The collection is divided into five series.
Series 1. Owen Biddle, 1711-1887: Owen Biddle, a scientist and merchant, served as Deputy Forage Master General during the American Revolution. He became a member of the Free Quakers during the Revolutionary War, but in 1783 he was reinstated in Philadelphia Monthly Meeting and helped in the establishment of Westtown School (1799). Owen Biddle's papers, 1772-1793, (Series 1) include correspondence, and journals, some of which relate to his Revolutionary War activities. Three of his letterbooks, 1778-1779, have been microfilmed.
Series 2. Clement Biddle (1778-1856), his wife Mary Canby Biddle, their children, relatives and friends , 1792-1860: Clement Biddle (1778-1856), a sugar refiner in Philadelphia who was active in Quaker philanthropic work such as helping to establish Friends Asylum in Frankford in 1813 (now Friends Hospital), aligned with the Hicksites following the separation of Philadelphia Quakers in 1827. His papers (Series 2) contain mostly family correspondence, 1792-1860, of Clement Biddle, his wife, Mary Canby Biddle (1780-1849), their children, Martha C. Biddle (1811-1833), Robert Biddle (1814-1902), William Canby Biddle (1816-1887), Clement Biddle (1819-1895), Anne Biddle (1822-1901), relatives, and friends
Series 3. Clement Biddle (1838-1902), and his son, William C. Biddle, 1747-1929: Clement M. Biddle (1838-1902), grandson of Clement Biddle (1778-1856), was the son of William Canby Biddle, who founded with his brother Robert the R. and W. C. Biddle Company, a hardware firm in Philadelphia. Clement was involved in the hardware firm until 1873, when he became involved with the Centennial Exposition of 1876, serving on the Centennial Board of Finance. He had a special interest in Quaker education, serving on the Swarthmore College Board of Managers from 1874-1894 (his father also served on the Board), supporting Friends' Central School, participating in the Committee on Education of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite). His correspondence is in Series 3 along with papers relating to the Centennial Board of Finance. Also included in this series are papers of William C. Biddle (1864-1942), oldest son of Clement M. Biddle (1838-1902). William Biddle's papers pertain to war relief work in France with the American Friends Service Committee, 1918-1920, and to Quaker adult education at the Woolman School, 1928-1929.
Series 4. Clement Miller Biddle (1876-1959), 1787-1921: Clement Miller Biddle (1876-1959) was the youngest son of Clement M. Biddle (1838-1902). Active in civic and philanthropic affairs in New York where he lived, Biddle was president of Biddle Manufacturing Company and served on the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College from 1927-1950. His papers (Series 4) include material on the Friends' Relief Mission in Vienna, 1920-1921, operated jointly by American and British Quakers. Biddle was involved in the child feeding program and other war relief efforts in Austria and Poland which were based at the Mission in Vienna. Also in the collection are an account book, 1835-1856, of Clement Biddle (1778-1856), and an account book, 1855-1871, of William Canby Biddle (1816-1887), other Biddle family papers, and papers of his wife, Grace Anna Brosius Biddle (b. 1877), which relate to her family and to her Swarthmore College Class (1897).
Series 5. Lucy Biddle Lewis and her daughter, Lydia Lewis Rickman, 1593-1951: Lucy Biddle Lewis (1861-1941) was the oldest child of Clement Biddle (1838-1902). A resident of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, she was active in Quaker postwar reliefwork and the peace movement, serving on the American Friends Service Committee, as National Chairman of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and for over thirty years, 1908-1941, on the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College. Her papers in Series 5 are letters, mostly to her family, about the International Congresses of Women held in the Hague in 1915 and in Zurich in 1919 and war relief work. While a member of the Swarthmore College Board of Managers, Lewis in 1930 persuaded Jane Addams of Hull House to donate her papers relating to peace and social justice to Swarthmore College. With this gift the Swarthmore College Peace Collection was established. Other papers of Lucy Biddle Lewis can be found in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection (see Guide to Sources on Women in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection). Also in this series are papers of Lydia Lewis Rickman, daughter of Lucy Biddle Lewis, pertaining to her trip to Russia, 1917-1918, with the American Friends Service Committee for war relief work there and papers she collected about the Biddle family's English ancestry, 1593-1711.