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Arthur M. Larrabee ministry papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-346

Content Description

This collection consists of materials from over 350 workshops and presentations facilitated by Arthur M. Larrabee between 1992 and 2020, primarily at Quaker meetings and schools. These presentations focused on Quaker decision-making, frequently concerning the role of the clerk and leadership. Other topics include core beliefs, business practices, and materials for K-12 education. A large portion of the materials included are from presentations given at Pendle Hill and Westtown School near Philadelphia, as well as Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. A chronological list of all 363 presentations and workshops can be found in the file titled "Notes and minutes on Larrabee's ministry." The collection contains some duplication and redundancies, since the same materials were frequently used in multiple workshops or presentations.


  • Creation: 1991 - 2020


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research use.

Physical Access Note

All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Contact Friends Historical Library staff at at least two weeks in advance of visit to request boxes.

Conditions Governing Use

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See

Biographical / Historical

Arthur M. Larrabee (1942- ) is a lawyer, lifelong Friend, and member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. Larrabee was an expert in the practice of decision-making in Quaker communities, which is done without voting.

From 1957 to 1960, Larrabee attended Westtown School, to which he later returned as a lecturer and a member of the Board of Trustees. He earned a B.A. at Yale University and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. In his professional life, Larrabee worked as an attorney in Philadelphia from 1970 to 1993, including sixteen years at his own firm, Larrabee, Cunningham and McCowan.

In 1992 Larrabee began his ministry, which continued for 28 years. He also served as the General Secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting from 2007 to 2014. In 2015 Larrabee returned to teaching and consulting full-time under the leadership of a Spiritual Accountability Group appointed by Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting until he laid down his ministry in 2020.


7.5 linear ft. (18 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of materials from Arthur M. Larrabee’s workshops and presentations on Quaker decision-making and leadership, given to a number of Quaker meetings and schools between 1992 and 2020.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by organization.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Arthur M. Larrabee, 2021.

Separated Materials

Two digital sources are also included in this collection, a DVD video of a presentation at Friends Seminary (given 2016-10-27) and a USB thumb drive with material from a Southeastern Yearly Meeting presentation (given 2007-04-04). These materials have been removed for digital archiving.

Processing Information

The collection was received as 20 banker boxes. Due to the high level of duplication and redundancy across the collection, FHL staff have preserved only samples of that material. For organizations which hired Larrabee multiple times, generally the following were preserved: the first file, the last file, a file from the middle for large series, and additional files that looked interesting or had unique names. A sample of materials from other organizations were preserved that were on different topics, looked interesting, had unique names, or represented an interesting or unique organization. Approximately 100 files (with some files containing multiple folders) were preserved.

Arthur M. Larrabee ministry papers
James Truitt and Gwendolyn Rak
2022 May
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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