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Charles Roberts letterbooks


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Charles Roberts was born to Elihu Roberts and Anne Pettit on August 21, 1846. He entered Haverford in 1860, graduating with his bachelor's in 1864. While at Haverford, Roberts served as editor of The Bud and The Collegian, and was the secretary and president of the Everett Society's Council. He remained involved with the College following his graduation from Haverford, acting as treasurer and president of the Alumni Association from 1866 to 1869 and 1886 to 1888 respectively, manager of Haverford College from 1872 to 1902, and secretary of the Corporation from 1883 to 1886. Professionally, he began working in manufacturing for Whitall, Tatum & Co. in 1864, becoming a partner in the firm from 1869 to 1885. In 1891, he became the vice president of the Spring Garden Insurance Company, later becoming president in 1895. Outside of work and Haverford, Roberts involved himself in community organizations and initiatives, serving as president of the Apprentices Library Company, director of Academy of Fine Arts, president of the 8th and 9th Wards Charity Organizations, vice president of the Fuel Savings Society, overseer of William Penn Charter School, and member of the Philadelphia Common Council (1882-84, 1886-1902). He also involved himself in a number of academic and cultural societies, acting as a member of the Council of Historical Society of Pennsylvania and Phi Beta Kappa (1898), honorary member of of the Historical Society of Salem, New Jersey and Wisconsin Historical Society, and life member of the American Historical Association, Academy of Natural Sciences of the Horticultural Society, the Zoological Society, the Genealogical Society, the Franklin Institute of the Colonial Society, the Photographic Society, and the Fairmount Park Arts Association. In addition, "his collection of manuscripts and works relating to Friends was unsurpassed in this country, and he had also gathered a large and valuable collection of autographs which was presented to the College in 1902, together with a donation of about $50,000 to found the hall named after him." In regard to his personal life, he married Lucy Branson Longstreth in Philadelphia on November 23,1892. Charles Roberts died in Philadelphia on January 23, 1902.

The letterbooks contained in this collection document Roberts's interest in the collection of books, manuscripts, and prints; Quaker history and genealogy; and philanthropy. In addition to corresponding with numerous book and manuscript dealers, correspondence also includes other collectors and those with whom Roberts discussed his interests and questions about materials.

The volumes in this collection are arranged chronologically.

Volume 2 was purchased by Special Collections, Haverford College in 2012 from Ian Brabner Rare Books; source of volume 1 unknown.

Revised by Madison Arnold-Scerbo; completed July, 2018.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Letterbook, 1890-1894. 1 volumes.
Volume 1
Physical Description

1 volumes

Letterbook, 1894-1901. 1 volumes.
Volume 2
Physical Description

1 volumes

Print, Suggest