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J. Bernard Haviland papers


Held at: Westtown School Archives [Contact Us]975 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA, 19382

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Westtown School Archives. 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

J. (John) Bernard Haviland was born in 1915. After attending Westtown School, a prominent Quaker boarding school in Chester County, Pennsylvania, from 1930 to 1934 and graduating in the Class of 1934, Haviland attended Princeton University and then returned to Westtown as a teacher. He taught English and Bible, and did extensive work in the growing theater program. While a teacher at Westtown, he pursued graduate degrees in the Harvard Graduate School of Education (in the 1940s) and at University College, Dublin (in the 1960s).

Throughout these years, Haviland did much writing and some publishing on Elizabethan and 17th-century English Literature and on Quaker topics such as conscription, theology, church history, unity, and ecumenism; and gave numerous lectures both at Westtown and beyond. Serving the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting on their Standing Committee on Spiritual Life, Haviland was involved in discussions about Quaker unity and outreach. During World War II, Haviland registered as a Conscientious Objector. In 1968, he left Westtown and later taught literature at West Chester University.

This collection consists of files created by J. Bernard Haviland while a student at Princeton (1930s), a teacher at Westtown School (1940s-1960s), a graduate student at Harvard University (1940s) and at University College, Dublin (1960s), and notes for courses he taught at Pendle Hill Quaker Center for Study and Contemplation (Wallingford, Pa.). Of special interest are materials relating to Haviland's status as a Conscientious Objector (CO) during World War II. More detailed finding aids for this collection are available on-site.

The earliest materials in the collection are academic papers and examinations from Haviland's undergraduate days (in the 1930s) at Princeton University, including literature courses and a biology course.

From the 1940s, the collection includes materials relating to Haviland's Conscientious Objector (CO) status, including his applications and appeals; information flyers/materials from Friends groups about registering as a CO; and correspondence with his father and others about Conscientious Objection.

Westtown School-era materials include personal items such as correspondence with numerous boarding schools regarding employment, draft cards, notes on Westtown students he taught or advised, and correspondence with alumni classes with whom he was involved. There are several files of teaching materials, such as vocabulary lists, notes on mythology, notes on bible courses. There are files of materials connected with Westtown School activities such as faculty plays and skits, retirements, and discussion groups (e.g. Thornhowe discussions), and plays produced in the theater program at the school.

Also in the collection are numerous files on Elizabethan theater and 17th-century literature, including handwritten notes, essays or speeches in original typescript, correspondence with potential publishers, the typescript of his book, and critical essays cut out of journals and magazines. The collection also includes several books published in the 1940s and 1950s about Renaissance literature, and a large collection of slides of Elizabethan subjects.

In addition, there are class of 1934 (Westtown Alumni Association) correspondence regarding class members and reunions, files for Westtown faculty discussions, plays and songs performed by Westtown faculty groups, teaching notes on English Literature, history, World Religions and Bible, articles clipped from magazines and journals, mimeographed typescripts of poetic texts for English classes, and a collection of cards with materials on a variety of subjects such as religion, philosophy, science, pacifism, learning problems, Quaker topics, and European traditions of alchemy, hermeticism, and related topics.

Files from the 1950s are full of materials about teaching the Bible and the spiritual life, including handwritten notes, essays and articles, published and unpublished, by Haviland; notes and texts for lectures he gave for Quaker gatherings (including talk at Pendle Hill, 1988), articles cut from periodicals; committee correspondence and mimeographed materials and notes on Quakerism and Quaker history. There are also abundant materials connected with Haviland's thought and involvement on several endeavors of the Society of Friends in working for world peace, church unity, and spiritual growth of its members. There are papers related to his service to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, especially his involvements in the Oxford World Conference of the Society of Friends in 1952, the reunification of that yearly meeting in 1955, and discussions regarding membership of the Quakers in the World Council of Churches.

The collection includes a few files on Haviland's days as a graduate student at Harvard, and more material connected with his doctoral studies in Ireland, including material connected with travel, correspondence on academic subjects, and academic papers and examinations.

The latest materials are a small collection of Haviland's materials for teaching Elizabethan literature at West Chester University in the late 1960s.

The collection also includes some personal photographs and correspondence and three watercolor paintings of local scenes.

Gifts of Sylvia Haviland, 2005, 2007, 2008.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Westtown School Archives directly for more information.

Westtown School Archives
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Finding aid prepared by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using data provided by the Westtown School Archives
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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