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Quakers and Abolitionism: Introduction

Slavery and Anti-Slavery Resources in the Friends Collection & Earlham College Archives

Welcome to the Friends Collection and College Archives

The Friends Collection includes the college's books and periodicals on Quakerism, manuscripts related to Friends, and Earlham College historical materials. It has one of the world's largest collections of books, pamphlets, and published materials relating to the Society of Friends. These include numerous works on slavery and the opposition of Friends to it.

Earlham's collection also includes a number of Indiana and Ohio county and other local historical works. They often include material on abolitionism and the Underground Railroad. The collection focuses on counties and regions that had significant Quaker Populations.

The following pages detail some of the collections -- books (primary and secondary), manuscripts, microfilm, pamphlets -- that might be of interest to those researching Friends' views on abolitionism.


Please note that some of our policies may contrast with the policies of Lilly Library as a whole. Our hours are different, and we do not allow food or drink in the archives. Many of our items cannot be used outside the reading room. If you need copies from a rare book or manuscript collection, including the ones listed on these pages, we will make them for you. Why?

Our hours are more limited as we have two professional archivists available for reference and research help during the day and occasional evening/weekend hours. Student workers help keep our archives open on the weekend and weekday evenings for limited research help. We wish we could be open more extensively, but with a professional staff of two it simply is not possible. If you have a class project that might require using primary sources, it is best to plan in advance!

Archives materials are valuable and often unique items, which is why we need to keep the Archives locked and secure after hours. Our rare books and manuscript collections must be used within our cozy reading room so they do not accidentally get lost. Many of our older items are brittle and must be handled carefully. If something happens to our rare books or manuscripts, they cannot be replaced.

Rare items will be photocopied by archives staff so as to help better preserve them. Sometimes, if you use a particularly rare book or handle photographs, we may ask you to use gloves for preservation purposes.

Food and drink is NOT allowed due to crumbs attracting various critters. Sightings have included silverfish, cockroaches, ants, and salamanders. Please help us preserve our unique materials!

The majority of our collections have not been digitized. Individual items -- documents, photographs, etc. -- usually cannot be viewed online. We do accept digitization requests, but fees may apply.

Jenny Freed

Jenny Freed's picture
Jenny Freed
801 National Road W.
Richmond, IN 47374

Earlham College • 801 National Road West • Richmond, Indiana 47374-4095