Skip to main content

Bible Association of Friends records

Identifier: HC.MC-1289

Scope and Contents

The collection includes founding documents, annual reports, correspondence, minutes, membership, financial records, Philadelphia Auxiliary records, Concord auxiliary records, and miscellaneous.

Founding documents include the constitution, bylaws, and an appeal to members of the Society of Friends. Annual reports detail the activities of the society for the past year, including officers, reports from auxiliary societies, financial information, and Bible distribution; the information included varies from year to year.

Correspondence includes both general correspondence and treasurer’s correspondence. The former includes correspondence with both individuals, often either purchasers of Bibles or donors of money, and auxiliaries. The latter includes information about where payments are going and investments.

Minutes of the managers contain the most information about the society as a whole. They include reports from committees and auxiliary associations, the printing of Bibles for the Association, interactions with and reports from other Bible Societies, properties and rents, officers, budgets, distribution of Bibles and quantities in stock, and how to encourage attendance at meetings. Annual meeting minutes record discussions at annual meetings.

Membership materials include member lists and subscription books.

Financial records are the largest segment of the collection. Treasurer’s records are those kept by the treasurer and offer a full financial picture, including incoming and outgoing investments and financial information from the auxiliaries. Accounts include information on cash and “book accounts” for printing. Donor records includes information on donations by donor name. Books of check stubs show outgoing payment amounts, who was paid, and often what they were paid for. There are several folders of materials dealing with the John Liverzry Trust, as well as information on other bequests and estates. Miscellaneous financial materials includes some information on investments and insurance documents.

Philadelphia auxiliary materials include materials from both the men’s and women’s committees, including minutes, minutes of the corresponding committees, and treasurer’s accounts. These include information on the distribution of Bibles to specific people and organizations.

Concord auxiliary materials include a minute book.

Miscellaneous materials include a historical sketch of the organization and committee and distribution reports,as well as copies of the 1831 Bible printed for the Association.


  • Creation: 1829-1969


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Historical Note

The Bible Association of Friends in America was founded in 1829 to increase the number of Bibles in the homes of Friends and to provide a well-designed, affordable, and easy to read edition of the Bible. Their first goal was to distribute Bibles to all Quaker homes, and then, if there was money available, to poor Philadelphia households. Founded just after the Orthodox-Hicksite split in the Society of Friends, the main founders of the Bible Association were Orthodox Quakers who had been major participants in the split. The association subscribed to evangelical ideas about the importance of Bible distribution and philanthropy which were viewed with suspicion by Elias Hicks and his followers. Members of the Society of Friends were asked to form auxiliaries in their local areas, and much of the distribution of Bibles depended on these local organizations. In the following years, the association continued to distribute Bibles to Friends throughout the United States and to those engaged in foreign mission work. After World War II, the association seems to have mostly been involved with selling Bibles to various First-day schools and Meetings, rather than distributing them to individuals.

The Bible Association of Friends had space that could be used for reading and committee meetings, which they also rented to other organizations. They were also in contact with similar organizations in the United States and beyond. In 1831, the association decided to form a Biblical Library, consisting of all editions of the English Bible, and whatever could be obtained in foreign languages. This was later expanded to include works illustrating biblical literature. In 1896, the collection was 212 volumes. This library is on long-term loan at Haverford College, although various titles mentioned in reports are no longer present and part of the collection.

The Bible Association of Friends is still in existence in the early 21st century.


6.8 linear ft. (8 boxes, 24 volumes)

Language of Materials



Founded in 1829, the Bible Association of Friends aimed to distribute Bibles to all Quaker households. Records show their financial and administrative activities, including information about printing and distributing Bibles.


The collection is divided into the following series: founding documents, annual reports, correspondence, minutes, membership, financial records, Philadelphia auxiliary records, Concord auxiliary records, and miscellaneous. Within these series, materials are organized by type and chronologically.

Related Materials

MC.1280 Tract Association of Friends collection

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Horowitz; completed May, 2018.

Bible Association of Friends records
Sarah Horowitz
May, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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