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International Peace Bureau Collected Records

Identifier: SCPC-CDG-B-Switzerland-International Peace Bureau

Scope and Contents

Much of this collection consists of material from the international peace conferences that the IPB has held, beginning in 1889, as well as other conferences. Included also is general material that documents the organization's peace efforts over the past century and more.


  • Creation: 1889-


Language of Material

Chiefly in French with some German and more recent items in English.

Limitations on Accessing the Collection


Copyright and Rights Information


Historical note

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) evolved from proposals for an international clearinghouse put forth at the Third International Peace Congress, held in Rome in 1891. The organization had its first headquarters in Bern, but later moved to Geneva, Switzerland. Elie Ducommon, Henri La Fontaine and Albert Gobat, all winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, served as officers of the IPB during its formative years. An affiliate office was established in 1894 in Washington, D.C., where Belva Lockwood was active as one of the early members of its international governing board. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the IPB in 1910 for its efforts in promoting the establishment of the League of Nations and for spreading the message of peace to the general public. Among its many distinguished leaders over the years was the Irish Nobel Laureate Sean MacBride. Through the years, the IPB has served as a record office, library, and agenda committee for major world peace congresses, among its other work. In 1963, it was taken over by the International Liaison Committee of Organizations for Peace, the operative agency for the World Union of Peace Organisations, though it still retained the name of International Peace Bureau.

Today the IPB is the "world's oldest and most comprehensive peace network. With 18 international and 150 national / local member organizations (and 20 individuals) in 49 countries, it brings together people working for peace in many different sectors: not only pacifists but also women's, youth, labor, religious, political and professional bodies. Its role is that of supporting peace and disarmament initiatives taken by the United Nations, launching collective projects, and informing and servicing grassroots peace campaigns. It has had United Nations Consultative Status as an NGO since 1977, and has been active in the Special NGO Committee for Disarmament since 1972."

The IPB is located in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more information, see the IPB's website at


2.92 Linear Feet (35 linear in.)


Service secretariat acting as a record office, library, and agenda formulating committee for major world peace congresses; organized in 1891; founded in 1892; offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

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 not the official repository for these records. IPB records from 1891-1950 are held by the United Nations library in Geneva, Switzerland; records dating after 1950 will be held by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, library, also in Geneva, Switzerland.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of various donors and through mailings.

Separated Materials

Photos from the 25th and 26th Universal Peace Congresses were removed to the Photograph Collection. Serials were removed to the Periodical Collection ["Correspondance bi-mensuelle," Sept. 1896, Jan. 1897 - Dec. 1911; "Le Mouvement Pacifiste," Jan. 1912 - Jan./Feb. 1940; "The Peace Movement," 1912-1914; "Peace Information Bulletin," April 1963 - Oct. 1964].

Bibliographic References

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

Legal Status

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

Checklist prepared by Anne Yoder, June 1998; added to March 2008 and March 2011.

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

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 reproductions from Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

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