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Collection of Philadelphia peace material


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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

All of the following organizations advocated against war and military spending, and instead promoted resistance and peaceful action.

Brandywine Alternative Fund, founded in the mid-1970s, was self-defined as "a group of Delaware and Chester County citizens working to reorder priorities away from military programs of war and war preparation to a greater emphasis on peace, people's needs, and social development." It was one of many experimental projects where tax resisters would donate their federal taxes back into the community for social change. All of this collection's materials are from their original headquarters in Media, Pennsylvania. This organization still is active today, under the name Brandywine Peace Community.

The N.Y.C. People's Life Fund was established to redirect war tax dollars back into the community, akin to the project of the Brandywine Alternative Fund.

SANE (Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy, later called A Citizen's Organization for a Sane World) was founded nationally in 1957 in Philadelphia. SANE was established to "focus American opinion on the dangers of nuclear weapons testing," and collectively was "an early critic of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam." A Philadelphia chapter, founded in 1960, was located at 1307 Sansom Street. The group collectively organized demonstrations, promoted peace and social services, and emphasized the impact of military spending. SANE merged with another activist group, and became Peace Action which still exists today.

The SPU (Student Peace Union) was founded at the University of Chicago in 1959. According to historian Tom Lyons, SANE was the catalyst for this. The Philadelphia chapter of the SPU began in 1960, and was primarily composted of students from the University of Pennsylvania, and other colleges and universities in the area. The members were also largely associated with the Young People's Socialist League. They "believed that neither war nor the threat of war can be successfully used to settle international disputes." They pursued peace work through membership, outreach, and education. The dissemination of reading materials and informed discussion about social issues were typical of the SPU, seeking ultimately "to coordinate the work for peace among students and young people."

References: Falzone, Catherine. "SANE, the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy." International Disarmament Institute News, 2012, "History." Peace Action, Accessed 19 July 2023. "SANE, the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy." "Student Peace Union (U.S.)." Social Networks and Archival Context, Accessed 19 July 2023.

The Collection of Philadelphia peace materials contains an assortment of newsletters, informational and event flyers, donation requests, and correspondence from 1961 to 1977. Activist organizations included are primarily from around Philadelphia–-the Brandywine Alternative Fund, SANE, Philadelphia's chapter of the Student Peace Union (SPU)–-in addition to a single flyer from the N.Y.C. People's Life Fund, and miscellaneous letters on the peace movement and donations. These materials connect to the larger anti-nuclear movement, social justice activism, and war tax resistance of the 1960s and 70s.

Sold by D. Anthem, Bookseller

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Haley Rose Kowal
Finding Aid Date
2023 July 19
Use Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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Brandywine Alternative Fund, donation requests, probably 1976.
Box 1 Folder 1
Brandywine Alternative Fund, event flyers, probably 1976.
Box 1 Folder 2
Brandywine Alternative Fund, newsletters, 1975 October 20-1977 January 22.
Box 1 Folder 3
Brandywine Alternative Fund, war tax resistance information, 1972-1976.
Box 1 Folder 4
N.Y.C. People's Life Fund, flyer, probably 1971.
Box 1 Folder 5
SANE (A Citizen's Organization for a Sane World), event information and flyers, 1973-1974.
Box 1 Folder 6
SPU (Student Peace Union), letters to and from, 1961-1962.
Box 1 Folder 7
Miscellaneous letters on peace and donations, 1962-1963.
Box 1 Folder 8

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