Delaware County Daily Times from Chester, Pennsylvania on April 25, 1964 · Page 25
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Delaware County Daily Times from Chester, Pennsylvania · Page 25

Chester, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, April 25, 1964
Page 25
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Library Possesses Rare Resources Included Established 93 Years Ago By ARDEN SKIDMORE Daily Times Staff Writer Gandhi's writings . . . Jane Addams' gold Nobel Peace prize . . . original paintings by Edward Hicks . . . /one of the world's greatest peace collections . . . some 700 letters and poems of John Greenleaf Whittier, the famous Quaker poet and abolitionist. These are among the rare resources possessed by the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, and available to Delaware County residents for their perusal. The library, established 93 years ago by Anson Lapham, is a fascinating place where visitors often rub elbows with prominent authors and researchers. It now has more than 25,000 volumes of books, pamphlets, and periodicals .as well as manuscripts, pictures, posters and other types of historical source material concerning the Religious Society of Friends and the world peace movement. One of Largest The collection -- one of the largest in the U.S.--has brought worldwide attention to the library as a leading center of research and study. For obvious reasons, the gold Nobel Peace prize Jane Addams of Chicago's Hull House shared with Columbia University's Nicholas Murray Butler in 1931 is kept in a safe at the library. But library director Dr. Frederick B. Tolles says anyone may see it. "Some years ago I was told that the amount of gold in the medal was worth about $400," said Dr. Tolles. "What it's worth now, I don't know." But everything seems to jump in value. The Whittier Collection--largest in existence--once · was valued at $40,000, is now worth some $60,000. 9A.M. to 5 P.M. The Friends Library is open _ from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday - from 9 a.m. until noon. It is closed during the month of August. The library is located in a wing adjoining the college library, just south of College Avenue on Chester Road (Route 320). It is only a short distance from the home where famous painter Benjamin West was born. From 1871 to 1874 the library was known as the Anson Lapham Repository, in honor of the founder who established it "exclusively for matters pertaining to Friends." "I doubt not," wrote the founder, "that many Friends will find satisfaction in visiting it and contributing many things that would be highly valued as pertaining to the Society, and I trust it would be a pleasant and profitable resort for many of the pupils, where they could discriminate and judge for themselves of the truths as they are MAGAZINE PEACE POSTER.-- Dr. Frederick B. Tolles, director of the Friends Historical Library, studies one of hundreds of peace posters included in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. The English translation of this poster from Amsterdam appears above the slogans. found within the pale of our beloved Society of Friends." From 1906 to 1928 the Friends Library was located in the college library building. 'The Biddie Memorial Library, the gift of Clement M. and Grace Biddle, was erected in 1928 to house the collection. Gift Library Swarthmore College is getting a · new library building in the next two or three years by virtue of a $2,000,000 gift from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. McCabe. The new structure will include space for the Friends Library. The library--and particularly its manuscript collections--has grown tremendously in the past two decades. In addition to the Whittier Manuscripts, other outstanding collections include: The Mott Manuscripts (about 400 letters and other manuscripts of, Lucretia Mott, Quaker abolitionist and advocate of women's rights); the Hicks Manuscripts (about 400 letters of Elias Hicks, Quaker minister); the Janney Manuscripts (papers of Samuel M. Janney, Quaker historian, approximately 800 items), and the Charles F. Jenkins Autograph Collection, which includes signers of the Constitution and members of the old Continental Congress. There are about 450 items in the Jenkins Collection. · The manuscript journals of Quaker ministers are another illuminating holding of the library. They contain material often omitted from published versions. The original journals of Samuel Bownas (1675-1753), Joseph S. Elkinton (1830-1905), Joshua Evans (1731-1798), Edward Hicks (1780-1849), Elias Hicks (1748-1830), Job Scott (1751-1793), and John Woolman (1720-1772) are all available. Family Papers Among family papers shedding valuable light on Quaker social history are those of Ferris, Richardson, "Elkinton, Biddie and Truman. There are more than 8,000 items in these five family collections. Many rare items from the 17th century are among the library's holdings of books, pamphlets and broadsides. The works of all the major Quaker writers, such as George Fox, Robert Barclay, Isaac Pennington, William Penn, John Woolman, Elias Hicks, Joseph John Gurney, John Wilhelm Rowntree, and Rufus M. Jones are available. The library possesses a number of important paintings and prints of Quaker subjects, including two original oil paintings by Edward Hicks, who combined a career as coach painter and Quaker minister until his death in 1849. The two Hicks paintings are versions of "The Peaceable Kingdom," often cited as outstanding examples of American folk art. It was Hicks who painted the famous swinging sign that hung at the entrance to the historic old Washington House in Chester. This sign is now a prized possession of the Delaware County Historical Society, and may be seen at the museum in the Old Chester Courthouse. Indian Matter Considerable material relating to Indian affairs is also available. The William Wade Hinshaw Index to Quaker Meeting Records is a rare holding. This index numbers some 285,000 cards covering genealogical data in the records of 307 Quaker meetings located in 18 different states. There is a collection of more than 600 Quaker serial publications and current periodicals, with a third of the current journals coming from foreign countries. There is a unique collection of pictures of Quaker meeting houses. There are photographs, silhouettes and sketches of hundreds of individual Friends. Locations of Quaker meetings no longer in existence are shown in the library map collection. Of interest are runs of certain rare antislavery papers to whicfi Friends were frequent contributors. Other documents tell of sufferings during the American Revolution. The library's oldest records date from 1665. To guard against d a m a g e to fragile originals, many records have been microfilmed. Three microfilm readers are 'available for use. Depository The Friends Library has long been an official depository for the records of meetings belonging to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. There are 144 preparative, monthly, and quarterly meetings, as well as the yearly meeting itself. Original records -- or microfilm copies--are available from meetings in several other states, plus data from the London and Ireland yearly meetings. The library even has material stored in the basements of three other college buildings. The reading room of the library is constantly being used by professional scholars a n d " graduate students studying archival material or its books and pamphlets. Undergraduates make good use of the material, too. Extensive The material is so extensive-and historical inquiries so numerous--that a staff of eight fulltime and parttime librarians is needed. The inquiries come from many parts of the world. Authors who have voiced their appreciation of the library's services include John Bakeless (Daniel Boone, Master of the Wilderness); Otelia Cromwell (Lucretia Mott); A. A. Ekirch Jr. (The Civilian and the Military); Henrietta Jaquette (South after Gettysburg); Arthur S. Link (Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era); Catherine Owens Peare (William Penn); M. Q. Sibley and P. E. Jacob (Conscription of Conscience); Janet Whitney (John Woolman, American Quaker), and many others. Of growing importance at the library is the Swarthmore College Peace Collection of historical and current material relating to organizations and individuals who have worked over the centuries against violence, hatred and warfare between nations. The collection includes files of some 750 peace periodicals published in the U.S. and abroad over the past 140 years. About 130 periodicals in 11 languages are currently received at the library. The collection has been designated as a memorial to Jane Addams. Besides the papers of the Nobel winner, the library's archival material includes items from 59 foreign countries as well as the United States, and the records of a score or more peace groups. ·; The collection is the official Continued on Page 4A. , April 25, 1964--3A

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