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Special Collections

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College has one of the largest and richest collections of art, cultural artifacts, rare books and manuscripts to be found among liberal arts colleges in the country. The collections were built through donations from the extraordinary graduates of this all-women’s college that opened in 1885. Rather than focusing on one time period or topic, the collections reflect the range of interests of the donors, and thus support teaching, advanced research, and exhibitions across numerous fields.

The collections comprise rare books, manuscripts, ephemera, graphics, photographs and the College’s archives. They also include the art and artifact collections which number more than 50,000 objects and encompass five areas: fine art, which includes paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photographs; archaeology; anthropology; decorative arts; and geology.

An expanded list of Bryn Mawr Special Collections finding aids and additional archival collections, is available at

Friends Historical Library

Established in 1871, Friends Historical Library collects materials pertaining to Quaker history, from the mid-17th century beginnings of the Religious Society of Friends in England to the present. FHL is one of the outstanding research facilities for the study of Quaker history and houses the archives of Swarthmore College.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections

Special Collections maintains the college’s unique and rare materials. The principle collections include the world-renowned Quaker Collection, college archives, rare books and manuscripts, and fine art. The Quaker Collection centers on the history of Quakerism from 17th-century Britain to the present day in many parts of the world. The college archives documents the history and operations of Haverford College from its founding in 1833 to present. Rare books and manuscripts cover all fields of knowledge with particular strengths in literature, natural history, science, and American and British history. The collection of art includes photography ranging the history of the genre, prints by European, American and Asian artists, oil paintings, sculpture, and Ancient Greek, Middle Eastern, Indian and African artifacts.

Peace Collection

The Peace Collection holds the papers of many individuals and the records of numerous organizations, reflecting the spread of non-governmental peace movements in the United States and around the world. The Peace Collection also holds material in a wide variety of formats on subjects such as nonviolence, disarmament, women and peace, conscientious objection, and other reform movements.