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Swarthmore College Outing Club records

Identifier: SFHL-RG6-Q037

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of Grotto club newsletters (The Guácharo) and "Cave files" with maps, measurements and notes, and narrative descriptions of caves explored by club members.


  • Creation: circa 1961-1968


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner 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

The Swarthmore Outing Club is one of Swarthmore College's oldest student groups, still active and known as "The Outsiders" as of 2015. The club plans excursions, or funds excursions planned by interested students, to do activities such as hiking, climbing, backpacking, rafting, roller-skating, and more.

The first incarnation of the Outing Club may have been in 1932, when the Girls' Athletic Association inaugurated a club by that name that planned outings for female students. It was not long before the group became co-ed.

In 1959, members of the Swarthmore Outing Club began discussing forming a student group for spelunkers, or cave explorers. The club initiated a biannual newsletter publication, The Guácharo, in May of 1960. Membership increased over the next two years and the club gained official recognition from the National Speleological Society (NSS) as Swarthmore Grotto #98 in 1961. The new recognition and growing membership allowed the club to increase its number of spelunking trips to cover the Mid-Atlantic region, including Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Over time, members started to lose interest in paying the dues for NSS membership, feeling that the benefits of NSS membership did not justify the costs. The Grotto Club lost its NSS membership in 1968, and published the final edition of The Guácharo in the fall of 1965.


0.2 linear ft. (1 box)

Language of Materials



The Swarthmore Outing Club, still active and known as "The Outsiders" as of 2015, plans excursions such as hiking, climbing, and backpacking for students. In 1961, interested students in the Outing Club registered as Swarthmore Grotto #98, a student chapter of the National Speleological Society. This collection of Swarthmore Outing Club records, circa 1961-1968, consists of files on caves explored by the club and issues of the club's biannual newsletter.


The collection is organized into two series: "Cave files" arranged by state and Guácharo newsletters in chronological order.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number SCA.2015.009

Finding aid for Swarthmore College Outing Club records, circa 1961-1968
FHL staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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 or requesting repoductions from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA