Special Collections has a large and growing collection of broadsides created by bodies within the Society of Friends in America and Great Britain. Although these oversized sheets with only a single side of print were usually created to be useful for short-term purposes like announcements and notices, Quakers used them to distribute information for lasting reference.
Our collection is comprised of over 1,000 pieces, the majority of which has been digitized. The original audience for these broadsides was the Quaker world and typical items are epistles, advices and letters of concern issued by yearly meetings. The collection shows the interests of the Society as it evolved and how it interacted with the world. The broadsides comment on the issues of slavery, Native American concerns, warfare, prison reform and much more.
Highlights of the collection include the only copy of a 1689 broadside printed in Philadelphia by William Bradford – A Loving Exhortation to Friends, a 1789 address to George Washington from Philadelphia Quakers regarding conscientious objection to war, and The Speech of William Penn to His Majesty upon Delivering the Quakers Address, 1687.
Connect to triptych and browse all of the broadsides currently digitized by Friends Historical Library and Haverford College Special Collections.