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William Penn House Records

Identifier: SFHL-RG4-119

Scope and Contents

Records of the William Penn House in Washington, D.C., 1966-2004. Includes administrative and financial records, reservation lists, seminar files, housekeeping journals, and staff records. The latter are restricted.


  • Creation: 1966-2004


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access to Staff Files is restricted; consult Curator for further information.

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 September 1966, local Quaker meetings in the Washington DC joined together to create the William Penn House, drawing on the experiences of Quaker agencies already at work on Capitol Hill. Bob and Sally Cory who were finishing a 5-year assignment at the Quaker U.N. Office were asked to be the first directors. They had AFSC experience in administering work camps and foreign student seminars and in providing hospitality and orientation for refugees from Europe. Besides being a center for demonstration strategy and passive resistance training, William Penn House quickly became a place where congressional staff members and citizen action leaders could meet for informal luncheon discussions with Quakers and persons known to Quakers who could supply first-hand information on policy issues. In 2020 the board renamed the building Friends Place on Capitol Hill.


11 linear ft. (23 boxes)

Language of Materials



William Penn House functions as a Quaker seminar and hospitality center on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. These records, dating from its founding in 1966 through 2004, document its many activities. In 2020 the board renamed the building Friends Place on Capitol Hill.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William Penn House, 2009.

Separated Materials

The William Penn House Newsletter, Penn Notes, may be found with serials in SG1.

An Inventory of the William Penn House Records, 1966-2004
FHL staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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