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Kelsey Family papers


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

Asa Kelsey (1839-1929) was born near Niagara Falls in Canada in 1839. As a young man he moved to Michigan and became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In 1860, he married Sarah E. Atwater and they lived in Western Springs, Illinois, with their four children, among whom was Rayner W. Kelsey. Asa Kelsey engaged in the tea and coffee business and was a faithful member of the Society of Friends.

Rayner Wickersham Kelsey (1879-1934) was born in Western Springs, Illinois, to Asa and Sarah Atwater Kelsey. He graduated from Earlham College in 1900, and a year later married Naomi Harrison Binford; their only child, Rayner Wilfred, was born in 1910. From 1901 to 1904, Kelsey was professor of German and public speaking at Pacific College (now George Fox University) in Oregon and then at Whittier College in California until 1909. In 1909, he was appointed professor of American history at Haverford College in Pennsylvania and in 1922, he was named curator of Haverford's Quaker Collection. He was an authority on Quakers and Native Americans and wrote the book Friends and the Indians in 1917. He was president of Friends' Historical Association from 1913 to 1915, an association devoted to the study, preservation, and publication of material relating to the history of the Religious Society of Friends. He was editor of the association's Bulletin from 1922 to 1932. He was a member of Haverford Monthly Meeting of Friends and a recorded minister in the Society of Friends.

This collection contains materials relating to Rayner Kelsey and his father, Asa Kelsey. These include diaries of both Asa and Rayner (1872-1934) and letters of sympathy received upon the death of Rayner in 1934. Rayner's diaries were written while he was a professor at Haverford College.

The Kelsey Family papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in February, 2012 by Ray Kelsey.

Processed by Mary A. Crauderueff; completed March, 2016.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Mary A. Crauderueff
Finding Aid Date
March, 2016
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Diary, 1872.
Diary, 1874-1875.
Diary, 1910 (January-May).
Diary, 1910 (May-September).
Diary, 1910-1911 (September 1910-January 1911).
Diary, 1911.
Diary, 1911-1919.
Diary, 1912.
Diary, 1909.
Diary, 1910-1914.
Diary, 1915-1919.
Diary, 1920-1924.
Diary, 1925-1929.
Diary, 1930-1934.

Newspaper clipping, 1908.
Box 25 Folder 1
Scope and Contents

Newspaper clipping of "The New Way and The Old: Easy and Correct Way to See Nature's Great Art Gallery" from the Oakland Tribute. 1908 June 07

Speech entitled "Prohibition", undated.
Box 25 Folder 2
"Uncle Allen," poem, 1934.
Box 25 Folder 3
Annotated copy of "National Issues of the United States Historically Presented", undated.
Box 25 Folder 4

Physical Description

2 foldersAlphabetically organized. Also includes death notices and obituary newspaper clippings.

Correspondence A-L.
Box 25 Folder 5
Correspondence M-Z; Obit. clippings.
Box 25 Folder 6

Silver Gelatin photograph of Rayner Kelsey by Hollander & Feldman, Philadelphia, circa 1925.
Box 25 Folder 7
Etching of the life of George Fox by Robert Spence, undated. 1 items.
Physical Description

1 itemsRemoved to 988G

Print, Suggest