Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Helen Mears Papers, 1862-1981

Collection: DG 210


Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
U.S.A.
Telephone: (610) 328-8557 (Curator)
Fax: (610) 328-8544
Email: wchmiel1@swarthmore.edu (Curator)
URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/


Descriptive Summary
Repository
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Creator
Mears, Helen (1900 - 1989)
Title
Helen Mears Papers
Inclusive Dates
1862-1981
Call Number
DG 210

Language of Materials
Materials in English
Extent
.75 linear feet [papers only]
Abstract
Helen Mears was a writer and journalist, especially interested in Japan and Asia.  Mears first traveled to China in 1925 and ten years later Mears spent nine months in Japan. Out of the trip to Japan she published two books and a series of essays that appeared in The New Yorker. Mears traveled throughout Asia, the Soviet Union, Europe, and parts of South America. After World War II Mears traveled again to Japan served in an official capacity as a member of the U.S. labor advisory committee. From the 1950s through the 1960s Mears wrote occasional articles on southeast Asia, critiquing European and U.S. involvement there. Mears was a board member of the War Resisters League in the 1950s and worked against the H-Bomb. Helen Mears published several books on Japan. These include: Mirror for Americans, Japan, Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1948; Year of the Wild Boar: an American Woman in Japan in 1947.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
None
Usage Restrictions
None
Alternate Form of Material
None
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Katrina Natanagara, 2001
Processing Information
Temporary checklist was prepared by Wendy E. Chmielewski, March 2005; This finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi- Malone, August 2009
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Helen Mears Papers (DG 210), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law

Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record


Historical Background
Helen Mears was a writer and journalist, especially interested in Japan and Asia.  She was born November 1, 1900 and her family lived in Towanda, Pennsylvania. Mears graduated from Goucher College in 1922. She was married briefly to Burton LeDoux, but that relationship ended in 1935. Mears first traveled to China in 1925, spending a year in Beijing. Ten years later Mears spent nine months in Japan. Out of the trip to Japan she published two books and a series of essays that appeared in The New Yorker. Mears traveled throughout Asia, the Soviet Union, Europe, and parts of South America. After World War II Mears traveled again to Japan served in an official capacity as a member of the U.S. labor advisory committee. Out of this trip Mears wrote her most political work on international relations of Asia with the West. From the 1950s through the 1960s Mears wrote occasional articles on Vietnam, critiquing European and U.S. involvement there. Mears was a board member of the War Resisters League in the 1950s and worked against the H-Bomb. She was also interested in civil rights issues. Mears lived most of her adult life in New York City and died there in 1989.

Helen Mears published several books on Japan. These include: Mirror for Americans, Japan, Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1948; Year of the Wild Boar: an American Woman in Japan / by Helen Mears  Publisher, Philadelphia, New York, J. B. Lippincott company [1942]; The first book of Japan /Publication:  E. Ward, 1964 Description: 69 p. : p., ill. ;, 22 cm. Note:  For children. Originally published, Watts, 1953. with drawings by Kathleen Elgin. Mirror for Americans and Year of the Wild Boar were later translated into Japanese. Mears also published articles in many newspapers and national magazines including The Nation, the Wall Street Journal, The Witness, the Christian Science Monitor, Liberation, and The Progressive.

Collection Overview
The papers of Helen Mears include biographical and autobiographical materials. There are diaries, correspondence, and writings from her trips to Asia. These papers also include some professional writings and correspondence with editors and others about this work.

 



Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
Projects, current, letters to editors
Biographical information "Helen Mears, Asia and American Asianists," 1981
Projects, current, letters to editors, Part II
Helen Mears, re: Japan-diary, letters, manuscripts
Helen Mears-manuscripts re: Japan
Correspondence, 1953-1961
Correspondence, 1946-1950
Correspondence with Lester Levy
Correspondence, 1952
Letters from Helen to her mother
Correspondence: Helen Mears and her mother
Correspondence and miscellaneous, 1946-1952
Newspaper articles
Miscellaneous, 1940-1941

Box 2
Writings-fiction
Correspondence: 1943-1955
Correspondence: 1949-1955
Correspondence, Japan: 1939-1949
The First Book of Japan
Correspondence: 1952-1959
Civil War letters of Ward Brothers, 1862-1863 [Photocopies, originals donated to the Frank Lester Ward papers at the Library of Congress]




This file was last updated on January 12, 2010.