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Friends Collection and College Archives

For detailed information about archival & genealogy collection availability check the archives home page.

Finding Aids

Finding aids provide information about the content of manuscript collections. A finding aid includes descriptive information, including a list of boxes, their contents, and the order in which the material is arranged. A finding aid also includes information such as name of the repository, the dates of the collection, acquisition information, copyright information, and proper citation style.


Navigating Our Reading Room

In our main Reading Room we have open stacks. This is the Friends Collection. The Friends Collection contains a mostly comprehensive collection of books, periodicals, and other media by or about the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Some of the materials in the Friends Collection circulate (you can check them out) and some do not (they must stay in the Reading Room). We would be happy to help you determine which items you can and cannot check out.

Off of our main Reading Room is our Genealogy Room. This room houses one of the best Quaker genealogy collections in the world.  It contains family histories, birth, death and cemetery records, Quaker monthly meeting minutes, and local histories. Patrons may enter and browse for research materials in this room, but items cannot be checked out.

 We also have rare books and archival materials owned by Earlham and Bethany Theological Seminary.These items are unique and do not circulate. If you would like to view these materials, we would be happy to retrieve them for you so you ran read them in the Reading Room.

Searching for Books in the Catalog

If you are having difficulty locating a book from our collections in the library catalog, limiting your search to just our branch may help. Instructions on how to do this are below.

How to search for circulating materials in the Friends Collection

1. Search for the item you want using the library catalog search box.

2. On the left hand side of the screen you will see a menu that includes "Held by Library". Click "show more".

3. Select Friends Collection and College Archives. Your search is now limited to books in our collection.

Please note that we have several different book collections, including the Friends Circulating Collection, the Friends Non-Circulating Collection, the Genealogy collection, Earlham's rare book collections, and Bethany Theological Seminary's rare book collections. While you may come to the Archive to see books from any of these collections, only books in the Friends Circulating Collection can be checked out and brought home with you.

Friends circulating books have the following "location" listed in the library catalog.

Also, please note that our archival collections are not in the library catalog. You will need to search our collection of finding aids to find archival materials.

Audiovisual Collections

The video and audio collections formerly in ITAM are now located in the College Archives. We know that ITAM once provided duplication and viewing services for patrons. Because we are an archive and not a media lab like ITAM, we unfortunately have not been able to continue this practice.

 If you have any questions about our policies, please contact our staff at

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