Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Roland F. Smith Collected Papers, 1939-1946, 1981, 1987-1990

Collection: CDG-A

Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399 U.S.A.
Telephone: 610-328-8557 (curator); Fax: 610-690-5728
Email: wchmiel@swarthmore.edu (curator)
URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/

Descriptive Summary
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers/records.
Smith, Roland F. (1917-1992)
Smith, Roland F. Collected Papers.
Inclusive Dates
1939-1946, 1981, 1987-1990
Call Number

Language of Materials
Materials in English
1.25 linear feet [papers only]
Papers of Roland F. Smith documenting his service in Civilian Public Service as a conscientious objector during WWII, as well as family papers

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
Usage Restrictions
Alternate Form of Material
Acquisitions Information
Gift of family of Roland F. Smith, 2007
Processing Information
Processed by Anne M. Yoder, August 2007; updated December 2012
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Roland F. Smith Collected Papers (CDG-A), 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
Roland F. Smith was born on April 8, 1917 and died on April 21, 1992. Smith was from Milton, Massachuseets and belonged to the Congregational Christian Church. He was employed as a teacher. During WWII he was classified as a conscientious objector, and served in Civilian Public Service (CPS) at Buck Creek Camp (#19) in Marion, Marion, North Carolina, from November 25, 1941 to December 1942, at the Cheltenham School for Boys (#62) in Cheltenham, Maryland from January 1943 to May 30, 1943, at the Powelsville Camp (#52) in Powellsville, Maryland from May 31, 1943 to August 30, 1943, and at the Philadelphia State Hospital [Byberry] (#49) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from September 6, 1943 to December 16, 1945. Smith married Ada Mary Johnson (born February 13, 1920) on March 28, 1945; On October 5, 1945 she was hit by a car and died the next day. Roland Smith married Ada Mary’s sister, Margaret Johnson the following year.

Collection Overview
Papers were given to the SCPC by the daughter of Roland Smith. It was decided to name the collection after him, even though there are family papers included of his wives, parents, parents-in-law, brother-in-law (Charles Johnson), and Marcia Geiger. The diaries and letters of this collection provide a window into family relations and into the work and conditions existent at state mental hospitals and CPS camps in the 1940s.

Photos removed to the Photograph Collection include snapshots of Roland Smith, and of the various CPS camps where he served.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
Biographical information
C.O. position
Mss. “Reactions to Byberry”
“Marienfield Diary” (5 th season), 1941
Diary, 1939 (November 22) - 1942 (July 28)
Diary, 1942 (July 29) - 1946 (January 6)
Student paper “Nonviolent Defense in History and in the Present,” 1981 (March)
Letters to Margaret Johnson
Letters to parents, 1940 (August 29) - 1942
Letters to parents, 1943-1944
Letters to parents, 1945 - 1946 (January)
Letters to Shirley Smith (sister)
Letters to/from parents-in-law
Letters from parents, 1940-1941
Letters received, 1940
Letters received, 1941
Letters received, 1942
Letters received, 1943-1945

Box 2
Letters from Ada Mary Johnson [while attendant at Eastern State Hospital, Williamsburg, Virginia], 1943-1944
Letters to _______ from Marcia Geiger (cousin?) [while attendant at Eastern State Hospital, Williamsburg, Virginia], 1944
Letters to Margaret Johnson from Ada Mary Johnson
Letters to parents from Ada Mary Johnson
Letters to/from Roland and Ada Mary Johnson
Letters from Mrs. Smith to Margaret Johnson and Earl Johnson, 1945
Letters to parents from Charles Johnson (CPS Camp Antelope #37, Coleville, CA) [photos removed to Photograph Collection]
Letters to Margaret Johnson from Charles Johnson (CPS Camp Antelope #37, Coleville, CA) [photos removed to Photograph Collection]
Reminiscences about his C.O. stance and about CPS, 1987-1990
Photograph album [dismantled; photos removed to Photograph Collection]
Reference material

This file was last updated on August 21, 2015