Digital Dictionary of Quaker Biography

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The Dictionary of Quaker Biography

The Dictionary of Quaker Biography was compiled jointly by Friends House Library, London and Haverford College Quaker Collection between the 1950s and 1980s. It consists of approximately 20,000 biographical entries on prominent British and American Friends from the 17th through the 20th centuries and amounts to about 32,000 typescript pages. There are two "original copies," one located at Haverford and the other at Friends House Library, London. Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College has a photocopy of the Haverford "copy." The DQB gets frequent use in house at all three institutions and is cited often by scholars of both Quaker and non-Quaker topics in many reputable journals and monographs.

Featured Biography

Engraving of Thomas P. Cope, 1849.

Thomas Pim Cope, 1768-1854

Thomas Pim Cope was born on August 26, 1768 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to Caleb and Mary (nee Mendenhall) Cope. In 1784 or 1785, he apprenticed himself to his uncle Thomas Mendenhall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cope married Mary Drinker of Philadelphia on May 17, 1792. The two had four sons and thee daughters. In 1797, Cope helped in the yellow fever times. He contracted the disease, but recovered...

The Digital Dictionary of Quaker Biography

The Digital Dictionary of Quaker Biography is a pilot project of Haverford College Special Collections to explore the possibilities of creating an online version of the much used Dictionary of Quaker Biography. The goals of the project are as follows:

  • Preserve and safeguard the original paper copies
  • Preserve the integrity of the original text
  • But allow it also to be edited, updated, corrected and grow
  • Address issues of scholarliness, authority, inclusion and scope
  • Make the content more widely available
  • Encourage use and contribution by a range of users
  • Promote cooperative/distributed scholarship

Project Outline

The project will take the following steps:

  • Set up a test wiki using MediaWiki software
  • Scan, OCR, clean, and enter sample entries
  • Explore methods of automating this process
  • Explore the ability to include fielded and shareable data in the wiki environment
  • Develop an editorial style and explore the functionalities of the wiki environment
  • Explore connections to other related content, including digital library collections, library catalogs, necrology indexes and so on
  • Bring on outside partners, editors, etc.
  • Seek funding
  • Move into production

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