Title: Swarthmore Borough
Author: Nick Gettino
Publisher: The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore Borough, a book outlining the history of the College and surrounding town, will be released later this month. The book, being published by Arcadia Publishing, was written by Susanna Morikawa and Pat O’Donnell, researchers at the Friends Historical Library.
The book, which is part of a local history series, uses photographs taken largely from the archives of the Friends Historical Library and combines them with captions and other documents to create an image of Swarthmore’s development that is both visual and written.
“We wanted to share the riches…of this collection with not only the College community but also with the local community,” said O’Donnell, adding that roughly 92% of the images and documents referred to in the book can be found in the Friends Historical Library.
The book, said O’Donnell and Morikawa, began in 1993, when they were asked to write a brief history of Swarthmore in honor of the Borough’s centennial. The authors sold it at the centennial exhibit and then self-published it soon after, with a print run of about a year.
“Then, for the next at least eleven or twelve years we talked about doing a new edition,” said O’Donnell. “There were so many more images that we had gotten.”
Morikawa and O’Donnell were finally given the chance to publish these new images when the Swarthmore Historical Society was approached by Arcadia Publishing and asked to create a local history of the Borough.
As Morikawa and O’Donnell began to compile photographs and descriptions, other members of the local community started to offer their own pieces of history.
“A few other[s] – two or three different collectors – wanted to share their material with us,” said O’Donnell. “Just wonderful stuff.”
Keith Lockhart, a Delaware County resident, was one of these contributors, offering copies of historical images that he had collected over the years. Local families also came forth, donating copies of images along with family stories.
One family was able to share pictures of Swarthmore taken by a local ancestor. “I mean it’s an absolutely wonderful collection,” said O’Donnell. The photographer “documented not only where the pictures were taken but also when and what developer he used.” Morikawa agreed, saying, “They’re dated, ‘1898, 4:00 in the afternoon.’”
In Swarthmore Borough, one will find images ranging from football team photographs featuring “Tiny” Maxwell, who is said to have almost caused a national ban on collegiate football, to aerial views of Parrish Hall surrounded by fields.
The book will be released on September 28, 2009, and will be available for purchase in the college bookstore. The list price is $21.99. The release will be followed by a book signing on October 4 from 2PM-4PM in McCabe Library.