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In Person Item Requests

To request in person access to materials in our collections please fill out the Item Request Form to have your requested items available. Special Collections materials do not circulate nor leave the library.

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The Special Collections & Archives is the official home for Whittier College's historical documents, photographs, publications, and other campus- related collections.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To provide adequate facilities for the retention and preservation of historical documents related to the College, its history, and mission.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.

Current Exhibits

Collection highlights

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

Rhett Ariston's picture
Rhett Ariston


The Special Collections & Archives is available by appointment only. Contact (562)907-4843

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