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William J. Cooper Foundation Committee records


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

The William J. Cooper Foundation provides funding for events such as lectures, exhibits, concerts, and performances at Swarthmore College. It was established by William J. Cooper (1849-1925), a devoted friend of the College whose wife, Emma McIlvain Cooper, graduated from Swarthmore in 1876 and served as a member of the Board of Managers from 1882 to 1923. The Foundation provides annual funds that are used "in bringing to the College eminent citizens of this and other countries who are leaders in statesmanship, education, the arts, sciences, learned professions and business, in order that the faculty, students and the College community may be broadened by a closer acquaintance with matters of world [interest]."

The Cooper Foundation Committee is composed of students, faculty members, and staff members. It works with members of all campus constituencies to arrange events and residencies. In the past, some speakers have been invited with the understanding that their lectures would be published under the auspices of the Foundation. This arrangement has produced 18 volumes.

Source: Swarthmore College Bulletin vol. CXII, no. 1 (August 2014): section 2.6 Special Funds and Lectureships. Accessed April 10, 2015.

This collection consists of the administrative files of the Cooper Foundation Committee, arranged in roughly chronological order from the 1940s through the 1980s. Primarily, the collection tracks the process of securing speakers or performers, from background research, to making arrangements, to promoting events. Background information about prospective speakers or performers includes letters from various members of the campus community to the Cooper Foundation Committee suggesting performers/speakers, and materials such as flyers, publicity photographs, newspaper clippings, and press releases about work accomplished elsewhere. Arrangements-related materials include correspondence between the Cooper Foundation Committee, other members of the Swarthmore campus community, and the speaker/performer; as well as contracts, receipts for reimbursements and honoraria, and more. For many events, this collection also includes flyers and other promotional materials. (See also RG6/A, Official Publications of Swarthmore College, Ser.7 Special Events Publications for event announcements and programs filed by year.)

Additionally, the collection includes general records of the Cooper Foundation Committee, such as budgets and financial information, meeting minutes, committee reports, and other administrative documents.

These materials are unprocessed and remain in the original order and folders as received.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
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FHL staff
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Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Contact Swarthmore College Archives staff at at least two weeks in advance of visit to request boxes.

Use Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Collection Inventory

Cooper Foundation Committee files, 1943-1957.
Box 1 (offsite box FHL-0063)
Cooper Foundation Committee files, 1958-1961.
Box 2 (offsite box FHL-0064)
Cooper Foundation Committee files, 1961-1966.
Box 3 (offsite box FHL-0065)
Cooper Foundation Committee files, 1966-1971.
Box 4 (offsite box FHL-0066)
Cooper Foundation Committee files, 1971-1974.
Box 5 (offsite box FHL-0067)

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