Swarthmore Historical Society General Reference Files
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 Borough of Swarthmore, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, was incorporated in 1893. Previous to establishment of the Borough, the area was part of Springfield Township. It was settled by Quaker farmers and is the traditional birthplace of Benjamin West, early American artist. The community, first known as Westdale, developed after Swarthmore College was founded by Hicksite Quakers in 1864 and the rail line was improved in the 1880s. The Swarthmore Historical Society (SHS) was established in 1988 to document, preserve and protect the historic resources of Swarthmore Borough, Delaware Co., Pa. One of its mission is to serve as the archives for the Borough of Swarthmore and as an information resource on the history of the community.
This collection combines related reference resources of Friends Historical Library and Swarthmore Historical Society and is administered by Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. It includes information on Borough government, business, organizations, schools, buildings and structures, writings and miscellaneous topics. Of particular interest are the field forms for the Historic Resources Survey published in 2001 by the Delaware County Planning Department; these file are updated when additional information is provided.
The reference files are organized in series: 1: Borough Government 2: Businesses 3: Organizations 4: Schools 5: Buildings and Structures, by street 6: Writings and reminiscences 7: Miscellaneoous subject files 8: Oral histories
In 1996 the collection of the Swarthmore Historical Society was deposited in Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. The material was sorted, described and combined with the reference files on Swarthmore Borough (Pamphlet Group 6) in the collection of Friends Historical Library. Because the histories of the Borough and Swarthmore College are intertwined, the two reference collections were consolidated to make the local history resources more easily accessible. In 2004, the reference collection was assigned a new catalog number RG 7/004 as part of the Swarthmore Historical Society Archives. Records of organizations and family papers are cataloged separately and assigned their own Record Group call numbers. The reference files contain both secondary and original papers which are not part of a larger collection.
The reference files are stored in the Workroom of Friends Historical Library, file cabinets.
For photographs of Swarthmore, see the FHL Picture Collection PA 64. To search the collection of local maps stored in Chart Case, see Swarthmore (Pa)
- Architecture -- Pennsylvania -- Swarthmore
- Clubs -- Swarthmore (Pa.)
- Real property -- Pennsylvania -- Swarthmore
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/UND/1.0/.
Includes: Rules from public newspaper notices, 1893. Ordinances and Regulations, 3/1/1976.
Rules, adopted 1910.
Includes correspondence, standing committees, and a listing of Petitioners for the establishment of the Borough, copied by Mary Ann Jeavons.
Published, with articles and photographs.
Inventory of Swarthmore Borough Archives stored in Borough Hall, including building permits and plans. Mary Ann Jeavons, compiler.
Photocopies of items retained at Borough Hall.
See also RG 7/009 for its records.
Includes lists of stores in 1909 and 1989.
See also RG 2, Records of Swarthmore Monthly Meeting.
Maintains its own archives.
See RG 7/007.
See also RG7/006.
Fire Company maintains its own archives.
See RG7/002 for records.
The Historical Society has sponsored Centennial projects, Historic House Tours, Historic Resources Survey and the Historic Walking Tour brochure. See RG7/016 for records.
See also RG7/008 for records.
See RG7/003 for records.
Includes Caucus Notice, 1894, The Swarthmore Social Temperence Conference, n.d.
In 2015 a record group Swarthmore Schools, RG7022, was processed removing the bulk of the original material and merging with subsequent accessions. Clippings and topical reference remain in General Reference.
Includes history, articles, programs, etc. Of related interest is a collection of Swarthmore High School oversized class photographs, 1937, 1939, 1941-47, 1949, 1950-64, and 1968-69, stored with RG7 (basement). See RG 7/022
Includes other materials of its final year.
See RG 7/022
Proposal for re-use of District properties for seniors. Revised 1998.
Includes yearbooks (with many gaps). See RG 7/022
See Swarthmore College Archives, RG6.
See RG7/022 and Swarthmore College Archives, RG6 for Preparative Department, Swarthmore College.
Includes original field forms of site surveys. Organized by street address. Additional information and survey photographs compiled on individual addresses are filed with the surveys. Published survey with updated entries cataloged and available on reference, FHL Reading Room.
Final "Report of the findings of the Delaware County Historic Resources Survey for Swarthmore Borough" is stored in the FHL book collection (REF).
See also Park, Dartmouth, and S. Chester.
See also street addresses.
Includes Deed, 1 Park Avenue, 1892.
Lists residents of borough. Also photocopies of listings in 1897 and 1902 directories.
Originally published in 1924, Swarthmore Directory
Originally a student paper for Swarthmore High School
Student paper for American Civics course, University of Pennsylvania, 1979.
Thesis written for M.A. in Urban Studies.
Revised text of David Narbeth's 1975 slide show. Video tape catalogued in Library AV collection. 1992.
Paper written for a course on historical landscape, 1999.
Brief extracts from the Swarthmore News. Abstracted by Nancy Spears.
Article by Jay J. Dugan in Lincoln-Mercury Times.
Issues with illustrations relating to the Borough and its history.
See also SC 177.
See RG6/V/College Reference files
See File: Real Estate Companies: Emmons. See also photographs scanned in 2017 from family's collection, stored in FHL DAMS.
See also Cresson family and Swarthmore Horticultural Society files
See Development Companies, Gillespie
"In Our Backyard: Swarthmore slides in the Menke & Menke collection." Images collected by William Menke from various sources including Irma Zimmer, Cresson family, and John and Dorothy Lawrence. Menke copy slides stored in PA 64.
Clippings concerning residents.
See Real estate, Thayer
See also 540 Ogden Avenue survey
Scans are stored in FHL image server [?]
Alice "Putty" Putnam Willitts married George Willitts in 1952, and they purchased what had been the pool property on the Emmons estate in Swarthmore, 124 Guernsey Road. The Putnams were from Western Pennsylvania. Putty's grandfather, Leon Elmer Putnan, and wife Harriett Allen came to Swarthmore circa 1890. He operated a dental office in his home at 310 Lafayette Avenue, and daughter and Aunt Iona Grace lived with them. Their son was Allen Putnam, married Gladys Ciani, lived on Maple Avenue. Alice "Putty" Willets was a coach and physical education teacher. She was inducted to the United States Field Hockey Association's Hall of Fame in 1988.
RG7/027 Alice Putnam Willetts Swarthmore Papers
Irma E. Zimmer Papers, RG7/014
Two scrapbooks compiled by Rosalie Peirsol on career and the death of her husband, Henry A. Peirsol (1912-1974)
Edward Brattan was a student at Swarthmore Preparative School.