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Visit FHL

The entrance to Friends Historical Library

Swarthmore College Special Collections, including the Friends Historical Library, the Peace Collection, and the College Archives, are open by appointment only.

How to Find the Library

Friends Historical Library is located on the main floor of McCabe Library on the Swarthmore College campus on Route 320 in the Borough of Swarthmore. The McCabe Library Building is located at the center of the campus. It is a large, stone building with long, narrow windows and a mansard roof.

Use resources available on the Swarthmore College website's Visit Swarthmore section for campus maps, driving directions and parking information.

Overnight Accommodations and Dining

Need to stay overnight near Swarthmore? We recommend Pendle Hill, a Quaker study, retreat, and conference center welcoming all for Spirit-led learning and community. It is located a 5-minute drive or a 30-minute walk from campus, and is significantly more affordably priced than nearby hotels. Their bed & breakfast service is perfect for short stays. Some of our visitors working on larger research projects choose Pendle Hill for longer-term sabbatical or personal retreat accommodations. Visit Pendle Hill website

  • Find additional options for accommodations on the Swarthmore College Local Lodging page
  • If you are exploring options on AirBnB, you can search for "Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA" and find our library close to the arboretum marker. For more numerous and affordable options, and to be closer to Center City, you may choose to stay in West Philadelphia and take the SEPTA regional transit train from the station on 49th Street between Chester Ave and Kingsessing Ave. Many of our staff live in this area, but it is an urban environment and travelers who are used to being in a city and are able to be aware of their surroundings will be most comfortable here. We recommend staying northwest of the station - search Airbnb for "Cedar Park, Philadelphia"
  • Find recommendations for dining, both on campus and at local restaurants and eateries on the Swarthmore College Local Dining page.
Internet Access

Visitors to the Friends Historical Library will have access to the wireless network SwatGuest. This is a self-service network; simply open your browser and follow the prompts to create a guest account. Consult this guide for more information. 

Reading Room Resources

See the Special Collection's Copies + Permissions page to learn more about taking photographs, making photocopies, and using microfilm readers in the Reading Room.