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Haverford Library records

Identifier: HCE-004

Scope and Contents

Materials in the Haverford Library records include materials from 1834 to 2024 in 16 series.

Reports, statistics, and publications includes published and unpublished annual reports, library newsletters, Quaker collection reports and brochures, general brochures, and information on how to use library resources.

Strategic and long-range planning includes various internal reports and planning documents related to the Libraries generally, as well as Quaker & Special Collections, Science Library, and Music Library. Also included are collection development policies and Middle States reports.

Buildings and Space contains information on space planning, construction and renovation projects, and space design, with a particular emphasis on the library addition in the 1940s, the Magill expansion in the 1960s, and the Lutnick Library renovation in the 2010s.

Administrative materials are those dealing with Library administration and library connections to the larger campus. Materials include memos to faculty, correspondence, information on the Libraries and the Honor code, patron feedback, hours, safety, and security.

Staff materials include information on staff responsibilities and job descriptions, but the majority of the section is devoted to staff meeting minutes in various forms (some all staff, some professional staff, some staff committee).

The Library committee is a faculty committee. Materials discuss library security, budgets for departments, periodical backfiles and rare book purchases from special funds, etc. These is also a description of the committee as well as minutes and meeting documents. Members were often cc’d on memos to faculty and administration.

The Library Associates was a membership organization which required dues, used to raise money for the Haverford Libraries. Members could check out books and were also invited to talks. They ran a regular speakers series which brought in local, alumni, and nationally-known speakers, including C.P. Snow and Langston Hughes.

Events includes materials on both special events and ongoing series, such as the “treasure room” dedication, Magill dedication, symposia and conferences, Descartes letter, and faculty book talks.

Exhibitions includes brochures, postcards, and planning materials, as well as some lists of included materials. Most exhibitions have some relationship to materials from Quaker & Special Collections.

Collections includes information about collection development and acquisitions, collection-related grants, and serials cancellations.

Special Collections includes information about space planning, staff meeting minutes, reports and histories of the collection, and theft in the 1940s of some Quaker materials by Louis Maisel.

Budget materials include the general budgets, allocations for collecting, and endowed funds.

TriCo cooperation is one of the largest sections of the collection. Materials begin with the “Shaw plan,” a potential library merger in the 1940s which did not go through, and continue with BiCo collaboration, often funded by Mellon grants, in the 1970s. A large part of this series is related to automation and work towards the first TriCo online catalog. There are also records relating to Mellon 3 and Mellon 8 grants on cooperative collecting, strategic documents and planning, as well as materials on early Jstor plans.

Cooperative organizations represent Philadelphia and Pennsylvania organizations such as PLA, ACRL-PA, PALCI, and the Philadelphia Metropolitan Library Council. These materials related to cooperative acquisitions, statistics, and working together.

Library history includes several folders of material related to the history of the Haverford College Libraries.

Miscellaneous materials include several pieces of audiovisual media and poetry about the libraries.


  • Creation: 1834 - 2024


Access Restrictions

Records of the Haverford Library are closed for a period of 25 years from the date of the creation of the record.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

Historical note

The Haverford College Libraries began in a room in Founders Hall on the Haverford campus. The first books were donated in 1833, the year the College opened; at the time, there were 770 titles in the collection. The first manuscript collection was donated in 1834. Thoms Wistar was hired in 1858 as the College’s first librarian. In 1864 the library moved from its room in Founders to Alumni Hall, the oldest part of the current Lutnick library building. The building was added to in 1898, 1912, 1941, and 1967, and renovated in 2017-2019.

In addition to a main library building housing humanities, social sciences, and Quaker & Special Collections, Haverford also has Science, Music, and Astronomy libraries located in departmental buildings.

A hallmark of the Haverford Libraries has been cooperation with Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore Colleges. Haverford began sharing catalog cards with Bryn Mawr in 1941; eventually this would progress to a joint online catalog and many joint subscription and purchasing plans.


13.6 linear ft. (32 boxes)

Language of Materials



Records of the Haverford College Libraries from 1834 to 2024, including reports and publications, budget, events and exhibits, collections, and cooperation with Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore Colleges.


The collection is arranged in 16 series: Series 1: Reports, statistics, and publications Series 2: Strategic and long-range planning Series 3: Buildings and space Series 4: Administration Series 5: Staff Series 6: Library committee Series 7: Library Associates Series 8: Events Series 9: Exhibits Series 10: Collections Series 11: Special Collections Series 12: Budget Series 13: TriCo Cooperation Series 14: Cooperative organizations Series 15: Library history Series 16: Miscellaneous

Physical Location

This material is stored off-site. All requests for materials from this collection must be made at least one week in advance. Contact to arrange access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Records transfered from the files of various College Librarians as well as other unknown sources.

Related Materials

HCQ.003.002 Haverford Athenaeum records,1858-1888 HCQ.003.004 Everett-Athenaeum records, 1888-1894 HCQ.003.001 Haverford Loganian Society records, 1834-1905

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Horowitz, completed May 2019; additional processing by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, completed May 2024.

Haverford Library records
Sarah Horowitz
May, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2024-05-14: Revised by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger on May 14, 2024 to include integrations into existing files and series and to add boxes 28-32.

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 Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US