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Haverford College
Quaker and Special Collections

Quaker Meeting Records

In the 1970s, with the close of the vault at Arch Street Meeting in Philadelphia, the records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, including over 220 constituent Monthly Meetings were deposited at Haverford’s Quaker Collection and Swarthmore College’s Friends Historical Library. Records dating from the original settlement in Burlington, N.J. in 1678 and to the present number over 100,000 items. These unpublished documents include: vital records, such as births, deaths and marriages, and minutes of men’s, women’s, joint, ministers and elders (later worship and ministry) meetings, as well as school and property records, committee minutes and other records.

Today, Swarthmore and Haverford are jointly building an online guide indicating locations of these records and their microfilm surrogates.

Researchers from family historians to academic historians comb these materials for insight into such varied issues as Quaker missionary activities in Japan, Quaker work among Native Americans and Meetinghouse architecture.

In addition, Haverford is the repository for the records of Baltimore Yearly Meeting and its constituent Meetings.

Haverford has gathered together the printed "Minutes" or proceedings of a great many of the yearly meetings of Friends, both from the Americas and overseas. Back runs of the printed proceedings, including those for eleven bodies which have either ceased to exist or have been merged into other groups, are invaluable for researchers. We seek to collect reports from the many new yearly meetings which have been created in recent decades, but there are some gaps at present.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting's Record Services Group has developed depositing recommendations for Clerks and Recorders.