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E. Raymond Wilson Papers

Identifier: SCPC-DG-070

Scope and Contents

Parts of this collection of papers are stored off-site, as noted below. Please contact the Curator at least two weeks in advance of a visit to the Peace Collection to see any of the off-site material.

Wilson visited Japan in 1926-1927 and brought back many postcards, photographs, and lantern slides. The lantern slides have been digitized and may be viewed online. One album of postcards with the same or similar views was collected by Wilson (stored in Oversized Items Collection: Scrapbooks). Wilson gathered many posters in the USSR in the 1930s, which are located in the Poster Collection. Because of their fragility, they have been digitized and are available for viewing online. His collection of World War I posters is also located in the Poster Collection. A scrapbook re: New York City (1923-1926) was removed to the Oversized Items Collection: Scrapbooks. Many audiocassettes and slides, made or collected by Wilson, are available in the Audiovisual Collection. A large number of family photographs were returned to Wilson's grandchildren in 2010. Album #26, made up primarily of tourist postcards, was dismantled in January 2011 and the postcards were given away; the small number of photos of Wilson and others were removed to the Photograph Collection.


  • Creation: 1914-1987


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access Note

All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Contact Swarthmore College Peace Collection staff at at least two weeks in advance of visit to request boxes.

Biographical Note

Often called the "dean of Washington religious lobbyists," E. Raymond Wilson was one of the founders and served as the Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, from its establishment in November 1943 until he became Executive Secretary Emeritus in January 1962.

Born on a farm in Iowa, Wilson graduated from Iowa State College in 1921 and received an MS degree religious education from Columbia University in 1925. After helping to found the Committee on Militarism in Education, he studied and toured for a year (1926-1927) in Japan under a Japanese Brotherhood Scholarship. From 1931 to 1943, he was Field and Education Secretary for the Peace Section of the American Friends Service Committee. Wilson also served as co-chair of the Disarmament Working Group of the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy.

In 1975, Wilson's book Uphill for Peace: Quaker Impact on Congress was published, and in 1976, his autobiography Thus Far On My Journey followed. Wilson was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Haverford College in 1958, and a Doctor of Human Letters degree by Swarthmore College in 1975. He was married to Miriam Davidson, whose papers are also part of this collection.


35.25 linear ft. (35.25 linear ft.)


E. Raymond Wilson (1896-1987), a Quaker peace lobbyist, helped found the Friends Committee on National Legislation in 1943 and served as its Executive Secretary until 1962. He also helped organize the Committee on Militarism in Education in 1925. From 1931 to 1943, he served as Field and Education Secretary of the Peace Section of the American Friends Service Committee. He was the author of two books. The papers of E. Raymond Wilson contain personal and professional correspondence, biographical material, writings including drafts for two books, notes on travel, program of meetings and conferences he attended, a subject file, photographs, scrapbooks, sound tapes, and memorabilia. The papers of his wife Miriam Davidson Wilson (1899-1965) are also in this collection. Correspondents include Horace Alexander, Brent Dow Allinson, Iwao Fred Ayusawa, Roswell P. Barnes, Francis G. Brown, Dorothy Detzer, Harrop A. Freeman, Jeanette Hadley, Ray Newton, James M. Read, Esther B. Rhoads, John Nevin Sayre, Edward F. Snyder, Guy W. Solt, Annalee Stewart, Wilbur K. Thomas, Helen F. Topping, and Walter C. Woodward.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a gift of E. Raymond Wilson.

Related Materials

For related materials, search the library's online catalog

Separated Materials

The following materials have been discarded: Newspaper clippings on Japan from Series E: 4.

Most material from Series F has been removed to Memorabilia, Oversized Items, Photograph, or Audiovisual Collections. Personal and Family Photographs, 1932-1940 photos removed to Photograph Collection. Photographs re: YMCA student conferences, 1919-1923 photos removed to Photograph Collection. Postcards re: Japan (album) removed to Oversized Items Collection: Scrapbooks. Photographs and Postcards re: England, 1930 and Photographs and Postcards re: USSR, 1938 photos removed to Photograph Collection. Tourist photos from this album were removed and given away. Album #1, 2, 3, 26, and 30 have been digitized. 32 World War I Posters mounted on linen and 24 Russian posters mounted on linen, bought in Russia in 1930, removed to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection Poster File. 32 World War I Posters are in Pocket 15, Folder 4. 24 Russian posters are in Pocket 12, Folder 1. Gallery of Quaker Saints and Sinners slides removed to A-V Collection.

Bibliographic References

Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed., p. 74.

Legal Status

Copyright may have been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection or may have been retained by the creators/authors (or their descendents), in this collection, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Please contact the SCPC Curator for further information.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by E. Raymond Wilson, and index to collection prepared by Anne M. Yoder in January, 2006.

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 repoductions from Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

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