Skip to Main Content
Banner Image
ESR & Bethany Resources
Friends Collection & College Archives
Facilities & Services
Library Home

Friends Collection and College Archives

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

Mission Statement and Collection Policy

Mission Statement

The Earlham Friends Collection and College Archives supports the mission of the college and School of Religion by maintaining one of the world’s foremost collections of materials relating to the Religious Society of Friends. It makes these materials available to Earlham students and faculty in a variety of programs and disciplines and to researchers from around the world. The Archive also collects materials related to college history.

Collection Policy

The collection policy is to maintain a comprehensive collection of published Quaker materials; to collect materials relating to the history of the college and school of religion; and to collect manuscripts relating to the history of Friends in the Midwest as well as manuscripts relating to the history of the Whitewater Valley in eastern Indiana.

Published Materials

We attempt to acquire a copy of any book, pamphlet, or other publication relating to Quakers or Quakerism.

Manuscript and Other Unpublished Materials

  1. We serve as the repository for the records of Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion.

  2. We serve as the repository for Friends United Meeting (formerly the Five Years Meeting of Friends), Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends, Western Yearly Meeting of Friends, Northern Yearly Meeting of Friends, the New Association of Friends, and other Quaker organizations based in the Midwest.

  3. We collect manuscripts, photographs, records, and other materials relating to the history of Quakerism in the Midwest, defined broadly as the area between the Ohio River, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Great Plains.

  4. We collect manuscripts, photographs, records, and other materials relating to the history of Richmond, Wayne County, and the surrounding area. These include community organizations related to the mission of the college, such as social justice and peace organizations. (Morrisson-Reeves Library in Richmond is a good starting point to discover additional Richmond archival material.)

  5. We selectively acquire artifacts relating to the history of the college or Midwestern Quakerism.

  6. Quaker genealogical material, published and unpublished.

Reading Room Policies

Our Policies and Procedures are standard practice throughout the Special Collections and Archival communities. Because Earlham is a place of higher learning, we want our students to learn what would be expected of them in a standard Archive or Rare Book Room. Therefore we have adopted these policies not only because they are standard practice, but also to help our students form good habits for future research.

Policies and Procedures:

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.

Our hours are more limited as we have only one professional archivist available for reference and research help during the day. Student workers help keep our archives open and are available for limited research help. We wish we could be open more extensively, but with a professional staff of one, it simply is not possible. If you have a class project that might require using primary sources or you are working on a deadline, we recommend planning in advance so we can accommodate your requests.

Archives materials are valuable and often unique items, which is why we need to keep the Archive locked and secure after hours. Our rare book and manuscript collections must be used within our 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. Consistent with Earlham's Principles and Practices, we put a high level of trust in our student workers and the Earlham community by not requiring researchers to show identification. However, we do require a registration form that we use to keep records.


Specific Policies and Rules:

1. No food or drink permitted in the Reading Room.

2. All backpacks, laptop cases, jackets, water bottles, etc. must stay by the front entrance.

3. Please register at the reference desk to use archival materials.

4. Only pencil may be used while working with the materials (Friends and Archival). No pens, markers, crayons, or anything else that might risk leaving a permanent mark on the item. Pencils are available at the reference desk and at the research tables if needed.

5. You may use as many books from our Friends and Genealogy collections as you can reasonably use at one time; however, please return them to the reference desk when you are finished. We will put them back on the shelves for you.

6. The exact order of archival materials must be preserved. Only one folder at a time should be removed from a manuscript box. Maintain the order of materials within folders and within the box. We have rulers you can use to mark your place in a box. Please see a member of our staff if you would like to use one.

7. All items should be handled with care. Staff will be happy to assist in the proper handling of materials.

8. You must consult archives' staff before photocopying, photographing, or scanning materials. Permission will be based on the condition of the item and other factors specific to the materials in question.

9. Handle materials with clean, dry hands.

10. Patrons must not attempt to cut uncut pages in books. See the archivist for help.

11. Do not mark pages or write on paper laid on top of a book or archival document.

12. Please put your cell phone on vibrate while in the reading room and go outside to answer calls.


We thank you for your interest in our collection and hope your visit is a pleasant one.

Citing our Collections

Preferred Citation:

Our preferred citation for all collections is: <file name: item name>, <collection>, Earlham Friends Collection and College Archives, Richmond, IN.


  • "Biographical Sketch of Pusey Graves by Charles B. Graves", FMS 2: Pusey Graves Collection, Earlham Friends Collection and College Archives, Richmond, IN.
  • “Ramallah Friends Girls' and Boys' School”, FRG 37: Friends United Meeting, Earlham Friends Collection and College Archives, Richmond, IN.
  • “Mary Dyer Statue”, EC 16.3: Earlham Photograph Collection: Subjects, Earlham Friends Collection and College Archives, Richmond, IN.
  • "<item name in folder>", FPG 6: Scarborough-Haworth News, Earlham Friends Collection and College Archives, Richmond, IN
  • "<item name in folder>", FPG 3: Prison Mission Ministries, Earlham Friends Collection and College Archives, Richmond, IN.

Note on classifications/record groups

We recommend you note the classification/record group identifier in your citation. While we can often help someone find an item without this, we do sometimes have collections with similar names. The classification/record group identifier is unique to the collection and will leave no room for doubt of which collection you used in your research.

EC = Earlham College. An item with this designation is housed in the Earlham College Archives. Example: EC XVI (EC 16) is the Earlham Photograph Collection.

FMS = Friends Manuscript Series. These are the collections of Quaker individuals or families. Example: FMS 115 is the identifier for the D. Elton Trueblood Papers.

FRG = Friends Record Group. These are the collections of Quaker organizations. Example: FRG 37 is the Friends United Meeting Collection.

FPG = Friends Pamphlet Group. We have six distinct collections of Quaker pamphlets. We classify any publication 49 pages or fewer as a "pamphlet". 

  • FPG 1: Meeting related publications/materials
  • FPG 2: Quaker educational institutions
  • FPG 3: Quaker organizations such as AFSC
  • FPG 4.1: Quaker authors (mostly not by Earlham faculty)
  • FPG 4.2 Subjects (alphabetical order by topic)
  • FPG 6: Family files, Biographical Materials

SC = Small Collection. Collections that can be as small as a single page and are no larger than 2.5 inches wide. They are organized in accession order. Example: SC 8 is the Silas Bond Journal.

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