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Archives & Manuscripts

Kelsey Family papers

Identifier: HC.MC-950-110

Scope and Contents

This collection contains maerials relating to Rayner Kelsey, and his father, Asa Kelsey. These include diaries of both Asa and Rayner from 1872-1934 and letters of sympathy received upon the death of Rayner in 1934. Rayner's diaries were written while he was a professor at Haverford College.


  • 1872-1934


Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical note

Asa Kelsey (1839-1929) was born near Niagara Falls in Canada in 1839. As a young man he moved to Michigan and became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In 1860 he married Sarah E. Atwater and they lived in Western Springs, IL with their four children, among whom was Rayner W. Kelsey. Asa Kelsey engaged in the tea and coffee business and was a faithful member of the Society of Friends.

Rayner Wickersham Kelsey (1879-1934) was born in Western Springs, IL to Asa and Sarah Atwater Kelsey. He graduated from Earlham College in 1900 and a year later he married Naomi Harrison Binford; their only child, Rayner Wilfred, was born in 1910. From 1901 to 1904, Kelsey was professor of German and public speaking at Pacific College (now George Fox University) in Oregon and then at Whittier College in California until 1909. In 1909 he was appointed professor of American history at Haverford College in Pennsylvania and in 1922 he was named Curator of Haverford’s Quaker Collection. He was an authority on Quakers and Indians and wrote the book Friends and the Indians in 1917. He was president of Friends’ Historical Association from 1913-1915, which is an association devoted to the study, preservation and publication of material relating to the history of the Religious Society of Friends, and editor of its Bulletin from 1922-1932. He was a member of Haverford Monthly Meeting of Friends and a recorded minister in the Society of Friends.


0.88 Linear Feet




Gift of Ray Kelsey, February 2012.

Related materials

  • MC 1108 R.W. Kelsey's notes on American and agricultural history
  • MC.950.130 Naomi and Rayner Kelsey papers

Processing Information

Processed by Mary A. Crauderueff; completed March 2016.


Kelsey Family papers, 1872-1934
Mary A. Crauderueff
March 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

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Haverford PA 19041 USA US