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Archives & Manuscripts

Homer A. Jack Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SCPC-DG-063
The papers of Homer A. Jack in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection include correspondence (1930-1988); speeches and sermons; published and unpublished writings by Homer Jack; correspondence about and reviews of several books edited by Homer Jack; diaries, journals, and field notes; peace and political campaign buttons; photographs; and memorabilia. The collection also contains material about numerous organizations by which Homer Jack was employed or with which he worked, about the many conferences which he attended as a delegate, observer, or journalist. There is also material about subjects in which he was interested and about which he frequently wrote or spoke, such as disarmament, race relations, human rights, communism and anti-communism, Mohandas K. Gandhi, and Albert Schweitzer.

Organizations by which Homer Jack was employed and about which material can be found in this collection are the Chicago Council Against Racial and Religious Discrimination, the American Committee on Africa, and the Department of Social Responsibility of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Materials on SANE and the World Conference on Religion and Peace are filed in document groups for those organizations elsewhere in SCPC, as are records of the NGO Committee on Disarmament (at United Nations Headquarters) which was chaired by Homer Jack for a number of years. Additional organizations about which information may be found in the Homer Jack collection are the Accra Assembly, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Amnesty International, Disarmament Working Group of the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy, Committee for New China Policy, Committee for Nonviolent Action, Educational Committee to Halt Atomic Weapons Spread, the Freeze, International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace, International Affairs Inter-Unit Working Group of the National Council of Churches, Omaha Action, Peace, Inc. of Greater Chicago, and the World Peace Council. There is material about several coalitions of non-governmental organizations at the United Nations, namely the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with ECOSOC (CONGO), the NGO Committee on Human Rights, and Religious NGOs at the United Nations.

Conferences and meetings which Homer Jack attended and about which material can be found include the Asian-African Conference at Bandung, Indonesia (1955); Third World Conference Against A &;H Bombs, Tokyo (1957); All-African People's Conference at Accra, Ghana (1958); Conference of Non-Aligned Countries at Belgrade, Yugoslavia (1961); Accra Assembly, Ghana (1962); World Congress for General Disarmament and Peace, Moscow (1962); Conference of Non-Aligned Countries at Cairo, Egypt (1964); a seminar on the Relevance of Gandhi to Our Time at New Delhi, India (1970); and numerous conferences on disarmament, including the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Conference (1962-1966), the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (1969-1979), the United Nations Special Sessions on Disarmament (1978, 1982, 1988), and the International Conference on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development (1987).

The collection also includes material relating to Homer Jack's ministries in several churches including the Unitarian Church of Lawrence, Kansas (1942-1943), the Unitarian Church of Evanston, Illinois (1948-1959), the Unitarian Fellowship of Northern Westchester, Mt. Kisco, NY (1973-1974), and the Lake Shore Unitarian Universalist Society, Winnetka, IL (1984-1987). There are some materials, primarily publications, relating to the Unitarian Universalist Association, for which Homer Jack worked as Director of the Division of Social Responsibility from 1964-1970.

Among the correspondents in the collection are James Luther Adams Amiya Chakravarty, Norman Cousins, R. R. Diwakar, Angelo Fernandes, Erich Fromm, Manilal Gandhi, Aron Gilmartin, Sanford Gottlieb, Dana McLean Greeley, Donald Harrington, Emma Haussknecht, Robert S. Hoagland, John Haynes Holmes, George M. Houser, F. C. Hunnius, Robert E. Jones, Marjorie Keenan, Donald F. Keys, Inamullah Khan, Martin Luther King, Jr., William Bross Lloyd, Jr., Bradford Lyttle, T. K. Mahadevan, George Marshall, Emmy Martin, A. J. Muste, Otto Nathan, Philip Noel-Baker, G. Ramachandran, Magnus Ratter, Douglas J. Roche, Miriam Rogers, Morris H. Rubin, Albert Schweitzer, Lawrence Scott, Adlai Stevenson, and Norman Thomas.

Dates

  • 1930-1995

Creator

Language of Material

Materials are in English.

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Part of this collection is stored off-site. Please contact Peace Collection staff at peacecollection@swarthmore.edu at least two weeks in advance of a visit to discuss retrieval of off-site materials.

Some correspondence is restricted due to poor condition.

Copyright and Rights Information

None.

Extent

85 Linear Feet (85 linear ft.)

Abstract

Homer A. Jack (1916-1993) was a Unitarian Universalist clergyman and denominational official who sought to apply religious values to national and international affairs. Jack was executive secretary of the Chicago Council Against Racial and Religious Discrimination (1943-1948), executive director of SANE (1960-1964), and secretary general of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (1970-1983). He had been minister of churches in Lawrence, Kansas (1942-1943), Evanston, Illinois (1948-1959), and Winnetka, Illinois (1984-1987) and served as director of the Division of Social Responsibility of the Unitarian Universalist Association (1964-1970). Jack also chaired the NGO Committee on Disarmament (at UN Headquarters) from 1973-1984. Homer Jack "retired" to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, in Januaryuary 1987. He published a history of the World Conference on Religion and Peace in 1993, and continued to be active in various peace and human rights organizations, speaking and traveling frequently. Homer Jack died of cancer in 1993.

Biographical / Historical

Homer A. Jack (1916-1993) was a Unitarian Universalist clergyman and denominational official who sought to apply religious values to national and international affairs. Jack was executive secretary of the Chicago Council Against Racial and Religious Discrimination (1943-1948), executive director of SANE (1960-1964), and secretary general of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (1970-1983). He had been minister of churches in Lawrence, Kansas (1942-1943), Evanston, Illinois (1948-1959), and Winnetka, Illinois (1984-1987) and served as director of the Division of Social Responsibility of the Unitarian Universalist Association (1964-1970). Jack also chaired the NGO Committee on Disarmament (at UN Headquarters) from 1973-1984. Homer Jack "retired" to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, in January 1987. He published a history of the World Conference on Religion and Peace in 1993, and continued to be active in various peace and human rights organizations, speaking and traveling frequently. Homer Jack died of cancer in 1993.

Arrangement

The papers of Homer A. Jack have come to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection in multiple accessions, beginning in 1970. The first accession, fourteen cartons of material, was transferred to document boxes and listed in a temporary checklist soon after it arrived in May 1970. The arrangement was based on the order in which the material was found, each carton being assigned to a separate series.

Accessions which arrived from 1974 to 1984 contained both papers of Homer Jack and records of organizations, including the World Conference on Religion and Peace (DG 78), the NGO Committee on Disarmament (at United Nations Headquarters) (DG 139), the U.S. Inter-Religious Committee on Peace (later World Council on Relgion and Peace/USA) (DG 59), as well as general reference material. It has been up to the SCPC staff to determine in which collection the material belonged and how it should be arranged. Extensive processing work on the World Council on Relgion and Peace collection and on a large part of the Homer Jack collection was accomplished in 1983-1984 as part of a processing project supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It was decided that both the 1970 material and the later accessions would be thoroughly processed and that a simpler, more logical arrangement of the collection would be established. Additional processing (Series VI-VIII) was done in 1988-1989.

As of October 1989, nine series have been established. Note that each series begins with Box 1.

Series I consists of biographical information and early journals and miscellany. This series corresponds to the old series I of the 1970 checklist. Later biographies, Homer Jack's passports, and other items have been added to the series.

Series II consists of correspondence which is restricted, arranged in chronological order. Boxes 1 - 4 (Correspondence, 1920-1943), are restricted due to poor condition. Boxes 5 - 7 contain personal and family correspondence which has been removed from Homer Jack's general correspondence and placed in a separate series at the request of Homer Jack. Researchers wishing to use material in this series must have the permission of Peace Collection Curator before access will be granted.

Series III consists of general correspondence, arranged by year. In the earlier years, some boxes contain separate folders of correspondence on particular subjects. During processing, flyers about speaking engagements and miscellaneous material found with the correspondence have been removed to separate folders but kept in thesame box. Personal and family correspondence has been moved to Series II, and speeches and writings found mixed in with correspondence have been moved to Series IV. The correspondence itself is in the order in which it was found which is roughly chronological.

Researchers should note that Homer Jack's correspondence as executive secretary of SANE (1960-1964), as secretary general of World Council on Relgion and Peace (1970-1983), and as chairman of the NGO Committee on Disarmament (at United Nations Headquarters) will be found with those collections rather than in DG 63.

Series IV contains sermons, speeches, and writings of Homer Jack, arranged by type of material, then by date. Some of the speeches from the 1940s-1960s are grouped by subject. Speeches and writings found with related material are filed in Series VI through IX.

Series V consists of diaries, journals, and field notes arranged by date. Many of these are pocket-sized notebooks in which Homer Jack took notes while travelling to gather material for his writing projects or while attending meetings. There are also several typed journals of his travel experiences and office logs in which he kept track of his appointments.

Series VI through IX are entitled "Organizational Work, Projects, Travel, and Interests" and contain a variety of kinds of material. Each series covers a different time period, as follows:

Series VI, 1943-1959, covers the period when Homer Jack lived and worked in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois.

Series VII, 1960-1969, covers the time when he lived in Scarsdale, New York, while working for the American Committee on Africa and for SANE and the years in Boston, Massachusetts, when he worked with the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Series VIII, 1970-1983, covers the years when Homer Jack served as Secretary-General of the World Conference on Religion and Peace. He was based in New York near the United Nations but travelled widely during these years.

Series IX, 1984-date, is not yet fully processed but is available to researchers. It covers the years in Winnetka, Illinois, and in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Within Series VI through IX, the arrangement is roughly chronological, with materials relating to the same organization or project kept together. There are some instances where the time periods of the series have been disregarded in order to keep similar kinds of material together (e.g., Schweitzer material in Series VI and material on disarmament in Series VII).

Accessions of material have been added to DG 063 after the majority of the collection was processed. These later accessions remain unprocessed, but temporary finding aids are available. This material remains organized by accession and in the manner in which it was donated.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Homer A. Jack, Inga Jack, Alex Jack (1970-2007); 2017 by Barbara Marshall [Acc. 2017-081]

Separated Materials

  1. Memorabilia: removed to SCPC Memorabilia Collection
  2. Peace and Political Buttons: removed to SCPC Button Collection
  3. Photographs: removed to SCPC Photograph Collection
  4. Audiovisual materials: removed to SCPC AV Collection
  5. Oversize material: removed to SCPC Oversized Collection
  6. Scrapbook: removed to SCPC Scrapbook Collection
  7. Books: removed to SCPC Book Collection

Bibliographic References

Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed., p. 35.

Legal Status

Copyright to the papers created by Homer A. Jack has been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Copyright to all other materials is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

Processed by Eleanor Barr, 1984, 1989, and by Wendy Chmielewski, 2008

Creator

Description rules
dacs

Revision Statements

  • 2018: The file list was standardized in Summer 2017 by Min Cheng in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace. Tessa Chambers added the notes in Fall 2017.

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 Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

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