Walk into any of our Libraries and you'll find our students engaged in research, working on individual or group projects, exploring new ideas, or simply joining friends to talk and have coffee; nowhere is this more true than in McCabe Library. Located at the heart of the campus, overlooking Parrish Hall and the Dean Bond Rose Garden, McCabe's collection houses items supporting the Humanities and the Social Sciences, including books, journals, and films, and facilitates access to the Libraries' collection of over 500,000 ebooks, close to 75,000 online journals, and a growing numbers of digital films. Within the building, one will also find the Friends Historical Library and the Peace Collection, an acclaimed collection of rare materials and artist's books, and skilled subject expert librarians available to assist students and faculty at any stage of their research process.
Cornell Science Library
Located in the Science Center, Cornell Library of Science & Engineering's collection contains over 65,000 items, including books, journals, electronic resources and videos. Focusing on the undergraduate science & engineering student, Cornell supports the research of both faculty and students of the following departments: biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics & statistics, and physics & astronomy. The science librarian is available to help students and faculty with their research during weekday hours in Cornell Library.
Underhill Music & Dance Library
Located on the edge of the Crum Woods in Lang Music Building, the Underhill collection of approximately 40,000 items contains books, scores, journals, sound recordings, and video recordings in the fields of music and dance. The primary musical focus of the collection is from the western classical tradition; other subject areas include jazz and non-western musics. The primary dance collection focus is in classical, modern, and dance ethnology with specializations in African and Asian dance. Underhill has facilities for listening and viewing as well as computers set up with software for composing and editing of sound and video.
Within our digital collections, you'll find materials associated with the research and scholarship of the College, as well as those of historical value.
Friends Historical Library
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. The collection reflects the Quaker origins of Swarthmore College. With more than 45,000 books, pamphlets and serials, 60,000 photographs, 400 major manuscript collections, and 9,000 volumes of original meeting records, Friends Historical Library is one of the outstanding research facilities for the study of Quaker history. The Library also maintains the Swarthmore College Archives and the papers of the Swarthmore Historical Society.
The mission of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection is to gather, preserve, and make accessible material that documents non-governmental efforts for nonviolent social change, disarmament, and conflict resolutions between peoples and nations.
Rare Book Room
The Rare Book Room of McCabe Library, located on level 3, houses rare books and journal. From the outside, it looks dark and mysterious, but inside, with the lights on, it's a wonderful collection of unique items. Rare books, old books, limited-edition books, books that don't look like books, bound volumes of magazines and newspapers, Swarthmore publications such as the College Bulletin and the Phoenix, collections on William Wordsworth, O. Henry, W.H. Auden, James Michener '29, and Seamus Heaney. All this and more is kept in the Rare Book Room on the top floor of McCabe Library, where we aim to preserve and promote the use of these exceptional and distinctive materials for research, scholarship, and enjoyment. Search Swarthmore's special collections in Tripod.
Black Cultural Center Library
The Libraries support the research of the community served by the Black Cultural Center. The collection of approximately 1,500 volumes encapsulates African American experience and the thought inherent to the civil rights movement. In addition, there are reference books, periodicals, and some popular reading. The students use this library as both a reading room and collaborative space; there is ample table space, comfortable seating, and desktop computers.
In Hebrew, "Beit" means house. "Midrash" comes from the word root that means to seek, to search out, to dig for meaning. A Beit Midrash is a House of Study. The Swarthmore College Beit Midrash, a joint project of the Libraries and the Department of Religion, offers unique access to the rich tradition of Jewish textual interpretation in the liberal arts environment.