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Archives & Manuscripts

American Friends Fellowship Council Records

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG4-004
Correspondence and administrative records, minutes, financial statements, membership lists, publicity, correspondence about new meetings, Intervisitation, and Wider Quaker Fellowship, 1933-1954.

Primary correspondants include Sydney Baily, Willis Beede, Clement M. (Clement Miller) Biddle, Raymond Binford, Dr. Emma Bolzau, Hans Buchinger, Florence Burridge, Seaton Burridge, Rebecca Timbres Clark, Pearl Davidson, Robert J. Davidson, Emily Eaton, Horace Ainsworth Eaton, Russell Edgerton, Mae Edgerton, J. Passmore (Joseph Passmore) Elkinton, Leonhard Friedrich, Henry T. (Henry Tregelles) Gillett, Lucy Gillett, Frederick John Gillman, Leanore Goodenow, Walter G. Heacock, Burton S. W. Hill, Erika Hodgkin, Helen G. (Helen Griscom) Hole, Elizabeth Fox Howard, Grace Howson, William Hubben, Karl Hujer, Margaret E. Jones, Robert M. Jones, Rufus Matthew Jones, Thomas Elsa Jones, William Kantor, Thomas R. (Thomas Raymond) Kelly, Gilbert Hawthorne Kilpack, Hilda Koch, Rose Hum Lee, Robert Limburg, Joseph Wharton Lippincott, Eleanor Lippincott, Albert Martin, Augustus T. (Agustus Taber) Murray, William Noble, Charles Palmer, Anna Palmer, Irene Pickard, Alexander Converse Purdy, Grace E. Rhoads, Ronald Rice, Annie Rodgers, Leslie D. Shaffer, Beatrice Shipley, Ward W. Silver, Margaret Simkin, Robert Simkin, Fred Smith, Madame Raissa Soudarskaya, Dorothy Starr, Francis Starr, Greta Sumpf, Peter Tennant, Sergei Thomas, Willard O. Trueblood, James F. Walker, J. Barnard (Joseph Bernard) Walton, Benjamin F. Whitson, and David Wills.

Dates

  • 1933-1954

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Extent

22.5 Linear Feet (45 boxes)

Overview

The American Friends Fellowship Council had its origin in the Fellowship Committee of the American Friends Service Committee. Founded in 1933, its primary purpose was to foster an increased interest in Quakerism throughout the United States and to draw all Friends groups into closer sympathy and fellowship. The Fellowship Council merged with the Friends World Committee, American Section, in 1954. The collection includes correspondence and administrative records, minutes, financial statements, membership lists, publicity, correspondence about new meetings, Intervisitation, and Wider Quaker Fellowship, 1933-1954.

Biographical / Historical

The American Friends Fellowship Council had its origin in the Fellowship Committee of the American Friends Service Committee. The primary purpose of the AFFC was to foster an increased interest in Quakerism throughout the United States and to draw all Friends groups into closer sympathy and fellowship. The Fellowship Council merged with the Friends World Committee, American Section, in 1954. From its beginning as the Message Committee of the AFSC, the Council assisted Friends travelling across America. Itineraries were prepared, contacts made, and a small fund was established to provide travel assistance. In 1937, the Friends World Conference brought about 250 foreign visitors to the United States; the Fellowship Council assisted in visitation plans.

The Wider Quaker Fellowship (WQF) was established as a spiritual movement in 1936. Its original purpose was to make it possible for persons to be associated with the Society of Friends while still maintaining other religious affiliation. Literature was sent to members several times a year.

The AFFC also assisted in the nurturing of new groups of Friends across the United States, especially in areas with no other Friends meetings. Some of these groups were directly affiliated with the American Friends Fellowship Council if there was no satisfactory yearly meeting connection. A policy for this purpose was adopted in 1944.

The Fellowship Committee also created a number of small unit libraries, designed for communities in which books were not easily available. These travelling units were sent to rural communities all over the country. Each year the Council printed a calendar of all of the Yearly Meetings. It also published the Quaker Handbook, a Quaker Bibliography, and the Quaker Letter, a single sheet letter sent to isolated Friends four times a year.

The American Young Friends Fellowship was established out of a youth group at Lake Forest, Illinois, in 1934. In 1942 it became the youth section of the American Friends Fellowship Council.

The Friends Conference on the Nature and Laws of Our Spiritual Life was affiliated with the Fellowship Council in 1945. Its primary purpose was to introduce and nurture a deeper searching for a richer and fuller spiritual life. Its name was changed to the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology in 1947.

In 1953, the AFSC sponsored the Quaker Leadership Grants program. These grants, ranging up to $1000. or $2000., were intended to develop imaginative leadership among younger Friends through study, survey, or research. Among the groups for whom this assistance was intended was the American Friends Fellowship Council.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into 10 series:
  1. Ser. 1 Administrative and Other Records is organized into four subseries: 1.1 Minutes, Agenda, and Announcements, 1936-1953 (.5 lin. ft.) includes Executive Committee meetings, Nominating Committee, etc.; 1.2 Financial, 1936-1953 (.5 lin. ft.) includes budget, Finance Committee, Financial Appeal letters, Financial Statements; 1.3 Annual Meetings, 1934-1952 (.3 lin. ft.); Other Administrative Records, 1930-1953 (1 lin. ft.) includes Annual Reports, Bulletins, membership, publicity.
  2. Ser. 2 General Correspondence, 1934-1953 (5 lin. ft.) is arranged alphabetically.
  3. Ser.3 Wider Quaker Fellowship, 1936-1953 (6 lin. ft.) includes minutes, members, literature and quarterly mailings, and correspondence arranged alphabetically.
  4. Ser.4 New and United Meetings, 1935-1953 (6 lin. ft.)
  5. Ser.5 Publications and Quaker Literature, 1935-1953 (1 lin. ft.)
  6. Ser.6 Intervisitation, 1933-1951 (1 lin. ft.)
  7. Ser.7 American Young Friends Fellowship, 1940-1948 (.1 lin. ft.)
  8. Ser.8 Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology, 1947-1952 (.2 lin. ft.)
  9. Ser.9 Non-Resident Membership, 1936-1948 (.4 lin. ft.)
  10. Ser.10 Quaker Leadership Grants, 1953 (.1 lin. ft.)

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Depositor: Friends World Committee, American Section

Date: 1949

Accession number: N/A

Accruals: 1950-ca.1956
Immediate Source of Acquisition Friends Historical Library was designated Official Depository on April 13, 1949. Hannah Stapler, Secretary of the Committee, sorted through files in the AFSC Office and placed materials in document boxes purchased from FHL. Material was then deposited periodically by Friends World Committee, about every two years, as records were retired.

Related Materials

RG1/001 Friends World Committee for Consultation. Section of the Americas. Records, 1923-[ongoing]

RG5/095 MacDowell, E. Carleton (Edwin Carleton), 1887-1973. Papers, 1917-1927.

RG4/093 Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology. Papers, 1943-

Processing Information

When originally deposited, material was sorted by year; within each year, folders were labeled as Administrative, Correspondence, New Meetings, etc. In 1999, decision was made to re-folder material into acid-free folders and the replace the acidic boxes. At that time, material was re-sorted by folder label, with the original material within each folder retained as originally arranged. This new sorting scheme will allow the researcher to look at all of the files of a particular meeting, for instance, in one box, rather that having to request boxes by year. It also allows arrangement into series. For the most part, folder labels remain the same.

Creator

Title
Inventory of the American Friends Fellowship Council Records, 1933-1954
Author
POD
Date
1999
Description rules
dacs
Sponsor
Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

Revision Statements

  • 2016 Summer: This electronic finding aid was updated in Summer 2016 by Abdulrezak Kemal in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace, to conform to current markup standards and the ArchivesSpace data model.

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

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