Women's International League for Peace and Freedom: United States Section, 1919-1959

Explore This Collection

Retrieve imperfect matches to accommodate spelling variations or approximate spellings sometimes found in historical documents.

Overview

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom: United States Section, 1919–1959

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is an international organization founded in 1919. The US Section of WILPF began as the Woman's Peace Party, founded in 1915 by Jane Addams and Carrie Chapman Catt. Addams also served as first president of WILPF's international organization. Both Addams and Emily Greene Balch, WILPF's first international secretary-treasurer, received Nobel Peace Prizes for their work. At its peak in 1940, WILPF's US Section had more than one hundred branches and thirteen thousand members.

Insight into the organizational history and mission-related work of the US Section of WILPF can be found in the historical records, correspondence, and serials of this collection. Historical records make up more than one-third of the materials here and include complete sets from 1920 to 1959 of handbooks, annual meeting information, national board minutes and resolutions, and anniversary celebration documents. Committee and fieldwork files treat topics related to the issues of the time, such as US imperialism and disarmament in the 1920s and 1930s; neutrality in the upcoming war in the late 1930s; support for conscientious objectors and European refugees during World War II; and postwar reconstruction...

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom: United States Section, 1919–1959

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is an international organization founded in 1919. The US Section of WILPF began as the Woman's Peace Party, founded in 1915 by Jane Addams and Carrie Chapman Catt. Addams also served as first president of WILPF's international organization. Both Addams and Emily Greene Balch, WILPF's first international secretary-treasurer, received Nobel Peace Prizes for their work. At its peak in 1940, WILPF's US Section had more than one hundred branches and thirteen thousand members.

Insight into the organizational history and mission-related work of the US Section of WILPF can be found in the historical records, correspondence, and serials of this collection. Historical records make up more than one-third of the materials here and include complete sets from 1920 to 1959 of handbooks, annual meeting information, national board minutes and resolutions, and anniversary celebration documents. Committee and fieldwork files treat topics related to the issues of the time, such as US imperialism and disarmament in the 1920s and 1930s; neutrality in the upcoming war in the late 1930s; support for conscientious objectors and European refugees during World War II; and postwar reconstruction activities and United Nations monitoring. Literature files include both public-facing materials, such as pamphlets and speeches, and materials for members, such as form letters.

More than half of the collection comprises WILPF national office correspondence from 1919 to 1955. This includes letters to state and local WILPF branches, other peace and justice organizations, government entities, and individuals. Correspondence relates to the many peace-related events organized by WILPF as well as wide-ranging topics such as penal reform and the World's Fair.

The final group of materials consists of nearly a dozen periodicals issued by WILPF, including yearly Branch Letters from 1922 to 1959.

This collection is essential for researchers studying WILPF and pacifism in the United States during the twentieth century, as well as women's studies researchers and those focused on Jane Addams, Emily Greene Balch, and other WILPF members.

Collection Facts

Date Range:
1919-1959
Extent:
Manuscripts/ Newsletters
Source Institution:
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Language:
English