Tag Archives: Peace Collection

Wendy Chmielewski awarded honorable mention for historical research on women in politics

Dr. Wendy ChmielewskiDr. Wendy Chmielewski, a member of the Peace and Conflict Studies steering committee has been awarded a 2013 honorable mention award for the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics from Iowa State University for her ongoing project, Her Hat Was in the Ring:  U.S. Women Elected to Political Office Before 1920.

From all of us in the Peace and Conflict Studies program, congratulations Wendy!

Challenging the Cold War Warriors: Greenham Women Against Cruise Missiles, 1983-1988

Dr. Wendy ChmielewskiOn November 5th, 2013, Dr. Wendy Chmielewski, Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection will present a paper at West Chester University during a conference on the Cold War.

Dr. Chmielewski’s paper is titled:  “Challenging the Cold War Warriors: Greenham Women Against Cruise Missiles, 1983-1988”  Greenham Women Against Cruise Missiles was a group of women from Britain, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Congressmen Ron Dellums and Ted Weiss who attempted to sue the Reagan administration in US federal court for human rights and US constitutional violations.

Conscientious Objectors Serving the Mentally Ill During World War II

Behind the Gates: Conscientious Objectors Serving the Mentally Ill During World War II

Friday, October 4, 2:30 pm

McCabe’s Popular Reading Room, Main Floor

Swarthmore College

Open to the Public.  Directions to campus.

Dr. Wendy ChmielewskiWendy Chmielewski, Curator of the Peace Collection, [and a member of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program steering committee] will talk about how WW II conscientious objectors were directly responsible for exposing shameful conditions in US mental hospitals , changing forever how the mentally ill were created. Original photographs, drawings, pamphlets, documents, and other resources will be available.

Hannah Karena JonesWith Hannah K. Jones, author of Byberry, from Arcadia Books, 2013. Jones will talk abut her experience in using resources from the Peace Collection to write her recent book on the Pennsylvania State Hospital (known as Byberry), located near Philadelphia.

Visit the online collection of resources on conscientious object in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Wendy Chmielewski awarded fellowship at Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History

chimielewski_wendy_110We are happy to announce that Dr. Wendy Chmielewski, Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection and a member of the Peace and Conflict Studies steering committee, has been awarded a fellowship from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History to conduct further research in support of the project: “Her Hat Was in the Ring:  U.S. Women Elected to Political Office Before 1920“.  Visit the project’s website.

herhatwasinthering

  The project website states:

This web site identifies women candidates for elective office in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, giving biographical information for each woman, information about her campaign, party affiliation, photographs, and lists of selected resources. We estimate that women ran in well over 3,500 campaigns by 1920. Currently, our database contains biographical records for 2,579 women, who ran in 3,633campaigns.

Again, congratulations!

Original Earth Day Proclamation Arrives on Campus in Time for This Year’s Celebration

From Swarthmore News and Events:

Original Earth Day Proclamation Arrives on Campus in Time for This Year’s Celebration

by Mariam Zakhary ’13

April 22, 2013

Earth Day Proclamation (image)
The original Earth Day proclamation, above, was donated by the family of Earth Day originator John McConnell.

The original 1970 Earth Day Proclamation, signed by 35 international dignitaries, is now a permanent part of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, thanks to a gift from the family of its author.

“John McConnell’s work for the last 50 years helped many to connect international peace with the need to preserve the environment,” says Wendy Chmielewski, the Collection’s George R. Cooley Curator, of the holiday’s founder. “McConnell reached many world leaders, as the Earth Day Proclamation shows, but his message also inspired ordinary people around the globe.”

In 1968, McConnell, a Presbyterian minister and peace activist from Iowa, designed the Earth Day flag showing planet Earth as seen from space. He proposed the idea of Earth Day the next year in order to celebrate a peaceful planet. McConnell also authored a second proclamation, the Star of Hope, with signatures from world scientists. That doucument, as well as a large collection ofMcConnell’s papers detailing his 50-plus years of work for world peace, is also part of the Collection.

The Earth Day proclamation is a poster-sized, hand-created, and hand-colored document. Among the 35 signators are anthropologist Margaret Mead, former Senator Eugene McCarthy, Nobel Prize-winning former President of Costa Rica Oscar Arias, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Earth Day is now celebrated internationally on the Vernal Equinox.

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is one of the most extensive research libraries and archive collections in the country that focuses solely on movements for peace. The Collection’s holdings on the environmental movement span the papers and records of numerous peace organizations and activists who have worked for the benefit of the environment during the second half of the 20th-century and beyond.

Peace Collection and Prof. Ratzman featured on college website

What a great way to start the spring semester, with Peace and Conflict Studies folks featured on the front page of the college website.  The main banner photo shows Swarthmore College Peace Collection curator Dr. Wendy Chmielewski and Miriam Hauser ’13 displaying Jane Addams’ 1931 Nobel Peace Prize Medal. The full story is reproduced below.

You will also notice the distinguished visage of Prof. Elliot Ratzman over an announcement that he will be the keynote speaker at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day luncheon on Monday January 21, 2013 at 12:30-2:00 in Tarble-in-Clothier. He will speak on, “Mighty Streams: What King’s Intellectual and Political Influences Have to Teach us Today.” The full text of the event description is also reproduced below.

Swarthmore website screenshot

 


McCabe’s Lower Level Reveals a Renowned Resource

by Camila Ryder ’13

While McCabe Library may be most familiar to the students whose thesis carrels are found there, it also holds a world-renowned but less wellknown treasure – the Swarthmore College Peace Collection (SCPC). Housed within the lower level and basement of the library is an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, posters, audiovisual items, bumper stickers, buttons, flags and other ephemera that documents “non-governmental efforts for nonviolent social change, disarmament, and conflict resolution between peoples and nations,” according to their mission statement. Established over 80 years ago, the Peace Collection is one of the most extensive research libraries and archive collections in the country that focuses solely on movements for peace.

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Wendy Chmielewski, the Collection’s George R. Cooley Curator, and Miriam Hauser ’13 look over materials in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

In 1930, Jane Addams, the prominent internationalist and founder of Hull House in Chicago, visited Swarthmore for the 300thanniversary of the founding of the state of Pennsylvania. During her visit, Addams met with Frank Aydelotte, the president of Swarthmore College from 1921 to 1940 who is famous for implementing the College’sHonors Program as well as helping to strengthen its liberal arts education and to elevate the intellectual and student life on campus.

“He was interested in developing a library on internationalism for the students and faculty,” says Wendy Chmielewski, the Collection’s George R. Cooley Curator. Thoroughly impressed with Aydelotte and the College, Addams bequeathed her extensive collection of personal books on issues of peace and internationalism as a contribution to the library.

The collection, though, had been unofficially developing over the years before Addams’ donation, as the College began accumulating records from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom(WILPF) – an organization of which Addams was the first international president. After Addams became the first U.S. woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, the collection began acquiring more and more documents from Addams, including personal letters and even her Nobel Prize medal. The WILPF continued housing all of their records, making it one of the largest collections in the library.

“Since that time, we’ve probably added three or four thousand more collections, and many thousands more books, photographs, posters, bumper stickers, stamps, political buttons, digital files, and every audio visual format,” Chmielewski says. “Every format you can name, we probably have.”

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Jane Addams’ 1931 Nobel Peace Prize Medal, above, is part of the Peace Collection.

The millions of documents and items stored in the collection represent a wide array of peace-related topics, dating back to 1815. “We collect mainly on religious and secular pacifism, disarmament, [the] anti-nuclear movement, conscientious objection, nonviolence, [the] civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war [movement] and the current anti-war movement,” Chmielewski says. Other main collections include issues of anti-militarism and even a collection of letters written by Mohandas Gandhi.

The collection originated with a strong emphasis on women’s rights and women’s involvement in the peace movements – an emphasis that is still strong today. “Fifty percent of what we have here is about women’s public role, not just in the peace movement, but in social movements in general, from the 19th century onwards,” Chmielewski says.

Chmielewski, who has been working at the Peace Collection for what she deems “many, many years,” knows the collections, their stories, and the thousands of items like the back of her hand. When she first joined the SCPC, the College had received a grant from the Ford Foundation to organize all the collections on women into a guide, which allowed her to familiarize herself with the many peace organizations founded and fostered by women. As one of the larger collections, the WILPF records include a bevy of documents, photographs, correspondences, publications, and audiovisual aspects that have been collected since 1915. Other women’s groups represented in the collection include Code PinkWomen Strike for Peace, theWoman’s Peace PartyAnother Mother for Peace (a group that opposed the Vietnam war), and the World War II-era Women’s Committee to Oppose Conscription.

The collection also highlights individual female peace activists who were involved not only in the woman’s suffrage movement, but also in anti-war and anti-nuclear efforts. One such collection is that of Mildred Lisette Norman, better known as Peace Pilgrim, who walked over 25,000 miles across the U.S. promoting global, national, and inner peace. Her papers consist of pamphlets, writings, and news clippings, as well as her tattered shoes, comb, and toothbrush – the few things that Peace Pilgrim carried on her travels.

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Memorabilia from Code Pink, such as this cup with anti-war messaging, is also a part of the Collection.

As the only collection in the country that focuses solely on peace, the SCPC attracts scholars from all over the U.S. and the world, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, and Canada. Graduate students use the records for their theses or Ph.D. work, while another portion of the collection’s visitors are undergraduates and the general public. The SCPC also maintains a close connection with Swarthmore’s Peace and Conflict Studies program (Chmielewski is a member of the program’s oversight committee) and provides materials for databases such as the Global Nonviolent Action Database, spearheaded by visiting assistant professor George Lakey and his students.

Another recent use of the Peace Collection’s holdings can be found in the work of Duyen Nguyen ’13, a Wichita, Kan., native and political science major, and Alison Roseberry-Polier ’14, a gender and sexuality studies and history double major from New York City. They dedicated their time last summer to the expansion of an online database that identifies female candidates who ran for office before 1920 – and thus before the 19th Amendment which allowed them to vote was ratified. Called Her Hat Was in the Ring!, the database features biographies for several little-known women involved in the political process of the early 20th century. Their work was supported by Tri-Co Digital Humanities, an initiative committed to discovering and promoting digital literacy and innovating through humanities-based inquiry using new technology.

Though the Peace Collection is mainly utilized for research purposes, it also has its eclectic side, with unique items such as banners from women’s suffrage marches, photographs of the Vietnam War, anti-war bumper stickers, a piece of the Soviet missile destroyed in Saryozek in 1988, and even a small portion of the Berlin Wall. The online database, Triptych, provides digitized versions of over 1,700 buttons, pins, and ribbons from peace organizations over the last 130 years, as well as many other items.

The Peace Collection hosts a variety of lectures and exhibits with McCabe Library and the Friends Historical Library, such as last year’s exhibit on Bayard Rustin, a peace activist and organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, and a recent lecture about Roy Kepler, founder of Kepler’s Books in California and a prominent member of the public radio station KPFA. Chmielewski also hopes to host an event commemorating the upcoming 100th anniversary of WWI.

With its historical treasures and materials, the Peace Collection offers up a distinctive slice of national and international history on peace and social justice.

 


Mighty Streams: What King’s Intellectual and Political Influences Have to Teach us Today

Eliot RatzmanElliot Ratzman, Visiting Professor in the Department of Religion, will be the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day luncheon. King the activist was informed by King the scholar. The speeches, sermons, and strategies of the Civil Rights Movement were in large part shaped by the vibrant ideas King wrestled with during his education at Morehouse College, Crozier Seminary and Boston University. The books he read and the scholar-activists he was inspired by shed a different light on King’s works and legacy. Those thinkers on King’s bookshelf were also themselves activists for justice, peace, and equality. As we celebrate King’s life and rededicate our own commitments to justice, come hear what these “mighty streams” have to teach us for our own struggles.

Elliot Ratzman is a visiting professor in the Religion Department teaching courses in the modern philosophical, political and ethical dimensions of religious traditions. Since college, Ratzman has been involved with movements for economic justice, Middle East peace, and human rights. He is finishing a memoir on academics and activism in Israel called “After Zion” and writing a monograph about the genre known as “immersion journalism” where journalists experiment with living for a time as “the Other” as in the classic Black Like Me and Nickel and Dimed. Ratzman’s course, “Religious Radicals: The Theological-Political Martin Luther King Jr” is the basis for a book project on King’s intellectual influences. Contact him at elratzman@gmail.com.

Location Information:

*Swarthmore College – Clothier

Room: Tarble-in-Clothier All-Campus Space

Contact Information:

Name: Naudia Williams

Email: nwillia1@swarthmore.edu