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Discipline and Faith &Practice Revision Committees of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Records

Identifier: QM-Phy-025

Scope and Contents

The records, 1911-1996, of the Faith and Practice Revision Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and its predecessors. They include minutes from the committees themselves as well as relevant minutes from the Yearly Meeting and Representative Meeting from the same time-periods, and other letters, memoranda, and budgeting statements. The bulk of the collection is made up of an extensive series of drafts which represent the progression of changes each time it was revised. The drafts demonstrate effectively the goals and actions of the committee. Further, the collection contains a few of the documents and publications used as references or models for the drafts.

  1. Ser.1 Committee to Consider Proposals for the Revision of Discipline (Hicksite : 1911-1913)
  2. Ser.2 Committee on the Revision of Discipline (Hicksite : 1922-1927)
  3. Ser.3 Committee on the Book of Faith and Practice (Society of Friends : 1950-1955 : Philadelphia, Pa.)
  4. Ser.4 Committee on the Revision of Faith and Practice (1964-1972)
  5. Ser.5 Faith and Practice Revision Committee (1986-1996)


  • 1911-1996

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research. Access may be provided via digital or microfilm copy, per repository policy.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to the Repositories. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the individual Meeting or its successor. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Repositories as the holder(s) of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Biographical / Historical

In 1911, a Committee of Men and Women Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite) was appointed to Consider Propositions for Changes in Discipline from Concord Quarterly and Southern Half-Yearly Meetings. The revised discipline was approved by the Yearly Meeting in 1913. The next revision, The Book of Discipline of the Religious Society of Friends, Christian Practice, Business Procedure was published in 1927 as approved by Yearly Meeting.

When the Hicksite and Orthodox branches of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends agreed in 1950 to work towards an ?organic? unification, a committee made up of members of both meetings worked to create a single revised ?book of discipline.? Faith and Practice was published in 1955 and reprinted with minor revisions in 1961.

In 1964, concerns relative to membership, particularly the status of non-member children and the section on Worship and Ministry, became sufficiently pressing that a committee was appointed to revise Faith and Practice to address these concerns. It was some time until the committee was actually created: in 1965 the Yearly Meeting agreed that a revision committee ought to begin work within the space of a year. The volume was originally scheduled to be released in 1970, but was not published until 1972.

After another reprinting in 1978, a concern originating in the Committee for Education and Care of Members and reinforced by the Women?s Committee and the Worship and Ministry committee suggesting a general revision of Faith and Practice be undertaken was presented to the Representative Meeting. This was presented by the Representative Meeting at the 1986 Yearly Meeting, whereupon a list of names formulated by a previously appointed Nominating Committee was approved by the Yearly Meeting. This set of revisions included a major reorganization of the entire volume. It focused on removing sexist language and improving the representation of women?s voices in the section of Friends? quotations. The volume was finished in 1996 and published in 1997.


2 Linear Feet




Records, 1911-1996 of the Faith and Practice Revision Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and its predecessors. Records include revisions to the ?book of discipline,? commonly called Faith and Practice, published in 1913, 1927, 1955, 1972, and 1997.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposit, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
A Finding Aid for Records Deposited in Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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 Quaker Meeting Records at Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections and Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library