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Bertram Pickard and Irene Pickard Collected Papers

Identifier: SCPC-CDG-B-Great Britain-Pickard, Bertram and Irene

Scope and Contents

Ellen Starr Brinton, Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection until 1951, visited the Pickards in Geneva in 1948 and selected some of his files for preservation at the SCPC. These make up the bulk of this collection, and reflect Pickard's wide range of interests and deep concern for peace and goodwill on an international level.

This collection includes reports, writings of Bertram Pickard, reference files, releases of the Quaker Press Service and the World Outlook Press Service, some items by or referring to Irene Pickard, and correspondence of Bertram Pickard with Hugh Richardson, Frederick Libby, Joseph B. Howie, Mary Sheepshanks, Dr. Anna Kamensky, Albert Wigniolle, Carl Heath, Roderick Clark, Kathleen Innes, and others.

The 2nd accession to this collection was given by the Pickards' daughter in 2001, from photocopies she made of material at the Quaker House in London (Great Britain). No attempt was made to compare this material with what had been received earlier from Bertram Pickard (in boxes 1 and 2).


  • 1918-1972


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Limitations on Accessing the Collection


Copyright and Rights Information



Bertram Pickard (1892-1973) was Secretary of the Friends Peace Committee of the London Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends from 1921-1926. This interest in peace motivated Pickard and his wife, Irene, to go to Geneva, Switzerland as representatives of the Friends' Service Council in 1926. There he served as Secretary of the Friends Geneva Center until 1940, and Chair of the International Consultative Group on Peace and Disarmament from 1935-1940; the Pickards also acted as hosts of the Quaker Student Hostel, which Irene had been chiefly responsible for founding. Bertram Pickard was much interested in the work of the League of Nations, and he was active in promoting its work. In that regard, he wrote careful interpretations of its actions and meetings, some of which were published in Quaker Press Service and World Outlook Press Service (which he helped establish). The Pickards became quite active in the Geneva Quaker Meeting, orienting its focus on the League of Nations rather than on simply being a home-away-from-home for elderly displaced persons.

Bertram Pickard was a Fellow at Woodbrooke, Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, England from 1940-1941. The Pickards moved to the United States in 1941, where he lectured that year at Pendle Hill, near Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; later he edited Washington Commentary, a news sheet circulated among American Quaker peace leaders from 1942-1944. Pickard was also an associate of the American Friends Service Committee from 1941-1942.

Following the war, the family moved to England and eventually back to Geneva. There Pickard was a liaison officer with the Economic and Social Council (?) of the United Nations. In addition, Pickard became the Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Quaker Center, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the International School, where he was instrumental in establishing the International Schools Association, which set up a chain of international schools throughout the world. The Pickards left Geneva in 1954 (1955?) after Bertram's retirement from the United Nations. Further information about their lives is unknown.


1.25 Linear Feet (15 linear in.)


Bertram Pickard was an internationalist; peace leader; Quaker; official for Society of Friends and United Nations organizations, including the Friends Peace Committee of the London Yearly Meeting, the Friends' Service Council, the Friends Geneva Centre, and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations; and founder of the Quaker Press Service, later called the World Outlook Press Service.

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 papers/records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Bertram Pickard, 1948; of daughter (Dr. A.M. Bush), 2002 [acc. 00A-039].

Related Materials

  1. Pacifist Research Bureau Records (CDG-A) (for a pamphlet by Pickard)
  2. Peace Committee of the Society of Friends Records (CDG-B: Great Britain) (for "Pacifist Commentary on Current International Events" written by Pickard and Karlin Capper-Johnson)

Separated Materials

Posters were removed to the Poster Collection.

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

Processed by SCPC staff; this checklist was revised by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist, April 2002; updated by Eleanor Fulvio, August 2010.

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

Find It at the Library

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