Scope and Contents
The papers of Emily Greene Balch contain her diaries (l876-l955, scattered), journals (c. 1894-1948, scattered) and notebooks, all of which provide autobiographical background. There is a draft of an autobiography (c. 1952) with corrections and also transcripts from interviews (1950) with Mercedes M. Randall, her literary executor and biographer. Genealogical information is provided by early correspondence to and from members of her family (1840s-1890s), her mother's diary (1849), and publications about Balch family history. A small collection of material deals with friends and other people who were important in Balch's life, while another collection of articles, booklets, and releases describes Balch as others knew her.
There are tributes to her by her alma mater Bryn Mawr College, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)), Wellesley College, and John R. Randall, Jr., who wrote a pamphlet, Emily Greene Balch of New England: Citizen of the World (1946). Material is included about the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to her in 1946, with lists of the sponsors and the Nobel lecture she delivered in Oslo in 1948. The Nobel scroll she was awarded is kept at Swarthmore College, while the gold medal is housed at Bryn Mawr College.
Correspondence to and from Balch spans the years from 1875 until her death in 196l. A gap from 1907 until 1913 may have been caused by a fire at Wellesley in 1914, when many papers were destroyed. A considerable amount of important correspondence (1920-c. 1941) relates to the affairs of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), an organization in which Balch was very active. Included among Balch's correspondents are Grace Abbott, Jane Addams, Gertrud(e) Baer, Francis Noyes Balch, Francis Vergnies Balch, Katharine Lee Bates, Katherine Devereux Blake, Ellen Starr Brinton, Gertrude Bussey, Helen Cheever, Hilda Clark, Katherine Coman, Kathleen D. Courtney, Dorothy Detzer, Madeleine Z. Doty, Camille Drevet, Gabrielle Duchene, Anna Melissa Graves, Lida Gustava Heymann, Hannah Clothier Hull, Aletta H. Jacobs, Eleanor Daggett Karsten, Paul Underwood Kellogg, Louis P. Lochner, Kathleen J. Lowrie, Lucia Ames Mead, Mildred Scott Olmsted, Ellen F. Pendleton, Alice Thacher Post, Edith M. Pye, Clara Ragaz, Cor Ramondt Hirschmann, Mercedes M. Randall, Vida D. Scudder, Mary Sheepshanks, Rebecca Shelley, Florence G. Taussig, Mabel Vernon, and Lillian D. Wald.
Her writings (1884-1956) include articles and speeches--some published, others in manuscript, draft, or note form--as well as letters to the editor, book reviews, poems, a song, and research notes. There are many writings pertaining to Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Some books written by Balch are not microfilmed but can be found in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection library.
Three subject files also are part of the Balch papers. These are not on microfilm. The first, the Single Accession Subject File, was donated by Balch in 1957 and is in its original order. The second, the Multiple Accession File, is a composite file created from subject folders found in many different places among her own files. Correspondence and writings by Balch were removed from both of these subject files and incorporated into Series II and III, which are on the microfilm. Checklists giving the folder titles and span dates for these subject files are available in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Additional unfilmed material includes a third subject file that was created by Kathleen Whitaker Sayre and given to Balch, and a collection of peace literature and reference material.
Collections closely related to the Balch papers, also at Swarthmore, include the records of the Woman's Peace Party, the United States Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)), the American Neutral Conference Committee, the People's Council of America for Democracy and Peace, and the papers of Jane Addams, Dorothy Detzer, Hannah Clothier Hull, and Mercedes M. Randall. The collected records of the Woman's Peace Party and significant portions of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)--U.S. Section records are available on microfilm from Scholarly Resources Inc.
Emily Greene Balch (1867-1961) was the second U.S. woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 1889, Balch studied at the Sorbonne, helped to found the Boston settlement, Denison House, and then embarked on her academic career in the economics and sociology department at Wellesley College. Her exhaustive study of eastern and southern European immigrants, which challenged nativist opinions of the time, was published in 1910. Balch's extracurricular work with the Women's Trade Union League and opposition to World War I resulted in dismissal from Wellesley, and thereafter she helped lead the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She tried to widen the purview of the League of Nations, visited Haiti and advocated withdrawal of occupying U.S. forces, and in l939 urged the United States to welcome refugees from Nazi Germany. Called a "Citizen of the World" Balch worked for peace throughout her life--through disarmament; internationalization of important waterways, aviation, and the polar regions; drug control; and the elimination of the causes of discontent and conflict among peoples.