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Gilbert White AFSC papers


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

This collection is comprised of Gilbert White's American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) materials from the World War II-era. White, Haverford College's eighth president, was born in Illinois in 1911, and died in Colorado in 2006. He made notable contributions to the fields of environmental studies and geology, focusing specifically on preventative measures for flooding and natural disasters. White attended the University of Chicago, and during the late 1930s studied the Mississippi River Basin under the auspices of the American government. Upon the outbreak of World War II, White became a conscientious objector, and in 1942, he joined the AFSC. During his time with the Committee, he conducted relief work in France and Germany. He remained with the AFSC until 1946 and afterwards became president of Haverford College until 1955. White returned to the AFSC as chair from 1963 to 1969. Additionally, his career included academic positions at the University of Chicago, the University of Oxford, and the University of Colorado. In 2000, White was awarded the National Medal of Science in recognition of his contributions to the field.

The papers in this collection focus on the work of the AFSC during the years of White's involvement with the organization. The AFSC was founded in 1917 as a way for pacifists and conscientious objectors to engage in wartime relief work. The organization is grounded by its belief in the Quaker Peace Testimony, which reflects a commitment to non-violence and compassion in the face of conflict. During WWII, the AFSC was actively involved in reconstruction and aid work; they offered a variety of services and resources to those impacted by the war. As a result of these efforts, the AFSC became a joint recipient of the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize.

This collection contains the records and correspondence of the American Friends Service Committee dated primarly between the years 1944 and 1947. The materials provide insight into a variety of AFSC functions and activities. The collection is divided into two series: AFSC Organizational Materials and Outreach and Relief Program Materials. The first series, which spans from 1927 to 1947, looks at the AFSC from an institutional perspective; information in these documents details how the organization operated. These folders includes financial statements, rules and regulations, personnel arrangements, and orchestration between AFSC branches. The second series, which spans from 1942 to 1946, offers a more specialized perspective that includes materials from specific departments within the AFSC. These documents explore specific relief efforts undertaken by the AFSC. They highlight how these endeavors manifested themselves in their different stages, from the planning and execution to after the fact reflection.

This collection contains two series. The first, AFSC Organizational Materials, spans from 1927 to 1947 while the second, Outreach and Relief Program Materials, spans from 1942 to 1946. Within each series are folders categorized by subject matter. The documents within each folder are arranged chronologically.

The Gilbert White AFSC papers were donated to Special Collections in two gifts. One was received in 1995 from Gilbert White and the other in 1997 from White and his secretary, Alice M. Berry. Materials related to White's time as president of Haverford College were removed to the College Archives.

Processed by Emily Kingsley; completed April 2015.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Emily Kingsley
Finding Aid Date
April, 2015
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Board of Directors/Executive Board Minutes and Materials , 1945-46.
Box 1 Folder 1
Finance Committee Minutes, 1945-46.
Box 1 Folder 2
Budgetary Materials , 1944-47.
Box 1 Folder 3
General Meeting Minutes , 1945-46.
Box 1 Folder 4
Personnel Committee Minutes , 1945-46.
Box 1 Folder 5
Personnel Committee Materials , 1945-47, n.d.
Box 1 Folder 6
Staff Council Minutes , 1945-46.
Box 1 Folder 7
Committee on Branches Materials , 1942-46.
Box 1 Folder 8
AFSC Policies, Procedures, and Organization , 1927-46, n.d. .
Box 1 Folder 9
AFSC and Society of Friends Relationship , 1945, n.d.
Box 1 Folder 10

Civilian Public Service Committee Materials , 1944-46, n.d. .
Box 1 Folder 11
Foreign Service Committee Minutes , 1945-46.
Box 1 Folder 12
Foreign Service and Gifts-in-Kind Materials , 1945-46 .
Box 1 Folder 13
Reports on Relief Service Abroad, 1942-46.
Box 1 Folder 14
Peace Section Materials , 1945-46, n.d. .
Box 1 Folder 15
Race Relations Committee Materials , 1945-46.
Box 2 Folder 1
Youth and Education Committees Materials , 1945-46, n.d. .
Box 2 Folder 2
Miscellaneous AFSC Materials , 1945.
Box 2 Folder 3

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