Skip to main content

The collection of Beulah Hurley Waring and Alston Waring, New Hope, PA

Identifier: HC.MC-1225

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into two parts: the work of Beulah Hurley (later Waring) (1896-) primarily conveyed through correspondence, but also some photographs; and the photographs of P. Alston Waring (1895-1978). Although there is no statement by the creator, it is assumed that Waring was the creator.

The correspondence begins in 1918 when Quaker Beulah Hurley went to France to provide relief in war-torn areas, such as Sermaize. Her job consisted of assisting in providing food aid to the starving population under the direction of Friends' War Victims Relief Committee. In 1919, Hurley moved around Europe, including to Austria and Germany, where she was put in charge of equipment, working for the American Friends Service Committee. In 1920, she made note of the Russo-Polish conflict and continued her description of her duties and a conference she attended. In 1921, she continued doing relief work in Poland, and received papers for work to continue in Russia. In 1922, already posted in Russia, in the Buzuluk district of Sorochinskoye, she kept a day book containing precise numbers of people assisted and food, medicine and transportation. She also documented her own living conditions.

Some of Hurley's correspondents were also Quakers in Europe assisting in the post-war relief effort, such as Francis Bacon, Anna Haines and Murray Kenworthy. There is a folder of letters from Alston Waring beginning in 1926-28, spiritual in nature, but also about the relationship with Beulah Hurley, which culminated in their marriage in 1928.

P. Alston Waring (1895-1978) was also a Quaker. The photographs comprising volumes I-XII are assumed to all be by Waring. Some of them are professional, others are snapshots. Each volume consists of photographs from a particular geographic area, and the numbers for each volume are given. Volume I contains photographs of local scenery and architecture taken in Europe in 1922; Volume II contains photographs of scenery and people in the Middle East, Greece and Egypt; Volumes III-V contain photographs of scenery, people, sites, and architecture in India; Volume VI contains photographs of people, scenery, streetscapes, architecture and the Great Wall of China; Volume VII contains photographs of people and sites in Paris, Vienna, Eastern Europe, and Russia, 1918-22, the latter including images of a food caravan; Volume VIII contains photographs of scenery, architecture, and people in California, 1915; Volume IX contains photographs of Central America and California; Volume X contains photographs of India in 1923; Volume XI contains photographs of India and elsewhere; Volume XII contains photographs of India when Beulah Hurley Waring accompanied him in 1952-54, including images of well-digging, tree-planting, Indian daily life, medical clinic, people (including Beulah), ceremonies, projects, the Dalai Lama, and Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948).


  • Creation: 1917-1954


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Standard Federal Copyright Law applies (U.S. Title 17)

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Biographical / Historical

P. Alston Waring (1895-1978) was a member of Solebury (PA) Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Early in his life he traveled in Europe and the Far East. During his travels he met Beulah Hurley and they later married. A soil conservationist, he worked to restore and preserve the farmlands of the valley where he lived. He established a nature education program for school students and teachers. He was the author of books, article, letters to friends and to editors, as well as a fine photographer. (Friends Journal 24 (Aug 1/15 1978): 24) Waring also traveled with his wife to Eastern Europe and India to give aid to the poor and work with the American Friends Service Committee. It is believed that the photographs in the section under his name were taken by Waring. (Internal evidence)

Beulah Hurley Waring (1886-), a Quaker, attended Columbia Teachers College and taught at State Teachers College in Newark. She apparently taught at a Friends School in Philadelphia prior to working for the American Friends Service Committee/ Friends War Victims Relief Committee and Anglo-American Friends Mission/ American Red Cross during and after World War I, especially with the child feeding program. She applied for a position to work as a nurse's aid in Chalon, France in 1917. She was sent to France in 1918 and became the head of the section to provide food and shelter for victims of the war. In 1921, she was among the first American women to enter Russia under the American Relief Administration, though members of the AFSC (Nancy Babb, Miriam West and Murray Kenworthy) entered with her, and, indeed, Anna Haines had come in 1917. (In 1921, Herbert Hoover, then head of the American Relief Administration persuaded Congress to appropriate $20 million for food aid to Russia, a feat when Americans feared a Communist takeover and thousands were arrested on suspicion of being Communists). Hurley, along with Miriam West, carried the entire responsibility for relief of 200,000 starving people. The area in which she worked, Buzuluk, in the heart of the Russian steppe, was demarcated as the Quaker service area. When rations came, by train, they were delivered to a warehouse, then assigned on the basis of population and need. Hurley was made Field Director in 1922. In 1922, Hurley developed typhoid fever. In March 1922, Robert Dunn, a journalist, whose writings also appear in this collection, arrived to take over publicity work. Harry and Rebecca Timbres also arrived that spring. Beulah was made field director in May, after Murray Kenworthy left to return to the States. She m. Alston Waring in 1928, with whom she had children. (Sources: Some Form of Peace / by Marvin R. Weisbord; letter, Sept. 8, 1918; The Friend April 6, 1922; NYTimes, Nov. 25, 1921; Sunday Times Advertiser, Trenton, NJ, Mar. 2, 1969)


1.75 linear ft. (7 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection, primarily of correspondence of Quaker Beulah Hurley (1886-) relating principally to her relief work after World War I in Europe and Russia under the auspices of several Friends' groups and the photographs of Quaker P. Alston Waring (1895-1978) taken in Europe, East Asia, California, Central America and mainly in India between 1915 and 1954.

Custodial History

Alston Waring's younger brother was a teacher of Bliss' husband, Richard. The donor, Ann Bliss, discovered these papers in her house.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ann Bliss, 2010.

Some Form of Peace / by Marvin R. Weisbord. New York: Viking Press, 1968. BX7641 Z5 W426

Chapter 3: "Famine on the Steppe" is about Beulah Hurley's work for the American Friends Service Committee in Russia from late 1921-1922.

Processing Information

Processed by Diana Franzusoff Peterson and Janela Harris.

The collection of Beulah Hurley Waring and Alston Waring, New Hope, PA, 1917-1954
Diana Franzusoff Peterson and Janela Harris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • March 2022: by Nathaniel Rehm-Daly

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