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PACSCL Hidden Collections Processing Project » Blog Archive » James Wood papers… perfect fit for “MPLP 2 hours”

James Wood papers… perfect fit for “MPLP 2 hours”

Written by Leslie O'Neill on December 8th, 2009

Unknown size: small.

The James Wood papers at Haverford College is a collection that is a perfect study for minimal processing. While at first glance, it may have looked a bit messy; it had already received the attention needed to accomplish processing in a very short amount of time. The collection was originally housed in about 5 cartons, and documents were foldered and accurately labeled. Identifying each series was not hard, we chose to divide the collection up into twelve subseries, and the processing could not have gone better.

Unknown size: small.

James Wood was born in 1839 on a farm just north of Mt. Kisco, New York. He attended Haverford College, graduating in 1858, and later, received an honorary master’s degree, also from Haverford. Wood was involved in quite a range of activities, and had many interests. According to the American Bible Society’s biography of Wood, he was “interested in education, philanthropy, in the various branches of agriculture, in archaeology, history, Indian lore, anthropology, science, in prison reform and above all, in the Bible and religion.” This quote was represented almost exactly in the materials we found in the collection.

My favorite part of this collection was the “Agriculture” series. Wood kept meticulous records of his livestock and within this series were photographs, awards, and pamphlets, as well as Wood’s own writings on agriculture. Also of note, is his correspondence regarding “bulk sheep.”

Unknown size: small.

Included in the collection is work by Hugh Barbour, a biographer of Wood. Hugh Barbour wrote on Wood’s life in Mount Kisco, as well as his involvement in the Quaker movement at Braewold. Barbour presented these writings at the Earlham School of Religion (1994) and at the Quaker Historian and Archivists Meeting (1996). Barbour’s work is represented by letters and papers, and provides an excellent insight into the life this extraordinary man.


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