Today marks my completion of going through half of all the links in the finding aid for Special Collections. This means that I have read the descriptions of, and checked the links for, HALF of all the collections in Special Collections. That is a lot of collections. And I have to say, there is some really interesting material in here. For instance, in the ” Baltimore Monthly Meeting Homewood records,” there are signed letters by Abraham Lincoln! Then, there are pictures of William Lloyd Garrison, noted abolitionist and newspaper editor, in the “Friends Historical Association” collection. Add to that documents from 1 A.D. (“Dean Putnam Lockwood”), correspondence with John Updike (“John R. Hawkins”), letters from Alexander Graham Bell (“Edward Drinker Cope”), documents from William Penn (“William Penn papers”), hundreds of recordings of concerts by Haverford students, faculty and others (“John Davison papers”), and a sampling of letters by U.S. Presidents (“William Pyle Phillips collection”)! And those are just the things that immediately jumped out at me! There are definitely some major gems for the curious explorer to find here. If one is interested in people standing up for there beliefs, there are multiple mentions of a Thomas Story (1670?-1742) who was a former fencer and musician turned Quaker, a friend of William Penn, discussed Quakerism with Tsar Peter the Great,and was arrested for preaching Quaker faith in Kilkenny (the warrant for his arrest is in the “British Friends’ letters”). For those interested in the history of the library, there are the “James Phineas Magill papers” (after whom our library is named) and the “Michael S. Freeman papers” (who was a major proponent of Tri-Co library cooperation). If your fancy is more American history, I would direct you to the “John Ewer letters” which are from one merchant to another regarding the early signs of the American Revolution.
If you aren’t necessarily interested in the above topics, but you are colored intrigued, you can always check out the Finding Aid (which I would generally recommend!). I’ve been working here for a semester, and I didn’t have any idea that this was all here. This leads me to believe that most of the college doesn’t even know what awesome resources are back here. So come check it out!