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Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology

Identifier: SFHL-RG4-093

Scope and Contents

Records for Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology, 1938-ongoing. Includes member lists, meeting minutes, conference handouts and evaluations, speaker topics, a few photographs, and correspondence.


  • Creation: 1938-2011 [bulk: 1943-1997]
  • Creation: 1843-1874


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See

Biographical / Historical

In 1943, the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology was founded by members of the Religious Society of Friends to help individuals deal with the enormity of World War II and its effects on a personal and global scale. The Conference met for the first time at Haddonfield, New Jersey, over Easter weekend under the name Conference on the Nature and Laws of Our Spiritual Life. Three years later, the name was changed to its current title and the group became affiliated as an autonomous organization to the American Friends Fellowship Council. The semi-annual periodical Inward Light was also begun by the Conference at that time. Although the Conference is no longer officially connected with the Religious Society of Friends, most of its members are Quakers.

The primary role of the Conference is planning a yearly event over the Memorial Day weekend. At this three day gathering, a main speaker holds several plenary sessions with the attendees, about two hundred to two hundred and fifty in number. The rest of the conference is spent in small group sessions on various topics intended to explore the ways the religious and the psychological relate to each other with the ultimate goal of personal wholeness. Small group sessions are designed to incorporate a number of different modes of expression, including working with clay, dancing, painting, singing, and drumming. Jungian philosophies are used to address Quaker beliefs in the Inner Light and the presence of God inside the individual. The Conference maintains the Dora Willson Collection, a lending library in Philadelphia, and transports about 300 titles to the Memorial Day conference. Organization and administration of the Conference and its activities are provided by the volunteered time of members.

The Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology has met in many different locations over the years. Haverford College in Pennsylvania hosted the conference until the needs of the Conference and the College facilities and schedule were no longer compatible. In 1986, conference relocated to Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In 1989 it relocated again to Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania.


1.88 linear ft. (5 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the records of the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology, primarily from the years 1943 to 1997. The Conference was originally founded as a way of addressing the spiritual turnmoil people were feeling after World War II. It continues to examine the ways Jungian psychology interacts with Quaker beliefs at its annual three-day conference over the Memorial Day weekend.


The collection is divided into four series:

  1. 1.1 Logs
  2. 1.2 Administrative Records
  3. 2. Conference Arrangements
  4. 3. Conference Handouts
  5. 4. Miscellaneous

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology, 98-048. Dates of accruals: 6/28/1998, 5/9/88, 1/29/95, 10/19/98.

Earlier donations were catalogued under the call number RG4/023 before they were merged into this collection.

Later accruals: 2008-001, 2009-015, 2011-019.

Related Materials

See also:

  1. RG4/004 American Friends Fellowship Council

Processing Information

Collection was reordered by date. Materials grouped together remain together. Loose-leaf notebooks were dismantled and contents separated into folders.

An Inventory of the Friends Conference on Religion & Psychology Records, 1938-2011 [bulk
POD assisted by HRW
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

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

500 College Avenue
Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA