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John Russell Hayes Papers


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. 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

John Russell Hayes (1866-1945) was a Quaker educator, poet, and Librarian of Swarthmore College, 1906-1927, and Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, 1927-1935. He was born in 1866, the son of William M. and Rachel (Russell) Hayes, and was descended from a long-time Chester County, Pa., Quaker family. He spent much of his childhood on the Hayes family farm on the Brandywine River. He married Emma Gawthrop of Wilmington, Delaware, in 1892. Both were graduates of Swarthmore College, Class of 1888.

J. Russell Hayes graduated from the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, but he only practiced law for a year before returning to Swarthmore College to teach literature and composition. He also attended Harvard, Oxford, the University of Strassburg, Germany.

In 1906 he became College Librarian, a position he held until 1927. From 1927 to 1935, he served as Librarian of Friends Historical Library, and after his retirement, he was made Librarian Emeritus. Hayes supported the war effort in 1918, a position that was controversial among Quakers. J. Russell Hayes and his wife were both members of Swarthmore Monthly Meeting. They had three daughter, Esther, Katharine, and Eleanor, all of whom were also Swarthmore College graduates. Emma Hayes died in 1939, and J. Russell Hayes died Dec. 29, 1945. He was the author of a number of books, primarily of verse. Most of his poetry reflected the local landscape and his Quaker roots.

The collection contains letters received by Hayes, 1887-1936, diaries covering the period 1880-1935, and miscellaneous papers including an album of collected manuscript samples of contemporary poets. The diaries include poetry and local notes and photographs and cover personal and Swarthmore College activities and concerns..

The colleciton is divided into four series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Diaries
  3. Albums
  4. Writings

Donor: J. Russell Hayes and family, before 1949

Donor: Jay Monaghan, 1974, 1975

Letters were found in FHL in 1949 and catalogued. Diaries were deposited by the family. Some writings and a letter from J. Russell Hayes were deposited by Jay Monaghan in 1974-75.

Letters catalogued and added to manuscript collection in 1949. In 1961, the diaries were added. Writings and a letter from J.R. Hayes deposited by Jay Monaghan were added to the collection in 1974-75 and transferred from Small Collection to Record Group 5 in 1988. Letters from Hayes' father, William M. Hayes, 1905 transferred from PG7 to Series 1, Correspondence. Correspondence relating to Hayes' tenure as Librarian were transferred to RG 4/027, Friends Historical Library Records, in July 2001.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research

Use Restrictions

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Collection Inventory

Correspondence, 1887-1936 (bulk 1899-1913).
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Most early letters are from Esther T. and William Hyde Appleton and Elizabeth Powell Bond. Later letters concern Hayes' poetry. Of particular interest are letters written to Hayes in reaction to his support of the war effort in 1918.

Physical Description

31 vols

Diary/day book of Emma Gawthrop Hayes, 1885-1888, 1891.
Box 1
Diaries of J. Russell Hayes, 1880-1906.
Box 2
Diaries of J. Russell Hayes, 1906-1820.
Box 3
Diaries of J. Russell Hayes, 1920-1935.
Box 4

Catalogue of the library of J. Russell and Emma G. Hayes, 1894-.
Box 5
Rachel H. Russell's autograph album, 1861.
Box 5
Mss album of collected poetry: "Book of Poets", 1902-1918.
Box 5

Poetry [see also the diaries].
Box 5
"An evening with Dr. Horace Howard".
Box 5
"Furness at `Lindenshade' ", 3/8/1898.
Box 5

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