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Guide to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Collection ARS.0056
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Sponsor

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Collection
    Dates: 1967-1989
    Collection number: ARS.0056
    Collection size: 13 boxes : 232 audiocassettes ; 38 7" open reel tapes
    Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound
    Abstract: The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Collection contains oral history interviews on audiocassettes, transcripts, and other supplemental materials on active members of WILPF and Women's Strike for Peace (WSP).
    Language of Material: English
    Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-3076


    Collection is open for research. Listening appointments may require 24 hours notice. Contact the Archive Operations Manager.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.

    Preferred Citation

    Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Collection, ARS.0056. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA.

    Biographical/Historical note

    The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom was founded in 1915 in Washington D.C., and was originally called the Women's Peace Party. In 1931 WILPF's president, Jane Addams, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She was the first American woman to ever win the prize. The U.S. section of WILPF opposed U.S. participation in WWII even though they lost members and the government's participation had widespread popular support. In the 1950s, WILPF refused to ban communists from their membership. In the 1960s, WILPF was a critical force in the anti-war movement, pushing to end the war in Vietnam. Today, WILPF continues to take strong stances on issues related to peace and women's equality. The Women's Peace Oral History project was organized by Judith Porter Adams, who began the project in 1979 with, "an old tape recorder held on my lap in a noisy Peace Center office, constantly interrupted by the phone." The project identified women over sixty to interview who had been active in WILPF or other peace organizations a significant portion of their lives. The project thus sought to preserve the stories of those with the greatest amount of historical experience in peace work.

    Scope and Contents

    The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Collection consists of 232 audiocassettes housed in 7 boxes and 38 7" open reel tapes housed in 2 boxes. The collection also contains supplemental print and manuscript materials housed in 4 boxes. The oral history interviews that comprise the collection were recorded between roughly 1979 and 1989. Some of the 7" open reel tapes contain recordings of the 1967 National Conference at Asilomar. The print and manuscript material have varied date ranges. The interviews are the product of the Women's Peace Oral History project, which began in 1979. As the director of the Women's Peace Oral History project, Judith Porter Adams was instrumental to the creation of these interviews, as well as their collection and arrangement at the Archive of Recorded Sound. Adams' book, "Peacework: Oral Histories of Women Peace Activists," is also a part of the collection. The interviewees represent both "rank-in-file" and prominent members who have held national and international leadership positions in WILPF and WSP (most of the women were active in both organizations), with a few exceptions: for example, Linus Pauling, who was interviewed about his wife, Ava Helen Pauling, an active member of both WILPF and WSP; and WILPF member Alice Cox's mother, Helen Perrin. Many are Quakers. Older women were frequently chosen by the project because of their years of experience; many of these women are now deceased. Interviewees discuss their involvement in the peace movement and peace activities, as well as their personal histories. Transcripts of some of the interviews are included with the paper materials.


    1. San Jose Chapter 2. San Francisco East Bay Chapter 3. Palo Alto Chapter 4. Santa Cruz Chapter 5. Outside of California 6. Class Presentations 7. WILPF 1967 National Conference at Asilomar, CA 8. Supplemental Materials 9. Monographs


    This finding aid was produced with generous financial support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.