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Bala Cynwyd Middle School: Researching Leaders in History: Special Collections

Visitng Special Collections

Special Collections contains Haverford College’s rare books, manuscripts, and the college archives. Librarians collect, preserve, and make available materials which serve the research and teaching needs of the Haverford community as well as the wider scholarly community. Students from all schools are welcome to come and use the collections.

During your trip to Magill, save some time to visit Special Collections and see letters related to various important leaders including Toussaint L'Ouverture and Winston Churchill  

Reading original documents gives you a better sense of the political and social circumstances of a particular time as well as the choices that people made.

Documents from Special Collections

Charles Roberts Autograph Collection

Ms. Coll. 110-799 (266 boxes). Charles Roberts, a graduate of Haverford College in 1864, collected autographs, ranging from a set of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, letters of the Presidents of the United States, letters of foreign royalty, abolitionists, distinguished American and foreign authors and composers, scientists, educators and businesspeople.

The letters date from ca. 1400 to the present; many are accompanied by fine prints and photographs. When Roberts’ widow, Lucy B. Roberts, gave the collection to Haverford in 1902, it contained some 12,000 items. The collection continues to grow, and it now numbers over 20,000 letters and other original documents. The collection has drawn significant numbers of scholars over the years in quest of the wealth of information it contains.