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The Peace Collection has thousands of manuscript collections.  A full list of these collections is viewable in our finding aid portal. Manuscript collections are referenced as DGs (Document Group), or CDGs (Collected Document Group).  The Peace Collection also has an extensive collection of Subject Files, which include topics, people, and themes that can result in new or unexpected research leads when utilized. Click here for a fuller explanation of manuscript designations.  Where materials have been digitized, links are provided on all lists.

  • List of Major Collections (DGs). DGs include the major document groups for which the the Peace Collection is the official repository.
  • List of Collected Document Groups (CDGs).  Collected Document Groups (CDGs) are collections for which the Swarthmore College Peace Collection has only some material from the organizations and individuals, collected by various entities through the years. In a small number of cases, the  the Peace Collection is the official repository for a CDG, but it was not given Document Group (DG) status because of the limited amount of material, or because it does not reflect the donor's full activities. 
    • CDG-As (organizations or individuals based in the United States)
    • CDG-Bs (organizations or individuals based outside of the United States)
    • CDG-Cs (a more miscellaneous group, established in 2001, that includes groups that seem to change their address with every new leader, or for specific reasons cannot be clearly designated as a CDG-A or CDG-B)
  • Subject Files


The Peace Collection has over 10,000 audio or visual recordings dating from the 1920s to date.  Formats include motion picture film, VHS tape, audio cassette, phonograph record, reel to reel audio tape, and more.  The great majority of these items are only available for viewing at the Peace Collection, and some are not available at all due to their format.  However, the Peace Collection has recently begun digitizing portions of the A/V recordings and making them available via the Internet Archive, which can be found through the links below.


The Peace Collection's books can be found in the College's online Library catalog, Tripod.  They are also available through the InterLibrary Loan program.  There may be borrowing restrictions on some materials.  For any questions, please contact the Peace Collection staff.    


Collections that are donated to the Peace Collection arrive with more than just folders of papers.  Many times, those other items are designated as ephemera.  Due to the nature of the Peace Collection's subject matter, there are many objects in the ephemera collections that commemorate events, movements, and gatherings.  From 'No Nukes' bumperstickers to homemade banners protesting apartheid, the ephemera collections cover a wide range of themes and object types. Note that the program used to display the digital version of these items can be slow.


The Peace Collection produces digital exhibits on various themes that bring together materials from across the archival collections.


Only a very few periodicals and serial titles in the Peace Collection have been digitized.  Please consult the library catalog to search for additional titles, or contact Peace Collection staff for further information.

  • Civilian Public Service Periodicals  During World War II, conscientious objectors (C.O.s) to the war who selected "alternative service" were assigned to Civilian Public Service (CPS) camps.  These men engaged in work like forestry, farming, building sanitary facilities, firefighting, serving as human guinea pigs for research, and caring for the mentally ill.  In many of the camps, magazines or newsletters were published describing the work and activities taking place.  These periodicals were written and illustrated by the CPS men themselves.  Bibliographic records herein document SCPC holdings of these publications but do not include digitized versions of the periodicals.
  • Four Lights (1917-1919), from the Women's Peace Party.  This link goes to the Finding Aid for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (DG043).
  • Stobsiade (1915-1919) and Knockaloe-Lager-Zeitung (1916-1919), from German prisoner of war camps in Scotland and the Isle of Man.  This link goes to the Finding Aid for the Hugh Richardson papers (DG032).  Scroll to the bottom of the page for the links to digitized editions.
  • WIN magazine (1965-1984) from the Workshop of Nonviolence.
  • Tripod


Many of the Peace Collection's holdings contain photographs: family photos, official portraits, casual around-the-office snapshots, candid shots of public events, and more.  These photographs are noted in the collections' Finding Aids.  In an effort to make records more accessible, many photographs have been digitized.  Whether digitized or not, many of the Peace Collection's photographs can be located below.  Digitized collections, as well as exhibits, can be reached through the links below.


Posters are an integral piece of any social movement.  Extra-large, visual, and proclaiming a message, posters are an art form used by many organizations for many different purposes.  The over 3,500 oversized posters have been digitized; these digital images may be viewed in the Peace Collection, with the exception of a collection of Soviet posters (mostly from the 1930s) that have been made into a website.  Many of the originals are very fragile and may not be seen in person without special permission.

Conscientious Objection

The Peace Collection has a wide variety of materials and collections that concentrate on conscientious objection and conscientious objectors.  Photographs, first-hand accounts, Civilian Public Service camp newspapers, Quaker writings on conscientious objection,  and many other resources can be accessed via the link below.

Quaker Peace Witness

From its beginnings in mid-seventeenth century England , members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) have upheld a peace testimony. This witness was a logical consequence of early Quakers' belief that there is an absolute and unreconcilable contradiction between the making of war and the "spirit and doctrine of Christ." (2). Quakers were not only to refrain from fighting in any war, but enjoined toward living their lives as peacemakers. Friends have affirmed that "our witness is not narrow and negative but far-reaching in its scope and intensely positive in the active service for Christ's peaceable Kingdom to which it calls us."(3). Friends have suffered death, imprisonment, and confiscation of property for their refusal to support war. -The Quaker Testimony for Peace: Introduction,  by the Swarthmore College Peace Collection and the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

Universal International Language System

Most of the early material in this collection (1877-1927) was gathered together by Alice Thacher Post. Other material was added by SCPC staff through the 1970s. The collection consists of items in international languages, teaching tools such as grammars and dictionaries, or material arguing the pros and cons of establishing an international language system.

Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi

Gandhi corresponded with many people throughout his life.  Some of his letters with Reginald Reynolds, Richard B. Gregg, Jane Addams, Horace Alexander, C. Y. Chintamani, John H. Holmes, Hannah C. Hull, Dorothy Newman, and one unknown recipient are held in the Peace Collection.  They have been digitized and can be reached through the link below.  Also available is an essay on the Gandhi-Reynolds correspondence by Barbara E. Addison.

LGBTQ Peace Activists

From early 20th century social reformers to 1970s Civil Rights activists, the Peace Collection contains materials on the public and personal lives of many pioneers in the LGBTQ community.  Learn about these activists through their personal letters, oral histories, photographs, and more by using the link below. 

Peace and the Environment

The Peace Collection houses numerous papers and records of peace activists and organizations that have worked for the benefit of the environment.  Amidst an array of issues concerning nuclear power, with special consideration for nuclear weapons, the environment has become a common cause adopted by peace activists.  Click the link below for resources on specific campaigns, events, and other activities concerning peace and the environment.

Women's Voices from Around the World

The Peace Collection contains materials on women's activism dating back to the early 19th century in a variety of formats and from many countries.  Well over fifty percent of all the holdings concern women's activism from around the world.  Click the link below to find a listing of materials by country.

World War I

There are over 200 collections with resources on the years 1914-1918 located in the Peace Collection.  These come from at least 10 countries, and some collections contain materials from before and after the war period.  Photographs, newsletters, documents, and more can be found through the link below.

Internet Resources on Peace (not in the Peace Collection)

As part of our Mission, the Peace Collection keeps abreast of the numerous peace movements and organizations that are not part of our collections.  An extensive, but not exhaustive, list of these resources that have an online presence can be found using the link below.

Publications Using Peace Collection Resources

Researchers from around the world have used the Peace Collection's resources.  They've been provided with primary sources on topics such as feminism, geography, Civil Rights, ethics, the Cold War, and any number of biographies.  Explore the resulting publications with the link below.