Your contribution will have a direct impact on teaching, learning, and
research for the Lafayette College community in the 21st century.



Miniature of David Bishop

David Bishop

Lafayette’s first libraries were those maintained by the College’s two competing literary societies begun in 1832. The first general library collection was established somewhat later with a gift of books from the estate of the Reverend David Bishop, a local Presbyterian minister. In 1861, students organized a society to purchase library materials, which were made available in a reading room in South College at an annual cost of $3 per student. Van Wickle Library was the first free-standing library at Lafayette, serving the campus from 1899 until the David Bishop Skillman Library opened in the fall of 1963. The Friends of Skillman Library was founded in 1964 to support the educational mission of the new library—a vital role that continues today.




Skillman Library’s expansion and renovation in 2004 received the country’s highest architectural awards. The transformed Skillman is spacious and light-filled and provides ample room for learning, collaboration, collections, exhibits, and technology. Librarians meet with an average of 150 classes in all disciplines every academic year. The Lafayette student of today benefits from instruction in library information resources and unique opportunities to experience the treasures of Special Collections & College Archives. Students also benefit from important contributions from the Friends of Skillman Library, including support for these program areas:

  • Conservation: Treatment of Lafayette’s first-century Egyptian papyrus
  • Digitization: Over 4,300 issues of The Lafayette student newspaper
  • Exhibitions and Programs: 2010 traveling juried show Marking Time: Guild of Book Workers Arts Exhibition
  • Acquisitions: 1852 first edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Annual Lectures: John L. Hatfield ’67 Lecture and the Paul and June Schlueter Lecture in the Art and History of the Book



Become a member of the Friends of Skillman Library.  Your contribution will have a direct impact on teaching, learning, and research for the Lafayette College community in the 21st century.

Make a Gift Online and designate Friends of Skillman Library.

• Call (610)330-5034 to make a credit card gift, including those paid in monthly installments.
Ask the operator to designate your gift to Friends of Skillman Library.

Download the printable form and mail with your check payable to “Lafayette College” or credit card information to:

Friends of Skillman Library
David Bishop Skillman Library
Lafayette College, Easton, PA 18042

• Contribute rare books, stocks, and other securities. Call (610)330-5046 for specific instructions.