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Mohandas K. Gandhi Collected Papers

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Held at: Swarthmore College Peace Collection [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore 19081-1399

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. 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

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar in Gujarat, India. After university, he went to London to train as a barrister. He returned to India in 1891 and in 1893 accepted a job at an Indian law firm in Durban, South Africa. Gandhi was appalled by the treatment of Indian immigrants there, and joined the struggle to obtain basic rights for them. During his 20 years in South Africa he was sent to prison many times. Influenced primarily by Hinduism, but also by elements of Jainism and Christianity as well as writers including Tolstoy and Thoreau, Gandhi developed the satyagraha ('devotion to truth'), a new nonviolent way to redress wrongs. In 1914, the South African government conceded to many of Gandhi's demands.

Gandhi returned to India shortly afterwards. In 1919, British plans to intern people suspected of sedition - the Rowlatt Acts - prompted Gandhi to announce a new satyagraha which attracted millions of followers. A demonstration against the acts resulted in the Amritsar Massacre by British troops. By 1920, Gandhi was a dominant figure in Indian politics. He transformed the Indian National Congress, and his program of peaceful non-cooperation with the British included boycotts of British goods and institutions, leading to arrests of thousands.

In 1922, Gandhi himself was sentenced to six years' imprisonment. He was released after two years and withdrew from politics, devoting himself to trying to improve Hindu-Muslim relations, which had worsened. In 1930, Gandhi proclaimed a new campaign of civil disobedience in protest of a tax on salt, leading thousands on a 'March to the Sea' to symbolically make their own salt from seawater. In 1931, Gandhi attended the Round Table Conference in London, as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress, but resigned from the party in 1934 in protest of its use of nonviolence as a political expedient. He was replaced as leader by Jawaharlal Nehru.

In 1945, the British government began negotiations which culminated in the Mountbatten Plan of June 1947, and the formation of the two new independent states of India and Pakistan, divided along religious lines. Massive inter-communal violence March the months before and after independence. Gandhi was opposed to partition, and now fasted in an attempt to bring calm in Calcutta and Delhi. On 30 January 1948, he was assassinated in Delhi by a Hindu fanatic. (Credit: BBC History, Historic Figures)

Collection consists of 33 letters written by Mohandas K. Gandhi including twenty letters written to Reginald Reynolds between 1929 and 1946; six letters to Richard B. Gregg between 1927 and 1953; single letters to Jane Addams, Horace Alexander, C.Y. Chintamani, John H. Holmes, Hannah C. Hull, Dorothy Newman, and one unknown recipient; copy of letter from Gandhi to Reynolds, copy of letter to A.J. Muste; letters concerning the collection from Richard B. Gregg to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection and from Reginald Reynolds to Charles F. Jenkins; and a letter from Syed Mahmud to Reginald Reynolds. Correspondence may be viewed online in the Tri-College Digital Library. Also included is one disc containing scanned images of the letters in TIFF format. An online essay "Gandhi-Reynolds correspondence in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection" by Barbara Addison interprets the Mahatma Gandhi/Reginald Reynolds correspondence. The collection also includes: a 1948 typescript by Reginald Reynolds about Gandhi's letters to him: "Letters from Bapu" (8 pages); a folder of printed images of Gandhi from various sources.; photocopies of typewritten copies of correspondence between M.K. Gandhi and Vladimir G. Tchertkoff (Chertkov) primarily regarding nonviolence and vegetarianism.

The manuscript portion of this collection consists primarily of 33 letters written by Mohandas K. Gandhi, including twenty letters written to Reginald Reynolds between 1929 and 1946, six letters to Richard B. Gregg between 1927 and 1953, and single letters to Jane Addams, Horace Alexander, C.Y. Chintamani, John H. Holmes, Hannah C. Hull, Dorothy Newman, and one unknown recipient. Letters concerning the collection from Richard B. Gregg to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection and from Reginald Reynolds to Charles F. Jenkins are also included.

Most of the letters were donated by two men, Richard Gregg (whom Gandhi nicknamed "Govind") and Reginald Reynolds (whom Gandhi nicknamed "Aganda"), who were his friends and who wrote extensively about him and about India. Other letters were later added to the collection. Original Gandhi letters owned by the Peace Collection have been digitized and may be viewed online. Please contact Swarthmore College Peace Collection staff at peacecollection@swarthmore.edu for more information on accessing digitized materials. Photocopies of the letters are available in the collection. The original letters are restricted: permission from the Curator is required to view them. The centerpiece of this collection is the twenty letters written by Gandhi to and about Reginald Reynolds (an English Quaker active in the Indian independence movement), during a crucial period in Gandhi's life and in modern Indian history: the Salt March and the beginning of the 1930 Indian civil disobedience campaign against the British empire. An online essay, Gandhi-Reynolds Correspondence in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection gives context and interpretation to the letters, and includes transcriptions and images of each letter and links to archival photographic, sound and newsreel resources. The collection also includes a 1948 typescript by Reginald Reynolds about Gandhi's letters to him: "Letters from Bapu" (8 pages); a folder of printed images of Gandhi from various sources; and photocopies of typewritten copies of correspondence between M.K. Gandhi and Vladimir G. Tchertkoff (Chertkov) primarily regarding nonviolence and vegetarianism.

Other materials include: books, pamphlets, articles, news clippings and miscellaneous writings by and about M.K. Gandhi, and information about the Gandhi Centenary in 1969 and the Gandhi Memorial Museum and Library.

Collection consists of 33 letters written by Mohandas K. Gandhi including twenty letters written to Reginald Reynolds between 1929 and 1946; six letters to Richard B. Gregg between 1927 and 1953; single letters to Jane Addams, Horace Alexander, C.Y. Chintamani, John H. Holmes, Hannah C. Hull, Dorothy Newman, and one unknown recipient; copy of letter from Gandhi to Reynolds, copy of letter to A.J. Muste; letters concerning the collection from Richard B. Gregg to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection and from Reginald Reynolds to Charles F. Jenkins; and a letter from Syed Mahmud to Reginald Reynolds. Correspondence may be viewed online at Triptych, the Tri-College Digital Library. Also included is one disc containing scanned images of the letters in TIFF format. An online essay"Gandhi-Reynolds correspondence in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection" by Barbara Addison interprets the Mahatma Gandhi/Reginald Reynolds correspondence. The collection also includes: a 1948 typescript by Reginald Reynolds about Gandhi's letters to him: "Letters from Bapu" (8 pages); a folder of printed images of Gandhi from various sources.; photocopies of typewritten copies of correspondence between M.K. Gandhi and Vladimir G. Tchertkoff (Chertkov) primarily regarding nonviolence and vegetarianism.

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is not the official repository for these papers.

Gift of Reginald Reynolds, Richard Gregg, Charles Jenkins and others.

For related materials, search the library's online catalog.

Processed by SCPC staff; this finding aid revised by Barbara Addison, July 2010.

Items removed: Photographs.

Publisher
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Access Restrictions

Access is provided through digitized images or photocopies. Original letters and drawing are kept in FHL Cage.

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Use Restrictions

None.

Collection Inventory

Scanned correspondence; images in TIFF format, on disc.
Box 1
Letter from Gandhi to Richard B. Gregg, 10 pages, typed letter, signed, 1927 (May 27).
Box 1
Letter from Gandhi to Richard B. Gregg, 6 pages, typed letter, signed, 1927 (May 29).
Box 1
Letter from Gandhi to Richard B. Gregg, 2 pages, typed letter, signed, 1929 (March 9).
Box 1
Letter from Gandhi to Richard B. Gregg, 3 pages, typed letter, signed, 1929 (July 4).
Box 1
Letter from Gandhi to Richard B. Gregg, 2 pages, typed letter, signed, 1930 (August 24).
Box 1
Letter from Gandhi to Richard B. Gregg, 4 pages, typed letter, signed, [1935 (May 17)?].
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 4 pages, autograph letter, signed, 1929 (October 28).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 2 pages, autograph letter, signed, 1929 (November 4).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, "Silence Day", 1 page, autograph letter, signed, [1929 (December 2) ? ].
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, "Silence Day", 1 page, autograph letter, signed, [1929 (December 3) ? ].
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 1 page, autograph letter, signed, 1929 (November 11)].
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Photostatic copy; original not held by Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 1 page, autograph letter, signed, 1930 (February 4).
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Introduction to C.Y. Chintamani attached

Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 1 page, autograph letter, signed, 1930 (March 13).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 7 pages, autograph letter, signed, 1930 (March 31).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 2 pages, autograph letter, signed, 1930 (April 4).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 1 page, autograph letter, signed, 1930 (April 6).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 1 page, autograph letter, signed, 1930 (April 24).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 1 page, autograph letter, signed, 1930 (May 22).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 2 pages, autograph letter, signed, 1931 (February 23).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 2 pages, autograph letter, signed, 1931 (April ?).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 2 pages, autograph letter, signed, 1931 [October. or November.].
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 1 page, autograph letter, signed, 1932 (September 30).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 2 pages, autograph letter, signed, 1932 (October 13).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 2 pages, autograph letter, signed, 1932 [December ? 8th?].
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 1 page, autograph letter, signed, 1935 (March 29).
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, 2 pages, autograph letter, signed, [1946] (January 1).
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Mistakenly dated "1945"

Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, stamped envelope only, 1930.
Box 1
Letters to/about Reginald Reynolds, stamped envelope only, 1938 (April 18).
Box 1
Letter to Jane Addams from Mohandas K. Gandhi, 1 page, autograph letter, signed, 1932 (October 7).
Box 1
Letter to Horace Alexander from Mohandas K. Gandhi, 1 page, typed letter, signed, 1929 (October 12).
Box 1
Letter to Charles F. Andrews from Mohandas K. Gandhi, 1 page, typed letter, signed, 1931 (May 5).
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Photostatic copy only

Letter to C.Y. Chintamani from Mohandas K. Gandhi regarding Reginald Reynolds, 1 page, typed letter, signed, 1930 (February 4).
Box 1
Letter to Friend from Mohandas K. Gandhi, 1 page, autograph letter, signed, 1934 (December 26).
Box 1
Letter to John H. Holmes from Mohandas K. Gandhi, 1 page, typed letter, signed, 1948 (January 3).
Box 1
Letter to Hannah C. Hull from Mohandas K. Gandhi, 1 page, typed letter, signed, 1926 (December).
Box 1
Letter from Syed Mahmud to Reginald Reynolds, 1 page, typed letter, signed, 1930 (June 3).
Box 1
Letter to Dorothy Newman from Mohandas K. Gandhi, 1 page, typed letter, signed, 1933 (April 13).
Box 1
Correspondence between M.K. Gandhi and Vladimir G. Tchertkoff (V.G. Chertkov).
Box 1
Images (printed) of Gandhi.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

includes photocopy of a drawing of Gandhi, autographed by him; gift of Reginald Reynolds, acc. 54A-033.

"Handbooks of Gandhian Thought" (pamphlet series).
Box 1
Pamphlets authored by Gandhi, 1921-.
Box 2
Pamphlets about Gandhi, 1922-.
Box 3
Articles and news clippings about Gandhi, 1919-.
Box 4
Periodical issues (individual) about Gandhi.
Box 5
Miscellaneous writings about Gandhi.
Box 5
Gandhi Centenary, correspondence, 1969, 1964-1969.
Box 6
Gandhi Memorial Museum and Library printed articles.
Box 6

Print, Suggest