Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Magill Library

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Institution Name: Haverford College
Original/Historic Place Name: Alumni Hall
Location on Campus: Founders Green
Date(s) of Construction:
1863original construction Sloan, Samuel
1898south wing addition Bailey & Truscott
Designer: Samuel Sloan; Bailey & Truscott
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Contemporary (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: schist
Walls: schist
Roof: slate with copper fittings
1863-1903alumni center
1863-present (2006)library

Since its founding, Haverford College has provided funds for the acquisition of learned journals. This, coupled with the bequest of some of its prominent alumni, has made the research efforts by students and faculty vastly more effective. Haverford has been careful, from the beginning, to collect official records, publications, artifacts, and other ephemeral material related to the school. The minutes of the Board of Managers and other official publications of the college date from 1831, two years before Haverford opened.

The centerpiece of the Special Collections of the Haverford College library is the Quaker Collection, but a number of other special collections have been acquired in the past century. The oldest of these is the J. Rendell Harris Collection of more than 70 manuscripts purchased in the Middle East in the 1880s, dating back to the thirteenth century. A photography collection shows eclectic images from the entire history of photography. The Charles Roberts Autograph Letters Collection, containing 12,000 historical letters and documents, was given to the College in 1902. Among the other special collections, the most valuable is the William Pyle Philips Collection of Renaissance volumes, including the first four Shakespeare folios.

Few undergraduate college libraries in the nation can offer such riches to their students and faculty members. There is no substitute for sending a student to read the original papers of a scholar.


Gaines, Thomas A. The Campus as a Work of Art. New York: Praeger, 1991.

George E. Thomas Associates, Inc. Haverford College Historic Resources Campus Survey. Philadelphia: George E. Thomas Associates, 1999.
Kammerstein, Gregory, ed. The Spirit and the Intellect: Haverford College, 1833-1983. [Haverford, PA: Haverford College, 1983].

Schuyler, Montgomery. "The Architecture of American Colleges V. University of Pennsylvania, Girard, Haverford, Lehigh and Bryn Mawr Colleges." Architectural Record 28 (September 1910): 182-212.


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Last update: November 2006