Anyone researching early Friends makes use of the Swarthmore Manuscripts, the large collection of letters to Margaret Fell, George Fox, and other early Quaker leaders that was for many years kept at Swarthmore/Swarthmoor Hall. Some, although not all, of this correspondence has been microfilmed (MR 33-40 in our collection). Geoffrey Nuttall has compiled an annotated index, Early Quaker Letters from the Swarthmore mss. to 1660: Calendared, Indexed and Annotated (Archives BX7613.N97 E1)
Of uneven quality, but containing a wealth of names and places, is Quaker Emigrants to America, a compilation made for genealogical purposes from various English Quaker records. It does have a complete index.
A number of otherwise unpublished Quaker women's diaries have been microfilmed, most notably those of Elizabeth Fry. We have a list of available reels in this guide.
Friends have almost from the beginning kept excellent records of births, deaths, and marriages. These have been abstracted and microfilmed for English Friends through 1837 (MR 261). These abstracts are organized somewhat alphabetically, which usually coincide with counties. An instruction book is available.
We hold some manuscript collections that are useful for Quaker women after 1800. We own, for example, large collections of the papers and writings of Rhoda Coffin and Mahalah Jay. Descriptions of manuscript collections are at the Friends Collection website and in the card catalog in the reading room.
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