Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Irwin Abrams papers
Date (inclusive): 1900-2005
Collection Number: 83025
Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material:
38 manuscript boxes, 1 card file box
(16.1 linear feet)
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.
Hoover Institution Archives
Abrams, Irwin, 1914-2010
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.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives
[Identification of item], Irwin Abrams papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1983.
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
. 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.
Irwin Abrams Papers, Swarthmore College Peace Collection
|1914, February 24
||Born, San Francisco, California
||B.A., Stanford University
||M.A., Harvard University
||Ph.D., Harvard University
||Instructor, Department of History, Stanford University
||Director of Training, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
||Director, Quaker Overseas Work Camps (AFSC)
||Assistant Professor, Department of History, Antioch University
||Associate Professor, Department of History, Antioch University
||Professor, Department of History, Antioch University
||Specialist, Exchange Program, U.S. State Department, Germany
||Member, Board of Directors,
||Chairman, International Student Seminars, AFSC, Switzerland and Yugoslavia
||Educational Director, Shipboard Programs of Council on Student Travel
||Fulbright Lecturer, University of Cologne, Germany
||Chairman, International Student Seminars, AFSC, Hungary
||Director, Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) Seminars, Yugoslavia
||Co-director, GLCA Seminars
||Member, Board of Directors, Council on International Educational Exchange
||Coordinator, Curriculum Materials Team, GLCA Seminars
||Director, GLCA-Antioch European Team in Comparative Urban Studies
||Co-director, Task Force on International Education of International City Management Association
||Vice president, International Society for Educational, Cultural and Scientific Interchanges (ISECSI)
||Co-chairman, Project on International Exchange Research of German Academic Exchange Service and ISECSI
||Distinguished University Professor, Antioch University
||Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Antioch University
The Nobel Peace Prize and the Laureates, 1901-1987
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
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.
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.
Germany (East)--Relations--United States.
Germany (West)--Relations--United States.
United States--Foreign relations.
United States--Relations--Germany (East)
United States--Relations--Germany (West)
Volunteer workers in community development.
World War, 1939-1945--Conscientious objectors.
World War, 1939-1945--United States.
World War, 1939-1945.