(Listed alphabetically by last name)
Head of Metadata Services &
Visual Resources Librarian
Music Librarian & Web Coordinator
Curator of Quaker Collections
Circulation & Reserves Specialist
Research & Instruction Librarian
Social Science Librarian
Acquisitions Specialist & Bookkeeper
Interlibrary Loan Specialist
Circulation Services & Building Coordinator
Senior Administrative Assistant
Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts &
Head of Quaker and Special Collections
Collection Management and
Metadata Services Assistant
Digital Scholarship Librarian
Emeritus Curator of the Quaker Collection
Associate Librarian &
Coordinator for Collection Management and Metadata Services
Research & Instruction Librarian, Language and Literature
College Archivist/Records Manager
Head of Acquisitions and Serials
Electronic Resources Librarian
Circulation Services Specialist & Evening Supervisor
Lead Research and Instruction Librarian
Librarian of the College
Quaker & Special Collections Assistant
Coordinator of Digital Scholarship and Research Services
Jobs, Internships & Fellowships
Professional and Staff Positions
Click on the job title below to read about the position, qualifications, and to how apply:
Student Assistant Positions
The Libraries are now hiring for Fall 2016. Click on the job title(s) below to read about the position and qualifications:
Interlibrary Loan Assistant
Music Library Assistant
Quaker and Special Collections Assistant
Quaker and Special Collections: Art Collection Assistant
Quaker and Special Collections: Inventory Assistant
Reference Assistant (reporting to Jeremiah Mercurio)
Web Development Assistant
To apply, download and fill out the application, then hand it in at Magill Library's front desk or submit a PDF version via email to . Applications will be accepted until September 9, 2016. However, we advise you to submit your application as soon as possible.
Internships & Fellowships
There are no internship or fellowship opportunities at this time.
Please visit the Internships page to view past interns sharing their experiences.
Click on a library below to view it on an interactive map:
Vision Statement, Mission Statement & Strategic Plan
The Haverford College Libraries will support the educational mission of the College with an unrelenting commitment to excellence—for the institution, the students, the faculty, and the staff—through our collections, instruction, and services.
The Haverford College Libraries act as a locus of intellectual activity supporting the teaching, research and learning needs of the Haverford community. Infused with Haverford’s Quaker heritage and values, we support the mission of the College to develop academic excellence and personal growth through a liberal arts education. More broadly the libraries foster curiosity, exploration, introspection, and scholarly engagement for each individual within the Haverford community.
Academic libraries remain central to the core of the campus, both in its centrality as a space of knowledge and as a place of intellectual engagement. Views of libraries as buildings full of books alone, therefore, are increasingly outdated. Libraries are now dynamic, intellectually vital, mission-driven, and user-focused. Though Haverford began a shift towards a focus on teaching research skills and meeting users needs some time ago, we are intensifying our focus on our students and faculty by creating intellectually vital spaces and services for the campus.
The teaching role of librarians is central to our work and contributes to the core mission of the College in profound ways. In support of the faculty, librarians teach students research skills and strategies, including the very critical work of finding and interrogating texts in all formats. Librarians also facilitate rich, complex, dynamic, and dialectic engagement with these texts. We provide intensive, one-on-one support to students throughout their college career, culminating in their senior capstone projects. At all academic levels, librarians foster information literacy, critical reflection, knowledge production, understanding, and scholarship.
Successful libraries respond to the dynamic, changing needs of their users by delivering collections—digital and physical—in ways that facilitate learning and research. As such, the Haverford College Libraries, in collaboration with the faculty, will continue to build meaningful collections in all formats. Electronic resources, and the economic demands they place on our operating budget, will play increasingly significant roles in our selection and collection building. With the rise of e-resources, the role of print resources will also change, making books and other printed materials rare and important elements of the cultural record. We will select these rare materials with care as well. Our careful attention and response to the changing trends in scholarship, pedagogy, and publishing will help ensure the academic excellence that is the hallmark of Haverford College.
For millennia libraries have been early adaptors of emerging technologies—be it scrolls, manuscripts, books, or digital texts. Today’s libraries remain well positioned within that technological landscape informing and supporting scholarly endeavors and inquiry. At Haverford, the libraries leverage technologies, old and new, to support the generation of scholarship, new knowledge and the development of students’ abilities to think critically. In this regard, we are building our capacity to support and participate in new modes of inquiry, including, digital scholarship.
Technology has provided us with intensive opportunity to gather, parse, and evaluate data and information. Librarians are uniquely qualified to help researchers navigate the digital information glut, analyze, critique information, data and texts, and move through the scholarly process of inquiry to generate new knowledge and cultural understanding. Further, librarians are skilled at working with digital assets that must be managed, described, preserved, curated, and made available to users in order to further the understanding and preservation of the cultural record.
Librarians are increasingly leading open access initiatives. Our role in advocating and providing the infrastructure for such an initiative at Haverford will result in more economically responsible choices that may allow us to move away from unsustainable business models of some e-publishers. More importantly our institutional repository will preserve and make available the critical scholarship of our faculty to a wider audience.
Developing a library as both place and space that reflects the changing needs of today’s students, faculty and staff, and to the degree possible anticipates future needs, is an important priority. Quiet study spaces, collaborative spaces, social spaces—all infused with technological robustness—are integral to the generative experiences that are typical of the modern library. Additional space goals include better access to subject experts; technologically robust teaching and seminar rooms; a digital scholarship commons, a café, 24/7 spaces for student and community use, and meeting and event spaces for lectures and other programs within the library.
Radical improvements to library spaces are essential to the overall success of the College. We are embodied souls, and the spaces where we learn, think, study, and contemplate ideas matter a great deal. Further, a strong, beautiful library will protect the competitive strategic position of Haverford College. According to the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, students select schools based on the facilities that support their prospective major and after that, on the basis of the quality of the library. The Library, therefore, remains a critical factor in the decisions of students to matriculate. Further studies have shown the clear link between the quality of the library and the retention of underprepared students. Creating a collaborative, intellectually vibrant environment that encourages scholarly engagement of faculty, staff and students is central to the goals of the libraries.
Collaboration informs the activities of the libraries. Membership in the Tri-College Library Consortium yields both economies of scale and professional and intellectual partnerships that result in rich offerings for Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore and the wider network of libraries on local, regional and national scales. Continued collaboration there, and with other libraries and consortiums remain a strength. These long-standing relationships—PALCI, Oberlin Libraries Group, Lever Press, EAST, HATHI Trust, the DPLA, PACSCL, ALA and ACRL—also continue to yield worthwhile partnerships. The strength gained through these relationships will enable the Libraries to work with campus partners—departments and academic centers—to offer a rich and wide array of programs such as lectures, symposia, exhibits, and other events that support the broader academic mission of the College.
In all things, the College’s Quaker heritage and values inform the Libraries’ philosophy and activities. The Libraries—through our collaboration with faculty, the centers, and our Tri-college counterparts, and engagement with scholars throughout the world; through the expertise of our staff; through our collections; through our programming; and through our improved space—will evolve in ways that will enable Haverford students to be viable thinkers in the world, both today and tomorrow.
The Haverford College Libraries act as the nucleus of intellectual activity, supporting the teaching, research and learning needs of the Haverford community. Infused with Haverford’s Quaker heritage and values, we support the mission of the College to develop academic excellence and personal growth through a liberal arts education. More broadly the libraries foster curiosity, exploration, introspection, and scholarly engagement for each individual within the Haverford community.
The Plan for Haverford 2020, the College’s Strategic Plan that guides decisions about the physical and the curricular endowments, identifies significant improvements to the Libraries as central to the overall success of the academic mission of the College. The Plan for 2020, in particular, highlights key changes to Magill Library, the Quaker & Special Collections Library and the Union Music Library.
Much of the work we will do in the coming three years will be informed by the demands that the above transformation requires. Within that framework, we will continue to build on the successes of our recently concluded plan, expanding our partnerships with faculty in curricular and co-curricular learning, research, collection building, and emerging areas of inquiry and technologies.
A modern and forward‐looking library moves from the traditional repository paradigm to a central academic space of vibrancy, yet quiet study, of collaboration, yet individual introspection, and of robust intellectual engagement in and across areas of inquiry, yet individual exploration and learning. There is a collective and urgent sense from the community members that our libraries do not meet the educational needs and scholarly practices of today. Given its seminal role on campus, revitalizing the physical endowment of the library must meet critical goals to increase active scholarly engagement within this location, and throughout our community.
The Vision includes:
- Plans for a renovated main library with appropriate teaching spaces, event space, centralized access for students to subject specialists, quiet reading rooms, social spaces, as well as a café that fosters community and intellectual exchange, keeping in mind that some spaces will be available 24/7.
- Libraries with an expanding capacity to support reading, writing, creating, curating and preserving by embracing digital and multimedia environments. The new spaces will allow librarians to play a key role in developing best practices for bringing together the traditional and digital skills of scholarship through direct engagement with faculty and students.
- Spaces for Quaker & Special Collections to make these resources more accessible to the community. Further, these rare materials, coupled with the digital and secondary texts, will allow enhanced multi-modal learning already underway on campus.
- Union Music Library, as part of the Music Program (both academic study and performance) will play a central role in delivering a first-class collection of scores, books and sound recordings alongside technology. There will be spaces for study, collaboration and the creation of music and musical scholarship. The newly improved space will be essential in the Libraries’ capacity to partner with faculty in delivering excellence in music education.
To accomplish our Goals, we expect to:
- Engage with our campus community to solicit feedback in response to the preliminary concept designs
- Work with campus partners in planning and issuing Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to identify appropriate architects who will help us meet the College’s needs.
- Move past the concept plan to develop design documents for construction, and then engage in that construction process during the strategic planning period.
- Convert a large workroom in the Gilbert White Science Library to a new student space and remove the compact shelving that houses science journals most of which are now accessed on-line. This improvement aligns with the trend toward comfortable, collaborative study spaces, and it will meet the increasing demand for student space in the libraries. Students’ voices will play a strong role in shaping the furnishings and use of the room.
The role of the libraries in building collections remains an important function for the academic community, and yet in a world rich with information, collection building is far more complex. Librarians are now skilled in working with digital assets that must be managed, described, preserved, curated, and made available to users in order to further the understanding and preservation of the cultural record. Curating collections, then, requires expertise in metadata and in navigating and collecting born digital materials. In addition, librarians play a central role in creating collections through digitization, digital scholarship, publishing, and scholarly communication, initiatives that take place at the local, regional and national levels. Expertise in traditional print materials and, most especially, in rare texts is also crucial to the success of academic libraries.
Similarly, preservation of collections is local but also extends beyond the walls of the campus libraries. Not only do we have an excellent Conservation Department, one of the few in a liberal arts college setting, we are forming key partnerships with consortia to ensure the long-term preservation of both print and digital collections on both regional and national levels.
Initiatives for Collections Management and Preservation Include:
- Collection development:
- As the capacity to engage students with rare texts will continue to be a distinguishing feature of the academic experience, the Libraries will expand its rare and special collections.
- With responsibility for an internationally regarded collection, we will further enhance the Quaker Collections to meet the needs of scholars by evaluating trends in recent scholarship, especially Quaker, to determine whether and how our collections might support such scholarship.
- Evaluate and manage current Government Documents.
- Review those collection items classed as "medium rare" and determine the continued need for such a class, particularly in the context of the new building.
- Create a digital collections policy that identifies the criteria used to build collections of "enduring value." This policy would be a component part of the Libraries' overall collection development policy.
- Collection access:
- Evaluate and improve access to archival and rare collections (See Quaker & Special Collections specific plan).
- Develop and implement a newly defined plan to improve access to the College’s art collection.
- Provide faculty and students with guidance on issues pertaining to use of copyrighted works, retention of author's right, Creative Commons licenses, and Open Access.
- Develop a set of institutional copyright guidelines and supporting infrastructure.
- Universal Design:
- Being attentive and responsive to universal design principles to address learning needs of a diverse student body by providing appropriate format conversion or acquisition.
- Proactively partner with the Disabilities Coordinator to determine areas where the Libraries can further assist our community members.
- Records Management:
- Promote and provide leadership for the implementation of an effective records management program across the Haverford College campus.
- Improve and enhance collection management through qualitative assessment:
- Determine the best role for our existing partnerships in relationship to collections management. These partners include Penn (LIBRA), PALCI (Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc.), Atelier (Museum‐ quality art storage), and Five College Repository (Affiliate members for Print Archive of certain journal collections). We will evaluate the holdings at each location and consider cost, features, and service model of each. The evaluation will further assist us in decision-making related to the renovation.
- Minimize duplication of holdings and cost by coordinating LIBRA activity across the Tri-Co. Consider the cost/benefit to a single LIBRA Coordinator for the Tri-Co.
- Collection management through quantitative assessment:
- Quantitative assessment of collections: Aggregating data/statistics, collected by Libraries' staff. Identify and implement a method for displaying, using, manipulating, and analyzing the data and information gathered across the library (aka "Data farm").
- Aggregate intra-consortial Tripod circulation data: Work with the Data farm group to facilitate deposit of existing and subsequent reports.
- Aggregate circulation by subject data. Investigate whether circulation- by-subject reports can be reasonably extracted from Tripod for ingestion into the Data farm.
- Assess Pay Per View rental processes vs. subscriptions (aka Journal Ticker).
- Develop decision criteria for print vs e-book purchasing.
- Continue ongoing collection space management in preparation for the renovation.
- Review growth of collection, particularly in newer areas of inquiry (linguistics, health studies, environmental studies, visual studies, peace and justice studies and computational studies).
- Review growth of rare books, manuscripts, and archives collections based on new areas of collection growth and records survey.
- Ensure appropriate preservation and conservation of collections:
- Develop a digital preservation strategy for the short-term (next 3-5 years) while we await an anticipated Tri-Co solution.
- Determine criteria for materials that warrant conservation.
- Ensure proper housing in the new library for special classes of materials (e.g., folios, photography, art).
- Evaluate and develop staff to ensure excellence in collection development and management:
- Strengthen our commitment to data curation by taking an inventory of existing staff skill sets in this area, and by assessing digital objects that faculty and others are creating that warrant curation. Compile a list of continuing education opportunities in this field and pursue development where needed.
- Acquisition & Metadata workflow: Cross-training Acquisitions & Serials staff for greater efficiency/redundancy.
- Evaluate the ordering process for efficiency and ease of use by Bibliographers.
- Participate in consortial projects in advancing collection development, collection management, and scholarly communication:
- Develop a fail-safe means of coding our EAST books bibliographically and physically.
- Participate in HATHI Trust collaboration for preservation of and access to digital assets for public domain material.
- Participate in key systems evaluation and planning for the Tri-Co.
- Integrated Library System evaluation and recommendation.
- Data storage and modeling.
- Digital Asset Management and Preservation planning.
- Investigate Hydra/Fedora collaboration with Tri-Co, Temple, Drexel, Villanova and Penn.
- Participate in the LEVER Initiative and the LEVER Press.
Subject librarians regularly lead research instruction sessions that teach students how to effectively find appropriate scholarly resources, and also how to think critically about the source material. Understanding that research is an iterative process, librarians improve students’ academic skills by designing lessons in which they critically interrogate research strategies and platforms. Classes also incorporate the libraries’ collections to deepen their knowledge of a research topic and its history, often investigating primary source material in instructional sessions. The number of instruction sessions offered by librarians has increased by 300% over the last four years; this substantial increase, couple with the qualitative improvements realized from the previous strategic plan, encourage us to grow in the following areas:
- Further Development of our Rubrics:
- Further develop departmental rubrics by connecting them to class content, methods in digital scholarship, use of original primary sources, visual studies, and other pertinent approaches which contribute to critical thinking and the research process.
- Consult with faculty about rubrics to incorporate more curriculum-relevant skills.
- Integrate rubrics into librarians’ department‐wide teaching plans for the academic year.
- Incorporate rubrics at the individual class level through lesson plans and course guides.
- Develop a brief profile of departmental instruction to share with faculty.
- Assess the rubrics’ connections to the curriculum through feedback from faculty and students.
- Include more explicit digital scholarship activities into the individual four year departmental rubrics that reflect multi-modal scholarship specific to each discipline.
- Improve our Teaching:
- Improve the librarians’ use of active learning techniques in both formal and informal situations through instruction from education faculty and our student coach.
- Participate in summer workshops, develop new teaching plans, consult with student coach during the fall semester and incorporate feedback.
- Build a library‐wide community of practice including instruction librarians and librarians whose primary responsibilities lie beyond instruction. Drawing on these varied teaching experiences provides a richness that, in turn, nurtures the community learning process.
- Assess teaching skills and use of active learning methods.
- Evaluate student experiences and the efficacy of our instruction.
- Collect full and accurate statistics on all forms of library instruction (in class, workshops, and small groups).
- Revise existing assessment tool to improve questions and delivery method.
- Analyze and incorporate assessment feedback into our planning for instruction.
- Integrate instruction holistically and communicate opportunities more broadly:
- Work toward a broader integration of instruction in the different operations of the library.
- Communicate ideas concerning instruction to groups within the library, faculty, and administration through our assessment webpage and other advertising.
Librarians play a vital role in the research and production of scholarship both on campus and in the world generally. At Haverford College, the librarians provide intensive, one-on-one support to students throughout their college career, culminating in their senior capstone projects. They, along with faculty partners, teach students to engage critically with their research sources and guide them in the iterative process of their scholarship.
With faculty, librarians support faculty research projects through information access and partnerships on new technologies and information tools, including the emerging forms of digital and multi-modal scholarship.
Technology has provided us with intensive opportunity to gather, parse, and evaluate data and information. Librarians are uniquely qualified to help researchers navigate the digital information glut, analyze, critique information, data and texts, and move through the scholarly process of inquiry to generate new knowledge and cultural understanding.
Digital Scholarship is an area of growing expertise for our librarians, and we will continue to advance the research interests of our community and to leverage technology in the generation of new knowledge.
- Create more opportunities and support for faculty in their research, teaching and the creation of new scholarship:
- Take advantage of richer statistics to reach out to faculty members or departments who have had fewer research consultations
- Build a menu of services and partnership opportunities for faculty to engage with Digital Scholarship
- Provide oversight to research assistants by collaborating with faculty and funders in delivering research goals
- Create a 'boot camp' for summer students employed in internships
- Increase librarians' capacity in delivery of research support in the area of digital scholarship:
- Engage in peer-to-peer training to enhance skill sets of subject librarians
- Train subject librarians in common tools for web publishing and collection building
- Create tools that enable subject librarians to deploy locally hosted web projects
- Create and improve opportunities and support for student research and scholarship:
- Improve research consultation services for students through incorporating rubrics developed in the four year plan
- Identify needs of student cohorts and provide training in specific areas of research
- Develop a liaison model for selected affinity groups
- Develop stronger and more explicit resources and services for students in their second and third years
- Cultivate and mentor student workforce:
- Create opportunities for student workers to learn and practice new areas of knowledge and skills
- Train student research assistants to support introductory level research using digital scholarship methods
- Create opportunities for student workers to take on leadership and mentoring roles within Digital Scholarship
- Develop systemic approaches to research support and digital scholarship and build infrastructure to improve consistency:
- Collect full and accurate information about research and digital scholarship support
- Collect narratives and other forms of qualitative feedback from students and faculty
- Analyze and incorporate statistics and feedback into our planning
- Incorporate best practices into our research support
- Take advantage of best practices from the broader digital scholarship, digital collections, and web development communities for improvement
- Ensure that documentation, planning, and preservation of projects is consistent and scalable.
- Survey recent literature on research services and use of space in order to improve current practices as well as to plan for upcoming renovations.
- Improve access to tools and resources for research
- Create a team tasked with identifying barriers to access for research in library systems and help remove them where possible
- Make strategic decisions about what collections should be digitized, how that digitization can increase their usefulness, and ways to enhance their discoverability.
- Ensure that consistent metadata is created for digitized materials so they can be used across systems.
- Provide tools for researchers to transcribe, encode or otherwise deepen our understanding of research material, in particular our Quaker & Special Collections.
- Create an effective and useful assessment plan for research consultations
Programs and exhibitions situate the Libraries at the center of the academic enterprise. Creating a community of scholarly practice is an important priority of Libraries. So too is sharing the products of that inquiry. Events, lectures, and other programs engage the community in the outcome of research both at the library and beyond. To that end we will:
- Host programs and events that facilitate collaboration, conversation, and community.
- Increase the quality and frequency of exhibitions we sponsor, organize, and host:
- Revise exhibition guidelines for all gallery spaces
- Develop how-to resources for exhibitions (catalog templates, gallery space layout tools, etc.)
- Increase awareness of and access to Quaker & Special Collections through programming:
- Engage a variety of audiences and stakeholders (e.g., alumni, Quaker groups, Board of Managers, donors, other Philadelphia‐area archives)
- Consider and identify workshops and other types of activities we could organize or host and develop metrics to evaluate the success of our programs and events.
- Foster awareness of library programs, services, and resources through our communications:
- Enhance the library website to better reflect current programs and services.
- Showcase student projects and other programming and events in a more visual way.
- Be more thoughtful and strategic in our use of social media:
- Develop a marketing plan.
- Develop an assessment plan of that use.
- Print publication improvements:
- Increase and improve our representation in the next Admissions Office Viewbook and in the campus tours sponsored by the Admission Office.
- Investigate ways to communicate to prospective students, parents and other stakeholders.
- Evaluate and continue to develop our annual report.
- Create opportunities for students to design exhibition catalogs and disseminate them more widely.
- Promote events, programs, and exhibitions more widely and effectively:
- Identify target exhibitors and find ways to communicate our spaces and services to them.
- Investigate other avenues for promotion not currently used.
Creating strong partnerships and collaborations is vital to the work we do across the libraries. We collaborate to enrich community relationships, take advantage of efficiencies of scale, to make larger tasks more manageable, to bring a variety of perspectives to problems and questions, to fully participate in our communities, and to grow as professionals. However, collaboration and partnership is not an end in itself, but a valuable means of achieving other goals. For that reason, we suggest a variety of collaboration opportunities and goals that may be usefully incorporated into the work of the larger plan. While there will be partnership opportunities described in other strategic planning groups as well, we identified the following areas for collaboration that might not obviously fold into other parts of the plan.
- Foster greater collaboration within the Libraries and with individuals and offices both on and off campus:
- Strengthen the student worker program through improved cross-training students and community building.
- Strengthen relationships with campus partners, especially centers, administrative offices, and student groups.
- Participate in consortial projects through the Tri-Co, emerging partnerships with R-1 institutions, the Oberlin Group, PACSCL and others as noted in the above plan.
Please contact Terry Snyder for information on specific action items and information in the status of those items.
The Libraries first Annual Report came out in 2015 for the Calendar Year 2014. The report offers a glance information about and statics on key areas, namely Teaching & Learning, Research & Scholarship, Collections & Metadata, Services, Quaker & Special Collections, Student Research Internships, Programming & Outreach, and Planning for the Future.
We invite you to read the report, which is linked below:
Anyone may use materials housed in the Haverford Libraries. However, to borrow books you must have either a valid College I.D. from Bryn Mawr, Haverford or Swarthmore or a courtesy borrower card from Haverford.
The following persons may have courtesy borrowing privileges at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore Colleges upon presentation of the appropriate documentation:
- Faculty/staff partners and children associated with any of the three colleges.
- Faculty affiliated with E-ZBorrow Libraries. Ask at your institutional Library to obtain introduction papers needed for establishing borrowing privileges.
The following persons may have courtesy borrowing privileges at Haverford Libraries (not Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore) upon presentation of the appropriate documentation. A courtesy borrower card will be issued by a full-time Circulation Services Staff member in Magill Library.
- Haverford Board of Managers and Members of the Corporation must present picture ID, e.g. a valid driver's license.
- Faculty from local area schools and colleges must present a letter of introduction from the library, provost or department chair of their institution.
- Religious leaders in the community must present a letter of introduction from the administration of their religious organization.
To learn what can be borrowed from the Libraries and for how long with courtesy borrowing privileges, please view this section.
Haverford College builds its collections of information resources in cooperation with Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College, as part of the Tri-College Consortium. Below are the Tri-College and Haverford-specific collection development policies:
Copyright can be complex, and as a result complying with copyright can be daunting at times. The Libraries have created a Copyright Resource Guide as an aid in navigating common academic issues and situations.
Gifts from alumni and friends of the College which augment existing collections or create new research resources and which would be useful in enhancing the liberal arts curriculum of the College are welcome.
For more information, please contact Norm Medeiros.
Quaker & Special Collections
The Quaker Collection welcomes gifts of Quaker family papers and the archival records of Friends organizations. Such material is carefully preserved for future generations of scholars. The staff is also glad to receive books, pamphlets and other printed material related to Quaker concerns. When such gifts duplicate what is already in the collection, such material may be made available to other Friends institutions or scholars.
For more information, please contact Quaker & Special Collections.
The role of the library in the Haverford community has changed dramatically during the course of its 175-year history.
The twenty-one adolescent boys who enrolled in 1833 could visit the library for only one half hour per week. All of their reading was carefully monitored by faculty. By today's standards, their selection was small: 770 scholarly works and a handful of periodicals narrowly focused on topics related to sciences, the classics, and Quaker history and theology.
Today, Haverford libraries own more than 625,000 titles, including not only printed books but thousands of items in other formats--microfilm, photographs, diaries, letters, sound and video recordings, electronic publications, and miscellaneous ephemera. Students can browse, study, or relax in the library seven days a week. They can access a wealth of digital media 24 hours a day from their dorm rooms or while away on vacation or foreign study.
Move the slider below to discover important moments in the Libraries' history:
Detail from a plan of Founders Hall, showing the dimensions (in feet) of Haverford's first library
1831 Beulah Sansom makes first donation, a mineral collection of 800 specimens
1832 Construction of Founders Hall, including one room for a library
1833 First six books donated to the library by Elizabeth Pearsal
1833 Haverford School opens to 21 male students, aged 13-18
1834 Manuscript collection begun with "Letters and Papers of William Penn," gift of Henry Pemberton
1834 Loganian Society Library started
1836 First library catalog was printed
The two men who selected Haverford's first library books: John Gummere (left), first lecturer in mathematics and astronomy, and Daniel B. Smith (right), first lecturer in English literature and moral philosophy.
1845 School closes due to financial instability
1848 School reopens
Thomas Wistar, Haverford's first librarian
1853 Opening of the Strawbridge Memorial Observatory (& eventual departmental astronomy library)
1856 State Charter allows the granting of Bachelor's degrees; school renamed Haverford College
1856 Class of 1856 gives gift of library books; Alumni Association formed
1858 First librarian, Thomas Wistar, is hired
Haverford faculty in the Library, 1865
1864 Construction of Alumni Hall; Library moves there from Founders
1866 Everett Society Library started
1868 Athenaeum Society Library started
Samuel J. Gummere, son of John Gummere and President of the College from 1864-1874. Books from his personal library, such as this copy of Maltebrun's Geography, are still among Haverford's collections.
1870 First documented purchase of photography for study purposes
1876 Card catalog introduced
A hand-drawn bookplate from one of the volumes donated to the Library by the Loganian Society
1881 First assistant librarian, Walter Ferris Price (class of 1881), hired
1887 Loganian Society collection merges with main library
1888 Everett & Athenaeum Societies donate their collections
1889 Acquisition of the Gustav Baur Library (7,000 volumes in Theology, "Oriental" Languages, & German Literature)
Detail of a manuscript from the Harris Collection
1890 J. Rendel Harris "Oriental" Manuscript Collection donated
1892 A Committee of the Alumni Association publishes A History of Haverford College For the First Sixty Years of Its Existence. The numerous authors of this history were chosen from among the alumni of the college in 1892, including John G. Bullock, Howard Comfort, Francis B. Gummere, George Vaux, Jr., John C. Winston and others. Each author was responsible for a period in the college’s history or a subject.
1897 Haverford becomes a Government Depository Library 1898 South Wing of Alumni Hall built
Library interior, 1901
1900 Class of 1900 establishes fund for English fiction
1902 Charles Roberts (class of 1864) Autograph Collection donated; Roberts Hall opens with room to house the collection
1909 William H. Jenks Collection of Quaker Tracts donated
Detail from a group photo of the Haverford faculty, 1912-1913. Seated at left: President Isaac Sharpless; Seated in center: Librarian Allan Thomas; Standing, third from right: Rayner Kelsey, who would later become the first Curator of the Quaker Collection.
1911 Lyman Beecher Hall Chemistry Building (including a departmental library of chemistry) opens
1912 Northwest addition and new stacks built to accommodate the growing collection
1918 Isaac Sharpless Hall (including departmental libraries in biology, physics & eventually psychology) opens
1918 Isaac Sharpless publishes The Story of a Small College. Sharpless (1848-1920), a Quaker mathematician and astronomer, was Dean of Haverford College from 1884-1887 and then its president from 1887-1917.
A student working in the Library, c. 1926
1922 First Curator of the Quaker Collection, Rayner Kelsey, named
1924 Adoption of the Library of Congress Classification System
1926 Solicitation of funds by student group to start a library of music
1929 Samuel Hilles Memorial Laboratory (including a departmental library in engineering) opens
Detail from a map of Haverford's campus created for centennial celebrations in 1933
1930 First major collection of fine art donated (Inness, Whistler, Horner, Sargent)—later sold by the college
1933 Grant from the Carnegie Corporation establishes a record collection in Union Building
1933 Rufus M. Jones publishes Haverford College: A History and Interpretation. Jones (1863-1948) was one of the leading American Quaker philosophers of the 20th century. He taught philosophy and psychology at Haverford from 1893-1934.
"Early Autumn, White Birch" by Maxfield Parrish
1941 Rufus M. Jones Collection on Mysticism donated
1941 New stacks, catalog room & staff room built
1941 Haverford begins sharing catalog cards with Bryn Mawr
1942 Painting of St. Sebastian donated
1942 Attempt to unite the Tri-College libraries under one director is unsuccessful
1948 Alumnus Maxfield Parrish donates his oil painting, "Early Autumn, White Birch"
The Rufus Jones Study, adjacent to the Philips Memorial Wing in Magill Library
1950 Papers of Rufus M. Jones donated
1951 Rufus Jones Study (a replica of his study at 2 College Circle) built
1952 William Pyle Philips Collection of Rare Books donated; Philips Memorial Wing (formerly the North Wing) dedicated
Construction to expand the library, mid-1960s
1963 Stokes Hall (including a science library) opens
1965 Quaker Collection becomes a repository for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting records
1965 Henry S. Drinker Music Center opens (including a departmental music library)
1967 Final expansions to the library completed; named in honor of James Magill
1968 Christopher Morley collection donated; Morley Alcove dedicated
1969 C. C. Morris Cricket Library built
From the Fine Art Photography Collection: "Sea of Steps" by Frederick Henry Evans, 1903
1970 Social Sciences Bibliographer position created; Humanities & Sciences positions follow in 1972
1972 Bryn Mawr & Haverford begin joint purchasing plan
1979 Fine Art Photography Collection started
The student-built comic book collection resides in the basement of Magill Library
1983 Gregory Kannerstein publishes The Spirit and the Intellect: Haverford College, 1833-1983. Kannerstein, class of 1963, served as baseball coach (1978-1992), director of athletics (1983-2006), and Dean of the College (2006-2009).
1984 First of several gifts of fine art prints given by Hugh Chapman
1985 Music Library moved to Union Building; First music librarian hired
1985 Comic book collection started by student group called "X-Students"
1987 First Tri-College Library Staff hired
1989 Collection of Ancient Greek artifacts donated by alumnus Ernest Allen
Button promoting launch of the Tri-College online catalog, Tripod
1991 Tripod: The Tri-College Library Catalog, goes live; Card catalog removed from Magill Library
1993 Access to five online periodical indexes is offered through Tripod
1995 Tri-College subscription to the first collection of full-text journals is begun
1996 Science Fiction collection begun
The White Science Library
2002 Gilbert Fowler White Science Library opens, consolidating Sharpless and Stokes Libraries
2003 Triptych: The Tri-College Digital Library goes live
2004 Bryn Mawr, Haverford & Swarthmore pilot their first joint purchasing plans, designed to reduce the number of duplicate titles in the consortium
2005 Archiving of Quaker & College websites begun using Archive-It
2006 Tri-College instance of DSpace initiated, housing the online Senior Thesis Archive
2007 Tripix: Tri-College Digital Image Collection goes live