Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Collection MS 185
MS 185  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (99.90 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
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.
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.
5.5 Linear feet (9 boxes)
The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.
This collection is open for research.