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Archives & Manuscripts

American Friends Service Committee: Civilian Public Service / Prison Service Committee Records

 Collection
Identifier: SCPC-DG-002
Organized to provide alternative service for conscientious objectors, who were assigned "work of national importance under civilian direction; the historic peace churches (Church of the Brethren, Religious Society of Friends and the Mennonite Church) band ed together to form the National Service Board for Religious Objectors (NISBRO) which coordinated the civilian public service (CPS) program; the American Friends Service Committee administered seventeen CPS camps and over thirty special service units which provided an alternative service program for 3400 men between 1941 and 1946.

Dates

  • 1940-1947

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Parts of this collection are 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.
Part 1 is being reprocessed. Information about the camps from Part 1 have been moved to Part 1, Section II. Other files from Part 1 will be moved to Part 1, Section I.

Researchers interested in the camps should look at Part 1, Section II. Researchers interested in the other Civilian Public Service administrative files should look at the former finding aid and contact the Peace Collection staff to inquire about access to the files during reprocessing.

Conditions Governing Use

Restrictions for Parts 1, 2 and 4 are in place until the year 2020. Researchers using the contents of these Parts in any public format must disguise the identity of any individual conscientious objector. Researchers who wish to use the collection must agree to this stipulation.

Extent

284 Linear Feet

Historical note

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) was set up in June 1917 as an outgrowth of and coordination point for the anti-war and relief activities of various bodies of the Religious Society of Friends in the United States. A co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947, the AFSC continues to work to relieve human suffering and to find new approaches to world peace and non-violent social change.

Arrangement

Part 1
CPS Administrative Files
Part 2
Case Files (includes medical files) of Men in CPS
Part 3
CPS Camp Periodicals
Part 4
AFSC Prison Service Committee Records
Part 5
Later Accessions
Appendices
Reference lists of (A) CPS camps; (B) CPS project units; (C) religious denominations with number of men in CPS

Other Finding Aids

For the catalog record for this collection and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog.

Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of E. Raymond Wilson and others, 1940- ; AFSC CPS Office and miscellaneous camp records, 1946, 1963

Existence and Location of Originals

Most of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) records are stored at the AFSC archives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Swarthmore College Peace Collection serves as the repository for AFSC files from the World War II Civilian Public Service and the Prison Service Committee. It also holds a small manuscript collection of additional miscellaneous material from the AFSC [CDG-A: American Friends Service Committee].

Related Materials

  1. Center on Conscience and War [formerly called NSBRO and NISBCO] (DG 025)
  2. Civilian Public Service Union (DG 008)
  3. Civilian Public Service: Personal Papers and Collected Materials (DG 056)
  4. For information on holdings re: conscientious objection/objectors in the SCPC, see list.

Legal Status

Copyright is retained by the American Friends Service Committee, the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

Checklist revised by Anne Yoder, August 2001.
Description rules
dacs

Revision Statements

  • 2018: The file list was standardized in Summer 2017 by Mary Olesnavich 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

Contact:
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore 19081-1399 USA US
610-328-8557
610-328-8544 (Fax)