Guide to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Collection MS 185

Finding aid prepared by Katrina White
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
September 6, 2012

Title: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS 185
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 5.5 Linear feet (9 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1922-1985
Abstract: This collection contains the papers of the San Diego branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) from 1925 through its closure in 1991.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English, Spanish, and Russian.
creator: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Katrina White on September 6, 2012.
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Preferred Citation

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Collection, MS 185, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) was established as an international peace organization at The Hague in 1915; the U.S. delegation was led by Jane Addams. The delegates advocated a Society of Nations, universal disarmament, and the end of World War I through continuous peaceful mediation by a commission of neutral parties. Since its founding, the WILPF has had as its core motivation: “unit[ing] women in many countries who work by democratic and nonviolent means to remove the causes of war and to create the conditions in which peace and freedom can flourish.” The WILPF was brought to San Diego by Helen Marston (who later became Helen Marston Beardsley) in 1924. Helen (b. 1892; d. 1982) was the youngest daughter of George White Marston, a wealthy San Diego businessman and civic activist. It was during her studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts that Helen became interested in political reform. After college, she spent time volunteering and teaching, but ultimately found that her passion was in politics and the struggle for peace. While in Europe working to alleviate some of the suffering caused by WWI, she attended the third international congress of WILPF in 1921. She returned to San Diego and in 1924, started the WILPF San Diego Chapter. Since then the local WILPF has been active in educational programs involving subjects as diverse as nonviolent resistance and the social structure of China. The main activities of the WILPF have included sponsoring conferences and ongoing community discussions, peace rallies, correspondence campaigns and educational exhibits.

Scope and Content

This collection includes papers related to the San Diego branch of the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom (WILPF) throughout its existence from 1925 to 1991. It contains administrative, financial and membership documents as well as correspondence and ephemera related to WILPF local, national and international events and causes. Items of note include the personal correspondence of Helen Marston Beardsley and Florence Stevens, an original signed letter by Cesar Chavez, and photographs of Beardsley and other prominent San Diegans.


Collection is arranged by series:
Series I: WILPF - San Diego Branch Papers
Series II: WILPF - National / International Papers
Series III: WILPF - Sponsored Events
Series IV: U.S.-Soviet Women’s Conference
Series V: Research Resources
Series VI: Florence Stevens Papers
Series VII: Helen Marston Beardsley Papers
Items in each series are arranged by subject.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers 860920A, 890809, 920709.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Addams, Jane, 1860-1935
Arms Control Association (Washington, D.C.).
Balch, Emily
Ballantyne, Edith
Bates, Jim
Beardsley, George Marston
Beardsley, Helen Marston
Beardsley, John
Bishop, Helen
Bishop, Jane
Boehm, Marjorie
Boulding, Elise
Bowring, Ursula
Brown, Edmund G. (Edmund Gerald), 1905-1996
Burgener, Clair W.
Camp, Kay
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Chalmers, Ruth
Chavez, Cesar, 1927-1993
Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft (San Diego, Calif.).
Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation.
Conyers, John, 1929-
Cranston, Alan, 1914-2000
D'Vincent, Donna
Delaney, Patricia
Edwards, Don, 1915-
Filner, Barbara
First Unitarian Church (San Diego, Calif.).
Frank, Libby
General Dynamics Corporation. Convair Division.
Guthrie, David W.
Halper, Leah
Hamilton, Alice, 1869-1970
Harper, Frank
Harper, J. C. (Jacob Chandler), 1858-1939
Harper, Liliane
Hasegawa, Marii
Hatcher, Richard G., 1933-
Hatfield, Mark O., 1922-2011
Headley, Harriet
Hoskins, Alice B.
Huerta, Dolores, 1930-
Hunter, Duncan, 1948-
Imutan, Andy
Inouye, Daniel K., 1924-
Johnson, Glenna
Keller, Helen, 1880-1968
Korman, Phyllis
Kraus, Phyllis
Lessner, Milton
Linton, Etta
Livingston, Millie
Lowery, Bill, 1947-
Mandeville, Ernest W. (Ernest Wyckoff), 1896-
McClure, James A.
Midgley, Jane
Mobilization for Peace, Jobs and Justice (Organization).
New Hope Foundation.
Olmstead, Mildred Scott
Pendell, Ann Chalmers
Pendell, Carol
Physicians for Social Responsibility (U.S.).
Plastas, Melinda
Progress for Labor San Diego.
Reagan, Ronald
Reynolds, Barbara (Barbara Leonard)
Reynolds, Jessica
Rhoads, Anne
Rider, Pam
Schroeder, Pat
Scripps, Ellen Browning, 1836-1932
Seagall, Edith
Seneca Army Depot.
Sevigny, Therese P.
Shapiro, Sylvia
Sills, Joe
Simmons, Robert (Bob)
Somerville, Rose M. (Rose Maurer), 1908-
Steffens, Dorothy R.
Steinmetz, Doris
Steinmetz, Harry
Stevens, Florence
Stevens, Robert
Taller, Dolores S.
United Nations Association.
United States Institute of Peace.
Vogel, Robert
Walshok, Mary Lindenstein
Whitney, Norman J. (Norman Jehiel), 1891-1967
Wickler, Beth
Women's History Reclamation Project.
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
Arms control
Nuclear weapons
San Diego (Calif.)
Soviet Union
Women -- Societies and clubs
Women political activists


Series I: WILPF - San Diego Branch Papers

Box-folder 1:1

History of San Diego branch, 1981 December and undated


Several versions of a history of the WILPF International and San Diego branch written by Helen Marston Beardsley.
Box-folder 1:2

Constitution and by-laws, 1962 April-1982 May

Box-folder 1:3

Administration, 1976-1988 and undated

Box-folder 1:4

Membership records, 1971 June-1981 April


Membership directory
Obituaries and memorial service programs for WILPF members
Box-folder 1:5

Board meeting minutes, 1973 May-1975 September

Box-folder 1:6

Board meeting minutes (bound volume), 1976 January-1978 May

Box-folder 1:7

Board meeting minutes, 1978 May-1981 October

Box-folder 1:8

Board meeting minutes, 1984 June-1991 October

Box-folder 1:9

Financial records: Treasurer's reports, 1965-1989

Box-folder 1:10

Financial records: revenue and debt records (notebook), 1983-1988

Box-folder 1:11

Financial records: disbursement and revenue records (two notebooks), 1986-1990

Box-folder 1:12

Financial records: miscellanea, 1976-1991

Box-folder 1:13

Speeches and position papers, 1977 November-1986 October


Transcript of a speech by Florence Stevens: “Women in the Peace Movement – The Limitations and Challenges,” September 1986
Box-folder 1:14

Correspondence: internal, 1970 May-1982 March

Box-folder 2:1

Correspondence: internal, 1982 April-1985 November

Box-folder 2:2

Correspondence: internal, 1986 January-1987 September

Box-folder 2:3

Correspondence: internal, 1987 October-1991 August and undated

Box-folder 2:4

Correspondence: financial, 1980 September-1991 May and undated

Box-folder 2:5

Correspondence: local causes and issues, 1980 January-1984 August

Box-folder 2:6

Correspondence: local causes and issues, 1984 October-1990 August and undated

Box-folder 2:7

Correspondence: political figures, 1969 March-1980 December


Correspondence with politicians including President Carter, Senator Alan Cranston, and Senator S.I. Hayakawa.
Box-folder 2:8

Correspondence: political figures, 1981 January-1982 December


Correspondence with politicians including President Reagan, Pete Wilson, Governor Edmund Brown and Congressmen Duncan Hunter, Jim Bates,and Bill Lowry.
Box-folder 2:9

Correspondence: political figures, 1983 February-1990 September and undated


Correspondence with politicians including Pete Wilson, Congressman Jim Bates, and Congressman Bill Lowry.
Box-folder 2:10

Correspondence: thank you letters, 1980 January-1990 March and undated

Box-folder 3:1

Correspondence: miscellanea, 1980 August-1985 November

Box-folder 3:2

Correspondence: miscellanea, 1986 January-1990 March and undated

Box-folder 3:3

Peace Information Center, 1962 June-1989 May and undated


Documents from the Peace Information Center, formerly the Peace Resource Center, which is a storefront founded by WILPF that provides resources to the public regarding nonviolence.
Box-folder 3:4

Events, 1981 February-1990 November


Speech and program from awards ceremony for the Helen Beardsley Award presented to Rev. Dr. Richard Shanor, October 5, 1986
Community Peacemaker Awards program including Carol Jahnkow (education director of Peace Resource Center) as an Honoree, March 30, 1989
Box-folder 3:5

Newsletters, 1980 January-1986 December

Box-folder 3:6

Newsletters, 1987 January-1991 October

Box-folder 3:7

Press releases, 1980 January-1984 March

Box-folder 3:8

News articles, 1965 October-1989 May and undated

Box-folder 3:9

"Letters to the Editor," 1981 March-1989 June and undated

Scope and Content

Intellectual dialogue between WILPF-San Diego members and community members through Letters to the Editor in both the San Diego Union and the Los Angeles Times. Includes letters to the editor regarding the controversy surrounding the State Department’s identification of WILPF as a Soviet supported organization.
Box-folder 3:10

Ephemera, 1969 December-1987 November

Box-folder 3:11

Ephemera, 1988 January-1989 June and undated

Box-folder 9:1

Scrapbook, 1981 June-1983 June


News articles
Photographs of WILPF-San Diego related activities
Box-folder 9:2

Scrapbook, 1983 May-1985 May


News articles
Photographs of WILPF-San Diego related activities
Box-folder 3:12

Photographs, 1980-1984 and undated


Photos of WILPF members at Rally Against the Draft, March 22, 1980
Photos of WILPF 65th Anniversary honoring Beardsley , 1980
Photos of WILPF members at Balboa Park Peace Rally, undated
Photos of Silent Peace Vigil in La Jolla, undated
Box-folder 3:13

Miscellanea, 1969 June-1985 June and undated


Business cards
Handwritten notes
Publication order form
"San Diego Tour" narration, June 21, 1969
San Diego City Council meeting resolutions on agenda, June 10, 1985
San Diego Unified School District Directory pamphlet, 1981-1982

Series II: WILPF - National / International Papers

Box-folder 4:1

History of organization, 1921 September-1981 December and undated

Box-folder 4:2

Administration, 1915 April-1986 July and undated

Box-folder 4:3

Position statements, 1929-1990 and undated


Resolution of a Moratorium on Nuclear Power Development for War and Peaceful Purposes, June 18, 1973
Position Paper for International Year of the Child, January 15, 1979
WILPF U.S. Section Statement on the Middle East Crisis, September 5, 1990
What Constitutes Security in Central America?, undated
Border Relations Resolution, undated
Box-folder 4:4

WILPF newsletters, bulletins and periodicals, 1924-1986 and undated


The Peace Protocol, WILPF British Section Newsletter, November 1924
Pax International, WILPF International Newsletter, September 1929
Four Lights, WILPF U.S. Section Newsletter, May 1945
WILPF Record, Published on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of WILPF, October 15, 1965
Multiple volumes of Peace and Freedom (formerly Four Lights), 1973-1986

Series III: WILPF - Sponsored Events

Box-folder 4:5

WILPF Western Regional Conference 1980, 1979 July-1980 August and undated

Box-folder 4:6

WILPF Video Project, 1981 February-1982 May and undated

Box-folder 4:7

WILPF Western Regional Conference 1984, 1983 May-1984 June and undated

Box-folder 4:8

WILPF 70th Anniversary, 1940-1985 and undated


Cassette tape with recording of San Diego chapter’s celebration event, April 25, 1985
Copy of original WILPF Preamble and Resolutions adopted 1915
Box-folder 4:9

ABC Campaign, 1988 June-November and undated


ABC Campaign poster (in Oversize Collections D7)
Box-folder 4:10

Action Conference on National Priorities, 1965 July-1969 April and undated

Box-folder 4:11

Conference on Nonviolence: planning, 1967 January-1968 November and undated

Box-folder 5:1

Conference on Nonviolence: correspondence, 1967 July-1968 March and undated

Box-folder 5:2

Conference on Nonviolence: polls on conference, 1967 December and undated

Box-folder 5:3

Effects and Dangers of Nuclear War Exhibit and Conference, 1981-1982 and undated


Photo display (in Oversize Collections D7)
Box-folder 5:4

Forces of Change Conference, 1966 February-March and undated

Box-folder 5:5

Guns to Butter Conference, 1971 January-December and undated

Box-folder 5:6

Hiroshima Peace Pigrimage, 1962 March-August and undated


Two crayon illustrations by 3rd grade Del Mar students (in Oversize Collections D7)
Box-folder 5:7

Imperial Valley strikes, 1934 January-March

Box-folder 5:8

Listen to Women for a Change Campaign and Poll: planning and research, 1983 July-1984 September and undated

Box-folder 5:9

Listen to Women for a Change Campaign and Poll: correspondence, 1983 November-1984 October and undated

Box-folder 5:10

Listen to Women for a Change Campaign and Poll: questionnaires and results, 1984 February-October and undated

Box-folder 5:11

Mother's Day Action Conferences, 1987 May-1988 May

Box-folder 5:12

Politican Poll Project, 1982 July-October and undated

Box-folder 5:13

San Diego Peace March, 1969 November and undated

Box-folder 5:14

Speaking tours: Edith Ballantyne, 1985 May-October and undated

Box-folder 5:15

Speaking tours: Kay Camp, 1981 May-November and undated

Box-folder 5:16

Speaking tours: Sonia Sanchez, planning and research, 1986 November-1987 April and undated

Box-folder 5:17

Speaking tours: Sonia Sanchez, correspondence and event evaluations, 1986 December-1987 April and undated

Box-folder 6:1

Speaking tours: recordings and articles, 1985 September-1987 June and undated


Three cassette tapes with recordings of speakers Raquel Beltran, Nica Bell and Sonia Sanchez, April 6, 1987
Box-folder 6:2

STAR Campaign, 1982 January-April and undated

Box-folder 6:3

Symposium on World Peace and Disarmament, 1985 February

Box-folder 6:4

Turn Toward Peace Movement, 1962 March-1968 June and undated

Box-folder 6:5

What is Real Security? Workshop, 1986 February-1987 November and undated


“What is Security?” poster, April 6-21, 1987 (in Oversize Collections D7)

Series IV: U.S.-Soviet Women's Conference

Box-folder 6:6

Conference planning (some in Russian), 1961 November-1972 December and undated

Box-folder 6:7

Finances, 1960 December-1973 July and undated

Box-folder 6:8

Position papers and statements, 1972 November-1973 October and undated

Box-folder 6:9

Conference booklet, 1972 November-December

Box-folder 6:10

Correspondence: internal WILPF, 1972 February-November and undated

Box-folder 6:11

Correspondence: Russian delegates, 1972 March-December

Box-folder 6:12

Correspondence: outside organizations, 1972 July-November


Correspondence with Community Television of Southern California, the Embassy of the USSR, Grayson Express Musical Group, and administrators and faculty from several University of California campuses, among others.
Box-folder 7:1

Correspondence: post-conference (some in Russian), 1972 December-1973 July and undated

Box-folder 7:2

Educational materials, 1970-1972

Box-folder 7:3

Articles, 1972 June-1973 January and undated

Box-folder 7:4

Photographs, 1972-1973 and undated


Series V: Research Resources

Box-folder 7:5

Anti-ballistic missiles and other weapons, 1968 December-1982 August and undated

Box-folder 7:6

Arms control and disarmament, 1969 March-1988 August and undated

Box-folder 7:7

China and Communism, 1965 and undated

Box-folder 7:8

Draft resistance, 1961 February-1980 April and undated

Box-folder 7:9

Economic conversion and budget issues, 1967-1969

Box-folder 7:10

Economic conversion and budget issues, 1969-1986 and undated

Box-folder 7:11

Elections, 1982 September-1986 February

Box-folder 7:12

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968 April-1983 August

Box-folder 7:13

Latin American issues, 1966 February-1987 December and undated


Los Angeles Times Opinion section on “A Year that Proved the Futility of Reform by Violent Revolution,” December 31, 1967 (in Oversize Collections D7)
Box-folder 7:14

Military, 1981 February-1986 June and undated

Box-folder 7:15

Native Americans, 1968 June and undated

Box-folder 8:1

Nonviolence: research materials, 1965 June-1968 June and undated

Box-folder 8:2

Nonviolence: newspaper articles, 1966-1968


Manchester Guardian Weekly (Special Air Edition), June 30, 1966; May 4, 1967; July 27, 1967; and August 10, 1967 (in Box 9, folder 3)
Box-folder 8:3

Nuclear waste, 1979 October-1986 May and undated

Box-folder 8:4

Poverty and welfare, 1966 February-1986 April

Box-folder 8:5

United Farm Workers, 1968 April-May and undated


Original letter signed by Cesar Chavez, April-May 1968
Box-folder 8:6

United Nations and international issues, 1966 February-March and undated

Box-folder 8:7

United States politics, 1981 May-1986 February

Box-folder 8:8

Vietnam protests, 1969-1973 and undated

Box-folder 8:9

Miscellaneous articles, 1966 March and undated

Box-folder 8:10

Miscellaneous publications, 1932-1988


The Etude, March 1932 (in Box 9, folder 3)
Post, July 29, 1950 (in Box 9, folder 3)
Collier’s on “Hiroshima, U.S.A.,” August 5, 1950 (in Box 9, folder 3)
The New York Review of Books on “Violence and the Negro,” August 24, 1967 (in Box 9, folder 4)
San Diego Newsline, May 7-13, 1980; March 31, 1987; and April 7, 1987 (in Box 9, folder 4)
Plowshare Press, Summer 1985 (in Box 9, folder 4)
The Telescope, A Publication of the Associated Students (Palomar College), March 2, 1971; March 23, 1971; April 20, 1971; and May 7, 1971 (in Oversize Collections D7)
Los Angeles Times Opinion section, Interpretation Perspective: News in Review Editorials, May 26, 1968 (in Oversize Collections D7)
Box-folder 8:11

Miscellaneous publications, undated


Series VI: Florence Stevens Papers

Box-folder 8:12

Personal papers, 1962 November-1988 April and undated


Speeches drafts
Handwritten notes
Box-folder 8:13

Correspondence, 1962 April-1982 February and undated


Letter to President Kennedy, April 10, 1962
Handwritten letter from Stevens to her children, February 1966
Correspondence with Helen Marston Beardsley, February-April, 1980

Series VII: Helen Marston Beardsley Papers

Box-folder 8:14

Personal papers, 1935-1982 and undated


Biographies on Beardsley
Statements for WILPF written by Beardsley
Handwritten notes
Box-folder 8:15

Correspondence, 1921 August-1982 July and undated


Copy of letter from Beardsley to mother, August 2, 1921
Letter from Jane Addams, May 14, 1929
Correspondence with J.C. Harper, November–December 1929
Letter from Helen Keller, June 13, 1938
Correspondence with Florence Stevens, February 1980–December 1981
Box-folder 8:16

Articles, 1930 April-1988 April and undated


Copy of article by Beardsley in The Open Forum, “A Woman Views Imperial Valley,” March 3, 1934
Original copy of San Diego Reader feature on “The Marstons of San Diego: We’ve Always Looked After Our City,” February 7, 1980 (in Box 9, folder 4)
Obituary for Beardsley in San Diego Union, February 23, 1982
Copy of San Diego Union article, “Memories of the Marstons,” April 20, 1988
Box-folder 8:17

Miscellanea, 1980 and undated


Tape cassette recording of Beardsley’s talk at WILPF 65th Anniversary celebration, 1980
Photograph of young Beardsley, undated
Photograph of elder Beardsley at awards luncheon, undated