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The TriCollege Libraries Digital Collections include unique and rare archival collections, manuscripts, publications, ephemera, maps, photographs, and audiovisual content, including oral histories, from Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges. The materials available reflect the strengths and collecting priorities of each institution. To browse the collections of an individual institution, use the "All Institutions" drop down menu below.
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COVID-19 is not the first pandemic that Bryn Mawr College community members have experienced. As World War I was coming to an end, the world found itself facing a similar crisis with the outbreak of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, sometimes referred to as the Spanish Flu. The College Archives holds records from both students and the college administration from 1918 which capture both the administrative decisions made during the pandemic and the effects of those decisions on some members of the Bryn Mawr community. This is a curated collection of digitized material from the College Archives; not all material related to the 1918 pandemic at Bryn Mawr is available online. 

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31 items

1918 Pandemic at Bryn Mawr College

Abigail Hopper Gibbons (1801-1893) was an important figure in many of the reform movements in the middle and late nineteenth century. Like her father, Isaac T. Hopper (1771-1852), "Abby" Gibbons was an ardent abolitionist and dedicated to prison reform. Of particular note is the correspondence sent and received by Abby Hopper Gibbons, including family letters and and related to her work to assist Union Soldiers during the Civil War. Also includes letters from Union soldiers, prominent Americans such as Theodore Roosevelt, Joseph Choate, and Lydia Maria Child, and correspondence reflecting Quaker family life and concerns.

1287 items

Portrait of Abby Hopper Gibbons and her family, including James, William, Sarah, Julia, and Lucy

The Aimwell School was founded in 1796 by Anne Parrish (1760-1800) and was run originally out of Parrish's own home on North 2nd Street in Philadelphia as an educational opportunity for poor girls. The school's mission was to provide a "proper" education to young girls while charging no more than a small regular fee for the usage of books. No tuition was charged and the school ran entirely on donations. Parrish and her coworkers worked towards the same mission, forming together as the Society for the Free Instruction of Female Children, under the management of the Society of Friends. In 1859, the Society for the Free Instruction of Female Children was incorporated and the name was then changed to the Aimwell School Association. The school was open until 1923; the corporation dissolved in 1935. The funds were transferred to a Friends fiduciary group.

The Aimwell School Records (1796-1935) consist primarily of minute book records and various documents related to the operation and administration of the Aimwell School. 



98 items

Aimwell School records

Alice Whittier Jones (1873-1960) was a Quaker educator who spent much of her adult life in Israel and Palestine. She taught at the Girls' School at the Friends Ramallah Mission from 1906 to 1907, before becoming principal in 1907. Jones returned to the United States in 1914, and remained there through 1918, during which time the Ramallah School was closed because of World War I. In 1918, Jones volunteered with the Red Cross to go to Palestine and was put in charge of a large orphanage in Jerusalem. Jones, along with her friend Katie Gabriel, returned to Palestine in 1919, restored the badly damaged school, and resumed her position as principal of the school. 

Her diary entries discuss the history of the Friends School in Ramallah, Palestine, religious reflection and discussions concerning the divides between Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Palestine, and discussions concerning the politics within Palestine. Jones also provides descriptions of the children she teaches at the school.


1 item

Alice W. Jones Diary

Alma A. Clarke (1890- ) was an American volunteer in France during World War I. Clarke helped French orphans through the Committee France-America for the Protection of the Children of the Frontier and served as a Red Cross Auxiliary Nurse in the American Red Cross Military Hospital No. 1 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. This collection includes two scrapbooks, 1917-1919, compiled by Clarke. One scrapbook focuses on her work with orphaned children in France, and the other relates to her work as an auxiliary nurse with the American Red Cross Military Hospital.

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2 items

Alma A. Clarke Papers

Anne Dunkin Greene Bates (1885–1939) attended Bryn Mawr College from 1901 to 1903, before transferring to Barnard College. This collection primarily contains letters from Bates to her parents during her freshman and sophomore years at Bryn Mawr. Her letters describe College plays, sports, faculty, courses, and social activities.

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22 items

Anne D. Greene Bates Papers

The Annual Association for the Relief of Sick Children in the Summer was a Quaker women's organization founded in 1818 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to provide relief for impoverished sick children and their mothers from the crowding and oppressive heat during the summer months. The Association was proposed by Casper Wister, M.D., (1801-1867) and was originally housed in a wing of the City Hospital. The collection contains minutes, 1818-1854 (gap 1819-1821) and other records, including acting committee minutes and workbook, 1843-1851.

7 items

Stationery with engravings of boats and an elephant with the text "The Property of the Annual Association Book no 5th"

The Association for the Care of Colored Orphans, also known as “The Shelter,” was founded in Philadelphia by Quaker women in 1822 to care for black orphans, both boys and girls, within a nurturing, home-like environment. In 1915, it relocated to Cheyney, Pa, adjoining the property of Cheyney Training School for Teachers (now Cheyney University) and became a home for girls, known variously as the Shelter for Colored Orphans and the Shelter for Colored Children. In 1965, its name was changed to “Friends Shelter for Girls,” and its mission evolved to serve as a home for teenaged girls, offering training and psychological support. It continued operation until 1981 when it ceased to function as a group home. It was succeeded by the Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children which functioned as an emergency shelter.

170 items

Black front cover of a book with the title in gold text "The Association for the Care of Colored Orphans"

The Association of Friends for the Free Instruction of Adult Colored Persons was a Quaker organization organized in 1789 in Philadelphia to operate a charity school for black adults. The Association provided free adult education to blacks until 1904 when it was dissolved and its assets were transferred to the Institute for Colored Youth.

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Handwritten list of names

Barclay White (1821-1906) was a birthright member of the Society of Friends and served as Clerk and Assistant Clerk for various Quaker meetings and committees starting in 1846. In 1871 President Grant appointed him to the position of Supervisor of Indian Affairs (Northern Superintendency) in which office he served until 1876. During this period he lived in Omaha, Nebraska. After this office was closed he was designated by the Convention of Delegates as Friends Special Indian Agent to periodically visit and inspect the reservations. In 1878 White returned to the East to live in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, until his death in 106 at age 86.

The collection comprises five bound volumes assembled by Barclay White titled Genealogy and Family History, “Collected by Barclay White.” White's autobiography begins on p. 251 of vol. 1. Each volume is indexed and illustrated with many tipped-in original photographs and drawings.

The Genealogy and Family History section in Volume 1 includes an index and genealogies of the families of Christopher White and William Smyth.

Barclay White's autobiography, beginning in Volume 1, includes detailed descriptions of his appointment in 1877 as Special Indian Agent of the Convention of Delegates of the Seven Yearly Meetings and his tenure as Superintendent of Indian Affairs under the Grant administration. Of particular interest is a very detailed history of his life in Nebraska and of the tribes with which he interacted including the Pawnees, Omahas, Winnebagoes, Santee Sioux, and others.

3 items

Close up of the handwritten text "Geneology and Family History Volume 1. Collected by Barclay White"

Belva Ann McNall Lockwood (1830-1917), was the first woman attorney to practice before the Supreme Court. In the late 1870s Lockwood personally lobbied members of Congress to pass a special act admitting women to the bar of the Court. Lockwood first practiced before the Court in 1879. Among other cases, Lockwood successfully represented the Eastern Cherokee Indians in an five million dollar suit before the Court. She also represented hundreds of family members of Civil War veterans in their pension claims. Lockwood was also an ardent supporter of women's rights. She lectured and toured the country in attempts to gather support for woman suffrage. In 1884, and again in 1888, she was the Presidential candidate for the National Equal Rights Party, capturing over 4,000 votes in six states. Her other feminist activities included serving as president of the Woman's National Press Association, and being appointed Attorney General of the American Woman's Republic, an organization founded by Marietta Stowe and dedicated to preparing women for the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship. As an executive board member of the Universal Peace Union, Lockwood attended many international peace congresses. She wrote tracts on international arbitration and was one of the nominating members of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. The Papers of Belva Ann Lockwood are an assortment of writings both by and about her.

104 items

Engraving of Belva Ann Lockwood's head and shoulders

The Bethany Mission for Colored People was founded in the mid-1850s and, beginning in 1869, was located at Brandywine Street near 16th Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to its constitution, the Mission was to be non-denominational with the objective of "moral and religious education and general elevation of the Colored people by means of a Mission Sabbath School." The Sunday School welcomed students of all ages, from young children to the elderly. Attendance at the Mission peaked in the 1870s with enrollment close to 500 pupils. The Mission began a slow decline starting in the 1880s which continued until its close in the 1930s, due to the rise of Black churches and increased public education for African Americans.


1 item

Bethany Mission for Colored People Records