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Facilities and Services

Lilly Library

The Lilly Library is the central facility for the College’s library, archival, and IT resources. Several academic support units also have offices in the building. The building was constructed in 1962 and named the Lilly Library in honor of Eli Lilly and J.K. Lilly and to gratefully recognize the contributions of the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to the strengthening of higher education throughout the United States, particularly in Indiana and at Earlham College.

The building has been very flexible and over its fifty years, has been revised in layout and expanded. In the early 1980s Computing Services was moved into the building. In 1991-92 a major renovation occurred in conjunction with the Francis and Viola Anscombe Addition. This project provided an upgraded space, better facilities for Media Resources and Computing Services, and established the Arthur S. and Kathleen Postle Friends Collection & Archives and the Hugh & Sara Ronald Gallery.

In 2023, supported by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, renovations included the addition of a student lounge and updating the main floor restrooms to be gender-neutral and handicapped accessible. 

The Library was designed to provide a comfortable and inviting atmosphere in which to study and read. The building has 61,000 square feet of space on three levels with a diverse set of study environments: lounge chairs and couches, individual carrels, tables, and group study rooms. 

Friends Collection and College Archive

The Arthur and Kathleen Postle Archives and Friends Collection are named for the late Arthur Postle and his wife, Kathleen, the latter the donor who served the College for many years as a member of the faculty.

The Friends Collection has one of the four or five largest Quaker Collections in the world, with more than 13,000 books and nearly as many pamphlets, some going back to the 17th Century when the Society of Friends was founded. These works are supplemented with an extensive collection of Quaker genealogical materials. Personal diaries, letters, and detailed records of monthly and yearly meetings reveal the lives of thousands of Quaker men and women. Documents and Earlham's rare book collection are preserved under climate-controlled conditions. Some of these date back to the Middle Ages, and many are too fragile or rare to be housed on the open shelves. The Friends Collection draws hundreds of scholars and genealogists to Lilly Library annually.

The College Archives keeps alive the institutional memory of Earlham. The Archives preserve all the material that is judged to be of historical significance for Earlham and Earlhamites.

The many files include official records, collections of publications, such as the College's first printed catalog of 1858, Opinion Board papers dating back to its founding in 1948, and complete runs of the campus newspapers since 1873. The collection includes interesting and diverse objects such as the ink well used by Earlham's first president, Barnabas Hobbs. Chairs on display in the Archives today are the same ones used when the student dining hall opened in 1847.

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