Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Marriage Council Committee records
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
The Committee on Marriage Relations was founded in 1932 by 15 members of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting with the purpose of studying divorce and presenting the results the following year. The committee was created in response to a statement from the Representative Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting on the subject of divorce and a general belief in the institution of marriage according to religious and social tenets of American society. In 1933, the committee proposed the formation of an advisory board of professional and lay persons to act as counselors for those members of the Yearly Meeting as would want to consult them. The board would be known as the Marriage Council, and its functions would include education, personal advice, and collection of factual data. The committee focused on promoting successful marriages rather than addressing problems in marriage. By 1965, known then as the Family Relations Committee, the focus of the committee was on problems of the young, though it continued to provide counseling service to its members on all family-related issues. Lovett Dewees, who had chaired the committee for over 20 years, died in 1965.
Records include accounts, correspondence, lists of members, minutes, reports of the committee, speeches, and statements of function and services. Chaired by Lovett Dewees, M.D. from 1933 to ca. 1954, the committee established a marriage counseling service in 1954 and dealt with issues such as divorce, sex education, and marriage.
The Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Marriage Council Committee records were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1974 by J. Otto Reinemann.
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The collection is open for research use.
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Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).
Accounts, 7 items. [Including treasurer's reports of the Marriage Council and Counselor Service]: 1946-55
Correspondence, 76 items. [Deals with marriage, marriage statistics, human sexual behavior, counseling service (primarily to or from Lovett Dewees)]: 1940-61
Lists of Committee Members, 17 items; lists of books [used by the Committee and circulated], 1 item; list of questions for discussions on family living, 1 item: 1946-65
Minutes of the Marriage Council, 34 items. [Deal with advice, education and data gathering on the subject of marriage, sex education, adolescence and sex, birth control, divorce]
Minutes of the Marriage Council and Counselor Service Committee, 68 items. [Deal with marriage, sex education through films, literature, in schools, youth and sex, family relationships, intercultural marriages, and the establishment of a counseling service]
Minutes of the Family Relations Committee, 47 items. [Deal with problems of aging, group therapy, planned parenthood, problems of adolescence]
Miscellaneous. 8 items. [Study on inter-marriage; articles on marriage; announcement of course on health and human relations at U. of P.; marriage license regulations; membership of Family Relations Committee in Pennsylvania Conference on Family Relations; meeting announcement; statistics forms]
Reports of the Marriage Council to Arch Street and Race Street Yearly Meetings and General Meeting, deals with material from Minutes: 1939-56
Speeches, 1 items. [Talks and notes on talks given before the Marriage Council by athorities such as Alfred Kinsey]: 1944-63
Statements of function and services of the Committee on Family Relationships, 9 items. [Concern counseling services and education in family matters, premarital to old-age; typescript of published article, "Why Does the Religious Society of Friends Need a Committee on Family Relations"; Marriage Council statement on divorce; counseling process]: ca. 1940 - ca. 1963