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Special Collections

Swarthmore College Special Collections includes the Friends Historical Library, Peace Collection, Rare Books, and the Swarthmore College Archives. 

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 in the mid-seventeenth century to the present.

Peace Collection: Established over 80 years ago, the Peace Collection is one of the most extensive research libraries and archive collections in the country that focuses solely on movements for peace. The Swarthmore Peace Collection gathers, preserves, and makes accessible material that documents non-governmental efforts for nonviolent social change, disarmament, and conflict resolutions between peoples and nations.

Rare Books: Swarthmore College is home to a vibrant and continually growing collection of contemporary artists' books. The collection, with over 6,000 items dating back to 1540. Rare Books also includes the W.H. Auden Collection, the Bathe Collection, the Wells Collections on James Thomson and William Wordsworth, and the David H. Keller Collection of science fiction and fantasy pulp magazines.

College Archives: The College Archives include records of the College as a corporation, of its Board of Managers, key administrative offices and academic units, materials related to student life on campus, personal papers of faculty, staff and alumni, college publications, and other materials related to the history of Swarthmore College.