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Overview

Formed in the shadow of the bloodiest stretch of World War I, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has grown to become one of the most influential and active of all international women's organizations. Its action-oriented approach to promoting and demanding world peace and freedom has created public awareness and swayed governmental policies worldwide.

Now students of modern social, political, cultural, and economic history as well as of women's studies can examine WILPF's successes and setbacks throughout its history. This microfilm collection of League archives and publications from 1915-78 addresses virtually every issue and event of concern to WILPF in this century, including such topics as anti-Semitism, civil rights, pacifism, the Third World, nuclear disarmament, political prisoners, and the United Nations.

WILPF's influence is felt from Washington to the Soviet Union to the United Nations, and it boasts national committees in an unprecedented 96 countries worldwide. Approximately half of the documents offered are in English with the remainder in German, French, and other languages.

Organized access to this collection is provided through its five separate series:

Series I: International Executive Committee, 1915-1978 This series includes the files of the International Executive Committee, which is the official governing body of the League. The correspondence, records, reports, circulars, and international congress papers offer a wealth of information on the causes championed by the League.

Series II: Individual Correspondence, 1915-1968 Covering a wide range of subjects, the correspondence in this series is a major source of a background information on the activities of individual WILPF members such as Jane Addams, Gertrude Baer, and Rosika Schwimmer.

Series III: National Sections and Other Countries, 1914-1978 The largest series in the collection, this segment contains correspondence among the International Executive Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, and various national sections. Also featured is literature from national sections, resolutions, reports, press clippings, and meeting minutes. The files of each country are particularly valuable for evaluating the scope of WILPF's international activities.

Series IV: Topics, 1918-1975 WILPF's Geneva headquarters created a large topical file covering a variety of subjects, including anti-Semitism, disarmament, economics, education, political prisoners, and more. These files represent a particularly rich research source for background on WILPF's philosophical stand on these issues.

Series V: Printed Matter, 1915-1978 This series contains WILPF's official newsletters dating from 1915, as well as publications and press clippings not generated by WILPF but relevant to the League's international activities and concerns.

The collection was filmed from the holdings of the University of Colorado, Boulder Library with the cooperation of WILPF international headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Additional documents were assembled from the holdings of the Peace Collection at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. The WILPF Papers is considered one of the most important collections of its kind, encompassing as it does the archival records of a global organization that has worked to eliminate all barriers to peace and freedom.

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