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Kay Camp Papers

Identifier: SCPC-DG-169

Scope and Contents

The Kay Camp papers were in little order when they arrived at the Peace Collection, though Camp had sorted some material into general categories (other cartons had material with many subject categories intermixed). A great many duplicates, newspaper clippings from major newspapers, periodicals already owned by the Peace Collection, and items deemed unimportant were discarded. The remaining papers were sorted into Series. Material relating to Camp's involvement with WILPF (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom) were removed to DG 043, Series A,2. The exception to this is the WILPF material found in the 2006 accession, and documents relating to Camp's involvement with local Pennsylvania branches of WILPF. The material received before 2006 was processed by the archivist; the 2006 was partially processed by student assistants. Box numbers for the 2006 accession start over at 1 to highlight the differentiation in processing. All of the collection's folders were labeled in 2006.


  • Creation: 1955-2006


Language of Material

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.

Conditions Governing Use


Biographical Note

"Katherine Lindsley Camp, a peace activist, died of complications from a stroke at the Quadrangle retirement community in Haverford on July 9, [2006] the day before her 88th birthday.

As a self-described "peace protagonist," Mrs. Camp devoted 50 years to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She investigated human-rights violations in Chile; toured villages in Vietnam; addressed the United Nations; and walked hundreds of miles in demonstrations. In 1980, she spent four days in jail for protesting the nuclear power plant at Limerick. From 1967 to 1971, she was president of the Women's International League's U.S. sector and was international president from 1974 to 1980. In the 1990s, she helped reorganize the league's Main Line chapter and led a chapter protest against nuclear weapons outside the Bryn Mawr post office in 1996, on the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. "We're pressing for the abolition of all nuclear weapons by 2000," she told a reporter at the time. Mrs. Camp grew up on a farm in Livingston, N.J. She earned a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College, where she met her husband, William Perrine Camp. They married in 1941. During World War II, he served in the Army in Europe, while she worked as a cryptographer for the War Department in Washington. While raising their children in Havertown, she helped found a kindergarten in Havertown, and was a Cub Scout den mother and PTA president. In 1956, she and her husband, a physician, became Quakers and joined Norristown Friends Meeting. She was active with the American Friends Service Committee. In the 1960s, she was founder and president of the Greater Norristown Bi-Racial Study Group. Mrs. Camp ran for Congress in 1972 as a Democrat in the 13th Congressional District [of Pennsylvania]. She lost to the incumbent, Republican Lawrence Coughlin. In 1978, she was an adviser to the U.S delegation to the U.N. Special Session on Disarmament. She was editor of Listen to Women for a Change, an anthology of essays by 50 feminists. She loved gardening, cooking, sailing on Barnegat Bay, choral singing, and tennis, said her son David. In her 60s, she designed and helped build a log cabin in Maine for family vacations. Mrs. Camp's husband died in 1999. In addition to her son David, she is survived by two other sons, Nelson and Anthony; a brother; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild." [quoted from an article by Sally Downey, staff writer, Philadelphia Inquirer]


17.5 linear ft. (17.5 linear ft.)


Katherine Lindsley Camp was born in 1918 [1919?], Mt. Kisco New York. She was a graduate of Swarthmore College (Class of 1940). Camp was elected president of the U.S. Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in 1967, and served as international president, 1974-1980. In addition Camp was founder of the Citizens Bi-Racial Study Group; former president of the Pennsylvania Women's Political Caucus; made unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1972 on the Democratic ticket in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; member of the Society of Friends. Her papers include biographical information, personal correspondence, and involvement with numerous peace groups, as well as political activities.


Series A: Biographical Information Series B: Personal Correspondence Series C: Financial Records Series D: Activities Series E: Miscellaneous Series F: Political Activities, 1970s Series G: Reference Material

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 the official repository for these papers/records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Kay Camp,1978-2003; gift of Margaret Camp, 2006 [acc. 06A-043].

Separated Materials

Items removed to Memorabilia Collection

  1. Small flag with image of woman hold child in front of white dove and national flag, with text “United Nations Decade for Women. Equality. Development. Peace. Nairobi-Kenya. Lao Women’s Union. Lao People’s Democratic Republic. 1985”
  2. Handkerchief with image of white dove and text “Anh Hung Bat Khuat. Trung Hau Dam Dang,” undated
  3. Piece of cloth with image of woman and dove, with text “III Congreso. Federacion de Mujeres Cubanas,” 1980
  4. Piece of cloth with image of woman and dove with 1980 calendar, and with text “III Congreso. Federacion de Mujeres Cubanas”
  5. Bookmark/card with paper flowers and paper doll, with text “No more Hiroshima. No more Nagasaki. We should rid the Earth of all nuclear weapons for our children. New Japan Women’s Association, Kyoto” [text also in Japanese], signed by Tei Kanesada, undated
  6. Small white painted/glazed clay bowl with blue flower, with text “WILPF, München, 1985” written on the bottom.

Legal Status

Copyright to the resources created by Kay Camp has been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Copyright to all other materials is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

Processed by Anne Yoder, 2003; student assistant, Fall 2006.

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

Revision Statements

  • 2017: The file list was standardized in Summer 2017 by Mary Olesnavich in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace. Tessa Chambers added the notes in Fall 2017.

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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