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Tom Hamm
Professor of History; Curator of the Quaker Collection & Director of Special Collections

Tom Hamm is among the world’s leading experts on Quakers in America. The author of several books, including an anthology of Quaker writings published by Penguin in 2011, Tom curates the College’s extensive Quaker collection. He teaches a variety of courses in American and British history.

“When you're an historian of Quakerism, Earlham is one of the three or four best places in the world to be,” says Tom, who also published a history of Earlham College (Indiana University Press, 1997).


Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 4



Lilly Library


  • History
  • Education
  • Lilly Library
  • Museum Studies


  • Ph.D., Indiana University
  • M.A., Indiana University
  • B.A., Butler University

Selected Courses:

Earlham Seminar: "Liberty and Justice for All" 
Introduction to US History to 1865 
American Historiography 
Tudor-Stuart England 
The British Empire

I define myself broadly as an historian of religion in America. My particular specialty is Quakerism.

Books and Book Chapters

The Transformation of American Quakerism: Orthodox Friends, 1800-1907 (Indiana University Press, 1988) 

God's Government Begun: The Society for Universal Inquiry and Reform, 1842-1846 (Indiana University Press, 1995) 

Earlham College: A History, 1847-1997 (Indiana University Press, 1997) 

The Quakers in America (Columbia University Press, 2003) 

Quaker Writings: An Anthology, 1650-1920 (Penguin Classics, 2011)

"The Middle Colonies, 1680-1730," in Cambridge History of Religions in America (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

"Hicksite, Orthodox, and Evangelical Quakerism, 1805-1887," in Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies (Oxford University Press, 2013)

American Historical Association

American Society of Church History

Midwest Archives Conference

Organization of American Historians

Quaker Studies Research Association

Society of American Archivists

Society of Historians of the Early Republic

Society of Indiana Archivists

When you're an historian of Quakerism, Earlham is one of the three or four best places in the world to be. I am fortunate to have a position that allows me to teach American history, make use of our world-class collection of Quaker materials, and to help maintain and build that collection.

In 1990, I set out to write a history of Earlham that would be published in conjunction with the college's sesquicentennial in 1997. I did much of the research in Ford/Knight projects with students in 1990, 1991, and 1993. We studied the evolution of Earlham's Quaker identity; Earlham in the McCarthy Era; and Earlham in the 1960s. We made extensive use of the documents and publications in the college archives as well as conducting dozens of interviews with faculty and students with connections to Earlham going back to the 1910s. When the history was published in 1997, the 14 students who worked with me were listed on the title page as contributors.

For better or worse, very little in my life is unconnected with my life as an historian and scholar of Quakerism. I am an avid genealogist — in fact that's how I met my wife. I enjoy visiting historic cemeteries and collecting interesting epitaphs. I am also an unrepentant bibliophile — it's a disappointing trip that doesn't include a bookstore.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.