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Helen Mears Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SCPC-DG-210

Scope and Contents

The papers of Helen Mears include biographical and autobiographical materials. There are diaries, correspondence, and writings from her trips to Asia. These papers also include some professional writings and correspondence with editors and others about this work.

Dates

  • 1862-1981
  • Majority of material found within 1935-1955

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

None.

Copyright and Rights Information

None.

Biographical note

Helen Mears was a writer and journalist, especially interested in Japan and Asia. She was born November 1, 1900 and her family lived in Towanda, Pennsylvania. Mears graduated from Goucher College in 1922. She was married briefly to Burton LeDoux, but that relationship ended in 1935. Mears first traveled to China in 1925, spending a year in Beijing. Ten years later Mears spent nine months in Japan. Out of the trip to Japan she published two books and a series of essays that appeared in The New Yorker. Mears traveled throughout Asia, the Soviet Union, Europe, and parts of South America. After World War II Mears traveled again to Japan served in an official capacity as a member of the U.S. labor advisory committee. Out of this trip Mears wrote her most political work on international relations of Asia with the West. From the 1950s through the 1960s Mears wrote occasional articles on Vietnam, critiquing European and U.S. involvement there. Mears was a board member of the War Resisters League in the 1950s and worked against the H-Bomb. She was also interested in civil rights issues. Mears lived most of her adult life in New York City and died there in 1989.

Helen Mears published several books on Japan. These include: Mirror for Americans, Japan, Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1948; Year of the Wild Boar: an American Woman in Japan / by Helen Mears Publisher, Philadelphia, New York, J. B. Lippincott company [1942]; The first book of Japan /Publication: E. Ward, 1964 Description: 69 p. : p., ill. ;, 22 cm. Note: For children. Originally published, Watts, 1953. with drawings by Kathleen Elgin. Mirror for Americans and Year of the Wild Boar were later translated into Japanese. Mears also published articles in many newspapers and national magazines including The Nation, the Wall Street Journal, The Witness, the Christian Science Monitor, Liberation, and The Progressive. Helen Mears died on March 13, 1989.

Extent

0.63 Linear Feet (7.5 linear in.)

Abstract

Helen Mears was a writer and journalist, especially interested in Japan and Asia. Mears first traveled to China in 1925 and ten years later Mears spent nine months in Japan. Out of the trip to Japan she published two books and a series of essays that appeared in The New Yorker. Mears traveled throughout Asia, the Soviet Union, Europe, and parts of South America. After World War II Mears traveled again to Japan served in an official capacity as a member of the U.S. labor advisory committee. From the 1950s through the 1960s Mears wrote occasional articles on southeast Asia, critiquing European and U.S. involvement there. Mears was a board member of the War Resisters League in the 1950s and worked against the H-Bomb. Helen Mears published several books on Japan. These include: Mirror for Americans, Japan, Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1948; Year of the Wild Boar: an American Woman in Japan in 1947.

Custodial History

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Katrina Natanagara, 2001.

Related Materials

Friends Committee on National Legislation (DG 047), Series A

Legal Status

Copyright to the resources created by Helen Mears 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

Temporary checklist was prepared by Wendy E. Chmielewski, March 2005; This finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi- Malone, August 2009.

Creator

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

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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