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Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Collection
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Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Contents
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Preservation Copies
  • Sponsor
  • Digital Collection

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Archive of Recorded Sound
    Title: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Collection
    Creator: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
    Identifier/Call Number: ARS.0056
    Identifier/Call Number: 693
    Physical Description: 14 box(es) 242 audiocassettes ; 38 7" open reel tapes; photographs, transcripts; supplemental print materials; related monographs
    Date: 1967-1989
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Location: Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-3076
    Abstract: The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Collection contains oral history interviews on audiocassettes and reel-to-reel tapes, transcripts (full and excerpts), photographs, and supplemental materials and related monographs.


    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.


    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

    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 WILPF 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 trained student and volunteer interviewers, coordinated and funded the national project with support of the Jane Addams Peace Association and individual donations, and collected and arranged the materials now housed at the Archive of Recorded Sound. The interviewees include 'rank and file' as well as prominent members who have held state, national, and international leadership positions in WILPF and Women Strike for Peace (many were active in both). With a few exceptions, older women (over 60) were interviewed because of their years of involvement in peace and justice issues. Those who are still alive in the year this collection was processed by the ARS are still dedicated activists in their late 80's and 90's.

    Biographical/Historical note

    WILPF had its roots in the U. S. Women's Peace party, and was founded in 1915 by 1300 women from neutral and warring nations who met in the Hague, Netherlands to try to negotiate the end of the war, send envoys from their group to nations at war and the U.S., and to urge peaceful resolution and 'continuous mediation' to avoid future conflicts. WILPF's second congress met in Versailles in 1919 where the peace terms were negotiated, and the women's congress made several long-term resolutions for disarmament, gender equality, and for a world body to negotiate peaceful settlement of conflicts (although WILPF was critical of the League of Nations). President Wilson used many of their proposals in his 14 Point Peace Plan.
    Jane Addams, named the first president of WILPF, became the second woman (and the first American woman) to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. Longtime WILPF board member Emily Greene Balch also won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1946.
    The U.S. section of WILPF opposed U.S. participation in WWII (although members supported the troops). In the 1950s, WILPF members rallied against the HUAC hearings. WILPF worked against nuclear testing, and many members also joined the grassroots Women Strike for Peace, a less hierarchical peace-action group. In the 1960s, WILPF was a critical force in the anti-Vietnam War movement. WILPF continues to take a strong stand on issues related to peace and women's equality as a U.N. Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).
    The Women's Peace Oral History project was organized by Judith Porter Adams, who began the project in 1979, to celebrate WILPF's 70th anniversary. The project interviewed ninety older women from local California and other states' branches. Adams, her students at Stanford and San Jose State, and volunteers conducted the interviews. The project's goal was to preserve the stories of how the women became committed to peace and justice issues, and what sustained them over their lifetime of activism."

    Preservation Copies

    See also WILPF Oral History Project tapes in Preservation Master Tape Collection, ARS0097.


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

    Digital Collection

    All interviews from this collection have been digitized. Many of these are available to stream or download via Stanford's library catalog, Searchworks http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/6757885.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Women Strike for Peace
    Women's International League for Peace and Freedom