Quaker Rare Book Collection
In 1998, present and former members of the Board of Trustees commissioned a collection of Quaker rare books to honor retiring Head of School Earl Harrison.
Housed in the School Archives, this growing resource is open to researchers, including students and other members of the Sidwell Friends community.
The initial donation of 34 books has now grown to more than 1,000 items, dating from 1655 to the early 20th century. These works document Friends history and the development of Quaker philosophy and thought. This special collection also includes newspapers, letters, broadsides, and pamphlets on topics ranging from women’s rights to the treatment of Native peoples. A number of items related to abolitionism in the mid-1800s have also been acquired. While the Archives actively seeks materials at auction and from rare book dealers, Haverford, Swarthmore, and Guilford Colleges have donated many items to the Harrison Collection.
If you are a researcher wishing to access the Quaker Rare Book Collection or have an item you would like to consider donating, please contact the School Archivist.