Civilian Public Service Union Records
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
The Civilian Public Service Union was organized at the beginning of 1944 in the CPS camp at Big Flats, New York. Men at other camps and units quickly joined the group. CPSU, a union for "drafted workers conscientiously opposed to war," was formed to provide an organized means of communication and group action among men in all sections of CPS and to combat the waste and injustice of the CPS system itself. Ralph C. Rudd served as chairman from late 1944 until CPSU was dissolved in early 1946.
The records of the CPSU were deposited in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection in June of 1946 by Robert Beach of Philadelphia, a CPSU member. A small portion of the records came to the Peace Collection in 1976 from historian Charles Chatfield. These records originated in the larger collection of CPS records given to Chatfield by Gordon Streib (see Accession 76A-84). Records include a proposed constitution, scattered minutes, correspondence (1943-1945), CPSU Newsletter, statements, releases, financial records, membership and contact lists, and research date on use of manpower in CPS. Also in the collection are the records of local units in various CPS camps, including scattered minutes, correspondence, financial records, and membership lists. Camps represented by significant amounts of material include: Big Flats, NY Camp #46; Powellsville, MD Camp #52; Middletown, CT, Camp #81; Trenton, ND Camp #94; Pownal, ME Camp #130, Germfask, NC Camp #135; and Jaundice Unit, Philadelphia, PA Camp #140. See also American Civil Liberties Union, National Commission on Conscientious Objectors, Kampelman, AFSC-Civilian Public Service, labor and peace, conscientious objection.
These records are divided into two sections. The first part consists of the records donated to the Peace Collection by Robert Beach. These materials have not been reorganized, and have been kept in the order in which they arrived at the Peace Collection. The records that came from Gordon Streib have been kept separate and the material organized into categories matching the Beach accession. All materials have been put into acid-free folders.
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these records.
Gift of Robert Beach and Gordon Streib.
For the catalog record for this collection and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog.
Processed; Finding aid revised by Wendy E. Chmielewski, June 1994; updated by Eleanor A. Fulvio, July 2009; Wendy E. Chmielewski August 2009, November 2018.
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Collection is open for research without restrictions.
- Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Use Restrictions