Unofficial and Student-run Collections at Haverford

Comic book frame

The comic book collection is one of the largest and best-used student-run collections on the Haverford campus.

Throughout Haverford's history, much of the collecting activity on campus has taken place outside the library. Outside the main library system, there remain many collections which continue the long-standing tradition of society collections like the Loganian and Everett libraries. One unofficial collection is housed in the Magill Atrium near the entrance to the Sharpless Gallery: the uncataloged browsing collection of popular fiction holds the selections and donations of many current students, informally circulating by an “honor system.” Other collections not in the official library system include: the Humanities Center Library, the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship Library, the Language Lab Video Library, the Cricket Library, the Arboretum Library, and the Music Department Choral/Orchestral Library. The interests of all the Haverford community, especially current and former students, have been vital for building these collections.

Current student-run libraries include: the Sexuality and Gender Alliance Library, the Radio Station Recording Library, the Women's Center Library, the Jewish Student Union Library, and the Comic Book Library housed in the Magill basement.

A group who called themselves the “X-Students” (after the popular X-men comic series) started the comic collection in 1985, after successfully convincing one of the College deans that permitting comics in the library would not distract students from their work. One student remembers, “I believe I convinced her by giving her some Fantastic Four stories to read, which quoted Shakespeare.” Today this collection holds an impressive array of classic and contemporary comics as well as graphic novels. It has grown through student donations as well as Students Council funding.