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Friends Historical Library Miscellaneous Extracts Collection

Identifier: SFHL-MSS-058

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a miscellaneous assortment of minutes extracted, or copied out, of various Quaker meeting records for several reasons. It includes a mix of manuscript copies created at the time, as well as photocopies or modern transcriptions.

Many of the extracts contain advice or rules of behavior for Friends, and were likely copied out by or for a clerk compiling a Quaker Meeting's Book of Discipline.

Some of the extracts concern an individual Quaker, and were likely copied out and given to that person for their information and for their personal records.

Some of the extracts are proceedings, or an abstracted report of the events at a Meeting, copied out and distributed to constituent Meetings.

Some of the extracts are more modern copies created by historians, genealogists, or librarians/archivists. These might include photocopies created for reference purposes or to include in an exhibition, or compiled transcripts of meeting minutes, perhaps on a particular topic or covering a certain time period.


  • 1671 - 1952

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

This collection is available for research use.

Copyright and Rights Information

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See

Biographical / Historical

YEARLY MEETING: A large autonomous body of Quakers, which meets for several days once a year. In theory, its decisions are binding on the monthly and quarterly meetings within its jurisdiction and on the committees and staff which carry out the work of the yearly meeting. It meets annually to conduct business, formulate the discipline, receive reports and concerns from its constituent meetings, review the state of the Society, and communicate with other yearly meetings and non-Quaker organizations.

MONTHLY MEETING: The basic unit of Quaker administration, which holds regular monthly business meetings. Only members can participate. It has responsibility for care of members, authorizes removals and marriages, maintains discipline, considers the queries, manages meeting property, fosters social concerns, and reports regularly to the quarterly meeting.

PREPARATIVE MEETING: A regularly-organized business meeting of a single congregation which prepared business to be presented to the monthly meeting. The scope of business as recorded in its minutes was normally limited to responses to queries and matters of property and school oversight.

QUARTERLY MEETING: Meetings for business held four times per year, attended by representatives of all monthly meetings in a region. It is an intermediary between the monthly and yearly meeting, serves as an appellate body for disciplinary matters, and considers problems too large for a local meeting to solve. A quarterly meeting holds the authority to establish or discontinue a monthly, preparative, or particular meeting for worship. It collects financial assessments from each monthly meeting in accordance with the quota established by the yearly meeting.


.63 Linear Feet (2 document boxes)




Yearly Meeting extracts are arranged first by Meeting and then chronologically.

Quarterly, Monthly, and Preparative Meeting extracts are arranged chronologically, with undated and compiled extracts at the end.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was accumulated by the Friends Historical Library from various sources over time.

Related Materials

See also SFHL/MSS/059 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Proceedings Collection.

See serials (SG2) for other Yearly Meeting proceedings.

Processing Information

Yearly Meeting minutes and extracts of minutes, and Non-Yearly Meeting minutes and extracts of minutes, were originally two series in Miscellaneous Meeting Papers (MSS 059 and MSS 056, respectively). Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Extracts was separated from miscellaneous extracts into its own collection, MSS 059, and the remainder consolidated into this collection in 2018, Miscellaneous Meeting Papers was reprocessed.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

500 College Avenue
Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA