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Special Collections

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

The 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.

Established over 80 years ago, the Swarthmore College Peace Collection is one of the most extensive research libraries and archive collections in the country that focuses solely on movements for peace. The 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.

The Rare Book Room on the 3rd Level of McCabe Library is home to a vibrant and continually growing collection of contemporary artists' books. Additionally, 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.

The College Archives include records of the College as a corporation, 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.