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Register of the Irwin Abrams Papers
83025  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Related Collection(s)
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Irwin Abrams papers
    Date (inclusive): 1900-2005
    Collection Number: 83025
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 38 manuscript boxes, 1 card file box (16.1 linear feet)
    Abstract: Speeches and writings, correspondence, reports, minutes, bulletins, newsletters, curricular material, and other printed matter, relating to activities of the American Friends Service Committee, international volunteer work camps, conscientious objection during World War II, education in Germany, international educational and cultural exchanges, especially between the United States and East and West Germany, and the Nobel Peace Prize.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Abrams, Irwin, 1914-2010

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Irwin Abrams papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1983.

    Accruals

    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Related Collection(s)

    Irwin Abrams Papers, Swarthmore College Peace Collection

    Biographical Note

    1914, February 24 Born, San Francisco, California
    1934 B.A., Stanford University
    1935 M.A., Harvard University
    1938 Ph.D., Harvard University
    1938-1943 Instructor, Department of History, Stanford University
    1943-1946 Director of Training, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
    1946-1947 Director, Quaker Overseas Work Camps (AFSC)
    1947-1949 Assistant Professor, Department of History, Antioch University
    1949-1951 Associate Professor, Department of History, Antioch University
    1951-1979 Professor, Department of History, Antioch University
    1953 Specialist, Exchange Program, U.S. State Department, Germany
    1955-1971 Member, Board of Directors, Antioch Review
    1956-1957 Chairman, International Student Seminars, AFSC, Switzerland and Yugoslavia
    1956-1964 Educational Director, Shipboard Programs of Council on Student Travel
    1961 Fulbright Lecturer, University of Cologne, Germany
    1964 Chairman, International Student Seminars, AFSC, Hungary
    1965-1967 Director, Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) Seminars, Yugoslavia
    1970 Co-director, GLCA Seminars
    1970-1973 Member, Board of Directors, Council on International Educational Exchange
    1972 Coordinator, Curriculum Materials Team, GLCA Seminars
    1972-1975 Director, GLCA-Antioch European Team in Comparative Urban Studies
    1976 Co-director, Task Force on International Education of International City Management Association
    1976-1978 Vice president, International Society for Educational, Cultural and Scientific Interchanges (ISECSI)
    1978-1982 President, ISECSI
    1979 Co-chairman, Project on International Exchange Research of German Academic Exchange Service and ISECSI
    1979-1981 Distinguished University Professor, Antioch University
    1981- Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Antioch University
    1988 Author, The Nobel Peace Prize and the Laureates, 1901-1987
    1990 Editor, Worlds of Peace

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Irwin Abrams papers contain speeches and writings, correspondence, reports, minutes, bulletins, newsletters, curricular material, and other printed matter related to activities of the American Friends Service Committee, international volunteer work camps, conscientious objection during World War II, education in Germany, international educational and cultural exchanges, especially between the United States and East and West Germany, and the Nobel Peace Prize.
    Irwin Abrams, a peace scholar and historian, influenced the field of peace studies from the beginning of his career. In 1936, Abrams traveled to Europe to do research for his dissertation, A History of European Peace Societies, 1867-1899. Although the dissertation won the Charles Sumner Peace Prize in 1938 and was often quoted by scholars, the paper was never published in its entirety.
    As a Quaker, pacifist, and conscientious objector during World War II, Abrams was committed to fostering peace through relief work and educational exchange programs. He wrote, "I became convinced that to change the world you had to change yourself." During World War II, Abrams left his teaching position at Stanford to work with the American Friends Service Committee, where he served as Director of Training from 1943 to 1946 and directed relief work camps in Europe from 1946 to 1947. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) File contains correspondence, diaries, memoranda, bulletins, and notes related to relief work and conscientious objectors. Of note are two travel diaries from AFSC missions--one from 1946 documenting volunteer work camps to rebuild after World War II, the other from a 1963 mission to Germany, where AFSC members visited East and West Berlin, as well as other parts of Germany, shortly after the construction of the Berlin Wall. The 1963 journal includes notes on meetings with government officials.
    Throughout his career, Abrams wrote about issues of peace. After the publication of The Nobel Peace Prize and the Laureates, 1901-1987, Abrams became known as a leading authority on the subject. Throughout his life, he met many of the peace laureates, including the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Willy Brandt, Jimmy Carter, Jose Ramos-Horta, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The collection includes Abrams' Speeches and Writings on peace, ethics, and educational exchange programs. See also Incremental Materials for speeches and writings from the 1990s and 2000s.
    In 1981, Abrams interviewed Adolf Ciborowski, Chief Architect of Warsaw, who helped rebuild the city after World War II. A recording of this interview is available in the Sound Recordings. Please note that a use copy is available.
    In addition to being a peace scholar and professor, Abrams collected materials related to peace and international education. Over the years, Abrams sent many increments of materials to his collection at the Hoover Institution Archives. A large group of these materials was processed in 2017. The Incremental Materials are arranged in nine groups, some of which are continuations of series in the original accession of materials.
    Within the Incremental Materials, the Academic Career and Peace Organizations File documents Abrams' work as a history professor, peace scholar, and advocate for peace. His work in academia often overlapped with his commitment to creating a more peaceful world, which is perhaps most clearly exemplified by his involvement with study abroad programs. This file includes correspondence, reports, notes, and evaluations related to Abrams' teaching career at Stanford University and Antioch College, his involvement in educational exchange groups, and materials related to his work for peace organizations. See also the Subject File of the original accession for more material related to Abrams' work with peace organizations, educational exchange programs with the Great Lakes College Association, and Antioch College international education programs.
    These materials also include a variety of printed matter related to peace and international education, including World War II era pamphlets.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American Friends Service Committee.
    Education--Germany.
    Education.
    Germany (East)--Relations--United States.
    Germany (West)--Relations--United States.
    Germany.
    Intellectual cooperation.
    International education.
    Nobel Prizes.
    Peace.
    United States--Foreign relations.
    United States--Relations--Germany (East)
    United States--Relations--Germany (West)
    Volunteer workers in community development.
    Work camps.
    World War, 1939-1945--Conscientious objectors.
    World War, 1939-1945--United States.
    World War, 1939-1945.