Main content

Haverford Community Center records


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

The Haverford Community Center began as the Preston Reading Room in 1889 as a playroom for children. The room steadily became available for more of the community, transforming into the "Preston Reading Room, Park and Playground Association" in 1916 and the "Haverford Community Center" in 1921. It aimed to support children of the Haverford community by providing sports, clubs, classes, arts, and more. One of the primary goals for the center was to promote cross cultural understanding between communities of different races in the neighborhoods surrounding Haverford, as well as encouraging leadership and familial relations. The president of the center at the time of these documents was Leslie R. Severinghaus. Severinghaus began teaching at the Haverford School and rose to headmaster before he retired in 1965.

Documents include pamphlets informing others about the nature of the Haverford Community Center by addressing community members directly. A 1939 pamphlet provides information advertising the services of the center through a question-and-answer format. Another, undated, encourages the reader to visit the center and contribute to their community through the operations run by the center. A 1941 annual financial report outlines the receipts and expenditures of the community center. Two copies of a review of the center are included. This review addresses a description of the community the center wishes to serve, a description of the center itself, and a discussion of the issues surrounding the center's contributions. The issues presented in this review pertain to the surrounding Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Ardmore areas of Pennsylvania. Ultimately, the review board strives to answer the question of whether the community center is the best option to fulfill their goals. The review includes a list of recommendations for bettering the center but comes to no clear conclusion regarding the best future for the center.

Organized chronologically with attention to document type.


Processed by Alex Murray, completed October 2023

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Alex Murray
Finding Aid Date
October, 2023
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

Collection Inventory

Box 6

Print, Suggest