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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.
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.