at 215 Harvard Avenue in Swarthmore (1940)

Searching Tripod

TRIPOD is the name of our on-line library catalogue.This bibliographic catalogue includes books and some other materials in all of the libraries at Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr colleges. This is a good place to start your search. There is one public terminal in the Reading Room, but you can also access it from home, before you get to the Library. If you are interested in genealogy, you'll probably want to start with a subject search using your ancestor's name. Please be sure to check the location symbol in the box at the bottom of the screen once you locate a particular record: it must begin with S if you are to find it anywhere at Swarthmore College, and S FHL if you are to find it here. If the call number includes the abbreviation Ref or begins with BX7791 or CS71, the item is located in the Reading Room.
Colorized print of an English engraving, "Sailor at a Quaker's Funeral"

Searching Visual Materials

Visual Materials

The Friends Historical Library image collection contains approximately 80,000 photographs and other visual resources that document the history of the Society of Friends and its concerns, most dating from 1880 through the present. About 5% of the pictures may be accessed online either through the Tri-College digital library, Triptych, or the bibliographic catalog, Tripod. The vast majority of these images are listed in in-house finding aids so researchers interested in visual resources are urged to come into the Library. 


Charts, Maps and Other Resources

FHL has extensive collections of maps, deeds, broadsides, original marriage certificates, burial ground charts, and other primary documents. These materials can only be searched through the Library's card file.

Pastel Portrait of Miers Fisher about 1800

Searching Quaker Records

Before searching for information about individual members of the Society of Friends, it is useful to know the name and history of the monthly meeting of which they may have been members. The best site for narrowing this search is Tom Hill's It is particularly useful to search by state and county, keeping in mind that vital records of Friends were maintained by the monthly meeting -- which may have included persons who worshiped in a number of meeting houses in what may have been a large geographical area. Hill's database includes not only the dates of establishment and, if relevant, dates of the monthly meeting's laying-down, but also the names of its preparatives and useful information about the current location of records, if known.

Photograph of the Interior of a Quaker Meeting House

Online Indices

Hazard Index

Mr. James E. Hazard, working with the original records at Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, completed a name index to New York Yearly Meeting in 2005. This index is now on-line, and includes all of the monthly meeting minutes and vital records that were on deposit at Swarthmore to that date:

In-House Resources

Friends Historical Library maintains vertical files that contain miscellaneous information which can be valuable to the researcher. The Pamphlet Group 7 (PG7) collection of family and personal information is organized alphabetically by name and may be accessed though the card file in the Reading Room; this collection is not available through an on-line search. Other vertical files include Quaker organizations, schools, individual meetings, and topical files.

Search Baltimore Yearly Meeting Records

Search Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Records

Search New York Yearly Meeting Records