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Special Collections & Archives   Tags: archives, special collections  

Last Updated: Apr 18, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Current Exhibit

Our new celebrates John Greenleaf Whittier's courageous work as abolitionist. The exhibit features pamphlets and works from Whittier and friends and associates:  William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, the New England Anti-Slavery Society, the American Anti-Slavery Society, Charles Sumner, Thomas H. Jones, and the Concord Anti-Slavery Society. A highlight of the exhibit is a handwritten letter from Frederick Douglass' apology and reasoning for not donating money to Sojourner Truth's funeral fund. The exhibit will be on display through the end of March 2014. 



    The Special Collections & Archives is available for research by appointment only.

    Please contact the Archives Librarian for an appointment.

    Item Request Procedures

    To request access to materials in our collections in person please call Becky Ruud, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian. Make sure you fill out the form below so we can have your items available when you visit.

    If you are not able to come in person, please fill out the form in the link below to request materials. We are glad to reproduce images from our collections for a fee. We do not allow any of our materials to circulate or leave the library.  

    Collection strengths include:

     The Whittier College Archives and Special Collections contain materials relating to our institutional history, Quaker history, John Greenleaf Whittier, and notable alumni Jessamyn West and former president Richard M. Nixon. Our collections include also the libraries of Lola Hoffman, Jan de Hartog, and Jessamyn West and many audio-visual materials. We have recently acquired a wonderful collection of rare Quaker books and will be cataloging those soon. To find more information regarding these collections, click on the tabs above. 

    • College Archives
      The College Archives was created as the historical repository for Whittier College. The collection includes photographs, faculty and alumni publications, theses, yearbooks, the Quaker Campus newspaper, college catalogs and handbooks, and 3-dimensional ephemera. Issues of the Quaker Campus are currently being digitized and will be available online as searchable documents in the near future.
    • Jan de Hartog Collection
      Includes the Quaker author's library, manuscripts, correspondence, and other personal artifacts. de Hartog published a wide array of fiction and non-fiction works. His play, "The Fourposter" (1951) won a Tony Award for outstanding play. He was also noted for sea faring novels and the multivolume fictionalized series that examined the founding of the Quaker religion, "The Peaceable Kingdom."
    • Jessamyn West Collection
      This collection includes materials relating to our alumnus, Jessamyn West. Included are the author's personal papers, various editions of her writings, journals, photographs, and her personal library.
    • John Greenleaf Whittier collection
      This collection includes nearly all books and poetical works written by Whittier (published and unpublished), photographs, broadsides, pamphlets, ephemera, and correspondence. Also included are documents and historical newspapers edited by Whittier, relating to the Abolition Movement, including: the National Era (1847-58), National Anti-Slavery Standard (1854-69), and American Manufacturer (1828-30).
    • Quaker Collection
      The Quaker collection includes photographs, textiles, 3-dimensional objects, primary and secondary source materials related to Quaker history. The archive also includes monthly Friends meeting minutes from various states, as well as Quaker-related journals and publications. Recently we have received a donation of well preserved rare books relating to the Quakers.
    • Richard M. Nixon Collection
      As Richard Nixon was an alumnus of Whittier College, the bulk of our materials in this collection reflect his time as a student and public figure. This portion of our collection includes oral histories, early photographs, yearbooks, and other materials relating to his time at Whittier College. A second part of our Nixon collection is the Byram Peck Collection of Campaign Ephemera. This collection contains consumer and promotional products created for his many elections and those which relate to the Watergate Scandal. Included are bumper stickers, campaign buttons, signs, paintings, audiovisual materials, and posters. Our collection also includes an extensive research collection dedicated to work written by Nixon and scholarly works written about Nixon. The final portion of our Nixon collection includes state gifts given to Nixon while he was a Vice President and after his presidency.
    • Lola Hoffman Collection
      Lola Hoffman graduated from Whittier College in 1923. She is known for having authored "California Beginnings", a popular children's history book used in LAUSD. Ms. Hoffman also worked in the Whittier College's reading lab for many years.
      The Lola Hoffman Collection shows her wide interest in a variety of subjects. It includes works on Mexican history, homeopathic medicine, the occult, classic literature, and Western history. Some of these works date back as far as the 15th century.

    Subject Guide

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    Becky Ruud
    Contact Info
    (562) 907-4540
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    Special Collections & Archives @ Wardman Library

    The Special Collections & Archives is the official home for Whittier College's historical documents, photographs, publications, and other campus- related collections. Its purpose is to document the history of the College and the surrounding Whittier community and to provide primary source materials for students, faculty, alumni, scholars, genealogists, and other research minded persons.

    Core Mission

    The core mission of the Special Collections & Archives is as follows:

    To appraise, collect, arrange, describe, make available, and preserve materials of historical value directly related to Whittier College, its students, faculty, alumni, and the surrounding community.

    To provide adequate facilities for the retention and preservation of historical documents related to the College, its history, and mission.

    To provide research services to all persons interested in the archival collections.


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