Friday, May 18, 2012

Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College

As part of our Quakers Uniting in Publications conference last weekend, we got a tour of the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College.

I had originally planned to take the whole week off to visit friends in Maryland and research the Hoggatt side of my family while in Philadelphia. Instead, I got the chance to ride up with friends and save quite a bit on transportation and lodging, but with no extra days.

Chris Densmore, curator of Friends Historical Library
The genealogist in me longed for a chance to dig around, but settling for the tour worked out well. Some of the resources I saw at Swarthmore were identical to records we have at Guilford College, where I work. And because of the Hicksite separation, part of the Quaker records for Pennsylvania are at Haverford College across town, although the two libraries keep microfilms of each other's records.

I really need to research at home first, and plan well when I finally do get back to Philadelphia.

Susanna with a daguerreotype in a case
Family histories are available in the reading room, but the rare books and documents live downstairs — the FHL is three stories on one side of the college library.

Susanna, one of the archivists, took us down to the other levels and showed us around the collection.

The curator has his own "peaceable kingdom" in his office, with figures his children made.

More on the painting later.

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