Skip to main content

Gilbert White AFSC papers

Identifier: HC.MC-816

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the records and correspondence of the American Friends Service Committee dated primarly between the years 1944 and 1947. The materials provide insight into a variety of AFSC functions and activities. The collection is divided into two series: AFSC Organizational Materials and Outreach and Relief Program Materials. The first series, which spans from 1927 to 1947, looks at the AFSC from an institutional perspective; information in these documents details how the organization operated. These folders includes financial statements, rules and regulations, personnel arrangements, and orchestration between AFSC branches. The second series, which spans from 1942 to 1946, offers a more specialized perspective that includes materials from specific departments within the AFSC. These documents explore specific relief efforts undertaken by the AFSC. They highlight how these endeavors manifested themselves in their different stages, from the planning and execution to after the fact reflection.


  • Creation: 1927 - 1947


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical note

This collection is comprised of Gilbert White’s American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) materials from the World War II-era. White, Haverford College's eighth president, was born in Illinois in 1911, and died in Colorado in 2006. He made notable contributions to the fields of environmental studies and geology, focusing specifically on preventative measures for flooding and natural disasters. White attended the University of Chicago, and during the late 1930s studied the Mississippi River Basin under the auspices of the American government. Upon the outbreak of World War II, White became a conscientious objector, and in 1942, he joined the AFSC. During his time with the Committee, he conducted relief work in France and Germany. He remained with the AFSC until 1946 and afterwards became president of Haverford College until 1955. White returned to the AFSC as chair from 1963 to 1969. Additionally, his career included academic positions at the University of Chicago, the University of Oxford, and the University of Colorado. In 2000, White was awarded the National Medal of Science in recognition of his contributions to the field.

The papers in this collection focus on the work of the AFSC during the years of White’s involvement with the organization. The AFSC was founded in 1917 as a way for pacifists and conscientious objectors to engage in wartime relief work. The organization is grounded by its belief in the Quaker Peace Testimony, which reflects a commitment to non-violence and compassion in the face of conflict. During WWII, the AFSC was actively involved in reconstruction and aid work; they offered a variety of services and resources to those impacted by the war. As a result of these efforts, the AFSC became a joint recipient of the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize.


1.5 linear ft. (3 document boxes)

Language of Materials



Some papers of Gilbert F. White (1911-2006), a geographer and president of Haverford College, relating to some of his experiences serving the American Friends Service Committee during World War II and letters received while president of the college.


This collection contains two series. The first, AFSC Organizational Materials, spans from 1927 to 1947 while the second, Outreach and Relief Program Materials, spans from 1942 to 1946. Within each series are folders categorized by subject matter. The documents within each folder are arranged chronologically.


The Gilbert White AFSC papers were donated to Special Collections in two gifts. One was received in 1995 from Gilbert White and the other in 1997 from White and his secretary, Alice M. Berry. Materials related to White's time as president of Haverford College were removed to the College Archives.

Processing Information

Processed by Emily Kingsley; completed April 2015.

Gilbert White AFSC papers, 1927-1947
White, Gilbert AFSC papers, 1927-1947
In Progress
Emily Kingsley
April, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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 or requesting repoductions from Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US