Main content

American Friends Service Committee photographs


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. 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 American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that was founded in 1917 to provide conscientious objectors with an opportunity to aid civilian victims during World War I. Today the AFSC includes people of various faiths and sponsors programs that focus on issues related to economic justice, peace-building and demilitarization, social justice, and youth in the United States, and in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

This collection consists of miscellaneous photographs, collected over time from various sources, documenting the American Friends Service Committee and its projects. Post-World War I and post-World War II and Vietnam War relief work are well documented, and there are also photographs of AFSC work in the United States, Africa, other parts of Asia, and the Middle East.

These photographs were previously filed in the Friends Historical Library Miscellaneous Photographs Collection, Social Services series, PA 100/S6. In 2019, the AFSC photographs were removed to a separate collection.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is available for research use. Note that some images depict severely injured or disfigured people and may be disturbing to certain viewers.

Use Restrictions

Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

AFSC Service Centers and buildings at various locations. Most photographs were taken in the 1900s and are from the collection of E.Z. Palmer.

I.C.S House, 1957.
Scope and Contents

Berkeley, CA

Calcutta, India.
Bengal, Pakistan.
Des Moines, Iowa.
High Point, NC.
Pasadena, CA.
Seattle, WA.
AFSC Headquarters, Philadelphia, PA, 1960.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs. 1 photograph is from The Friend (August 5, 1960, Vol. 118, no. 32). It is supplied by Matt Herron, of the AFSC, and is one of the new headquarters of the AFSC in Philadelphia. This is the Meson Building, at the junction of Fifteenth and Race Streets.

AFSC group.
Scope and Contents

Includes Wilhelm Hubben, Mary Sullivan (Patterson), Amy Sharpless, Ruth Balderston (Lippincott), and more. List included with photograph includes identification and country for most individuals pictured.

Scope and Contents

Most postcards are about the child-relief mission of the AFSC around 1930s

A castle in Zbraslav, Prague, 1934.
Scope and Contents

The internal quaker conference is held in this castle from August 24th-28th, 1934. The castle was founded in 1297.

Villa Glockenberg bei Hollenburg.
A group of women.
Frau Von Holbein in the kitchen garden.
Le Foyer-Cantine Francais, 1933.
Scope and Contents

In Berlin, Feb 17th, 1933

A living room.
A boy and a girl.
Garlensladt Hellerau b. Dresden.
Youth movement Dancers.
Refugees waiting for a garment.
Scope and Contents


Scope and Contents

Most photographs are from the AFSC work camps in the 1940s. Tom Jones is the director and Byron Thomas is the assistant director (Howard Alexander was a camper).

Scope and Contents

In a lighter vein work campers in Mexico included as part of their summer's work the showing of films to the villagers. This was particularly enjoyed by the children in the area who crowded up to the edge of the screen.

Tom Jones.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs

Refugee children with work campers.
Scope and Contents

9 photographs

Camps and buildings.
Scope and Contents

6 photographs

Work campers working.
Scope and Contents

8 photographs

Washington D.C. Work Camp.
Scope and Contents

Work campers set up recreation for the young children in the neighborhood. Every afternoon two or more of the work campers went into the alleys behind the homes to organize games

Language study.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs

South Africa Work Camp, 1950 July.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs

Friends High School Gymnasium.
Scope and Contents

Chungking, Sze, China

Friends High School Foreign Teachers' Residence.
A roadside Shrine.
Yangtze River Gorges.
Scope and Contents

3 photographs

Friends High School Front door.
A ship on the Yangtze River.

Scope and Contents

Most photographs were taken in the early 1930s, probably by Rebecca Timbres

Sugar Cane Farm.
Scope and Contents

Experimental farm at Sriniketan.

Moving to the village.
Harvest Festival, 1932 February 6.
Testing for malaria, 1932.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs

Temple of the Goddess Kali.
A group of people.
Another [men] of village meeting.
Scope and Contents

Rebecca in right lower corner, Nadja in front.

Meeting of villager at opening of Binuria health station.
Tagore- Santiniketan.
Scope and Contents

Rabindranath Tagore

Completion of "House of Health".
Typical scene on the main road through Santiniketan.
The main building of the Pearson Hospital.
Scope and Contents

Consists of one ward containing twelve beds, one ante-room, which could be used as a ward, and one doctor's room.

Close view of the kitchen.
Village Farms.
"House of Health" Stage 1, Binuria, 1932.
Tagore at Harvest Festival, 1932 February 6.
Three men.
A Santal villager threshing his rice.
A group with the "House of Health" in background.
Goddess of many arms, 1932.
Mother and daughter at Harvest Festival, 1932 February 6.
Village meeting to discuss the future of medical work, 1932.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs Binuria

Rebecca Timbres.

Scope and Contents

Most photographs are taken in the Rehabilitation Center

Drawing blood.
Children washing hands.
Playing in a circle.
A nurse giving a bath to a child.
Learning to sew.
A teacher and her students during a class.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs

A teacher helping his student.
Examining a patient.
David and Mary Stickney.
Joe Clark fit below-knee limb for patients.
Scope and Contents

4 photographs. Joe Clark is the director of the AFSC Prosthetics Program. He insists that with a properly-fitted below-knee limb a patient should be able to walk so naturally that only an expert can tell which leg is artificial.

Sally Squires and her patients.
Scope and Contents

4 photographs. Sally Squires is a Quaker physical therapist. She help patients to exercise to restore use of their arms or legs.

Dorothy Weller and her patients.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs. Dorothy Weller is a senior Physical Therapist. She help her patients to recover from losing a limb. Her patients include a seven-year-old Montagnard orphan nick-named Mozart Maendel and a carpenter from Tam ky.

In the Rehab.
Scope and Contents

Sally Squires preparing basins for burn victims, Dorothy Weller renewing dressings , Chris Chacos working a stiff knee, wheel-chair patient trying crutches

Nguyen Thi Kim.
Scope and Contents

Nguyen Thi Kim works with the tin-can bar-bells in a trunk-building exercise

Nguyen Be.
Scope and Contents

Nguyen Be was the first patient at the Rehab. Center. He lost his right foot and parts of his gingers in an artillery-shell explosion. Extended therapy and practice was necessary.

Co Phuong exercising Nguyen Thi Kim.
Scope and Contents

Co Phuong was the first Vietnamese Physical Therapy Aide at the Rehab. Center.

An apprentice limb-maker.
Scope and Contents

He has just poured polyester resin into a vinyl envelope for a below-knee prosthesis.

Bui Chau.
Scope and Contents

Bui Chau is a five-year-old patient who has lost her limb.

Chris Chacos and his patient.
Scope and Contents

Chris Chacos devised an exercise from his patient to learn how to crawl

Apprentice limb-makers.
Scope and Contents

They dismantle salvaged airplane wing for metal stock to be used in making hinge and brace hardware

Rehabilitation Center.
Scope and Contents

Looking eastward along the porch of the Quaker Rehabilitation Center, two-storey building in right background is the Provincial Hospital surgical ward.

Scope and Contents

Photos by Sidney Henderson (American), taken in France after WWI and after WWII in France. Photos are labeled with numbers.

#1: FSC built house in Monfaucon, France, showing refugees moving in, 1919.
#2: The same house as in #1, now owned by Mr. and Mrs Simon Victor, 1965.
#3: Houses built by FSC to replace destroyed former village, 1919.
#4: Same street as in #3, 1965.
#5: "Symbols of France" after WWI, 1919.

Scope and Contents

Relief work including setting up feeding center and day-nursery to feed hungry children.

Child feeding, circa 1930s.
Scope and Contents

In a Day-Nursery in Berlin-Wilmersdorf.

Children eating.
Entrance to a feeding center.
Scope and Contents

The feeding center is in a Parish House in Frankfurt, Germany

Child feeding, circa 1930s.
Scope and Contents

In a Roman-catholic day-nursury in Berlin, Dorotheenstr.

A group in Nuremberg, 1933.
Carrying food to feeding-center, circa 1930s.
Scope and Contents

In Berlin, Charlottenstr

"On the outside-looking in!", circa 1930s.
Scope and Contents

A drawing of a girl standing outside the window, looking at other girls eating inside the house

A group of adult and children.
Scope and Contents

Taken by Mahlon Harvey in Nuremberg. Louise Jacobs in center

"Lucky Twins of a day".
Scope and Contents

Nursery in North of Berlin

Children waiting to get food.
Scope and Contents

A drawing

People waiting to get food.
Scope and Contents

Two drawings

"The International Bridge".
Scope and Contents

Copy, made from glass lantern slide

Jewish children eating American Food.
Scope and Contents

Copy, made from glass lantern slide

"Help the starving and the freezing!".

Alma Road (Red Cow), 1934.
Scope and Contents

A total of 3 different postcards. New Allotment, Maesteg, 1934

Members of Alma Road, 1934.
Unemployed clerk.
A group of men.
Building something.
A group of men at the educational centers.
Scope and Contents

From some of the educational centers operated by Friends in the Rhondda Valley in Wales

Two men.
A group discussing.

Scope and Contents

Series consists of copies made from nitrate negatives (nitrate was disposed of). Reputed to be taken by AFSC personnel during or after WWI. No identification available, except in Holland.

Scope and Contents

2 photographs

Street with a statue.
Scope and Contents

3 photographs

Father and daughter.
Two girls.
A refugee girl.
A ship.
Scope and Contents

3 photographs

A woman.
Refugee children.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs

A mansion.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs

A house.
A garden.

Group at Palestine and Syria Yearly Meeting, 1932.
Scope and Contents

Brumanna, Syria

Christmas Greeting from Ramallah, 1931.
Scope and Contents

Esther Strong, Margaret Graut, Raymond Maxwell

International Service Seminar at Guilford College, North Carolina.
Scope and Contents

Seminar members learn practical lessons in cooperation by sharing the daily household tasks with one another. Crews take care of dishwashing, meal preparation, cleaning and other chores. This sharing of jobs of daily living helps to put the ideals of cooperation and brotherhood, so important to peace, into action.

AFSC Conferences in Logan, West virginia, After 1933.
ISU, Logansport, Indiana.
Scope and Contents

2 photographs. Unit members started their day at 6:45 and ended their ward work at 3:45. They also did extra work on their own with the patients, including singing on the wards, teaching square dancing, etc. Their regular work included feeding and bathing patients, changing beds, giving hydro-therapy, etc.

The Quaker Report- "A new approach to US-Russian Relations".
Scope and Contents

A small exhibition. Tyler Fogg, Photographic Illustration, 31 S 18th St, Philadelphia.

A peace vigil in Philadelphia.
Scope and Contents

Took place at the time of Hiroshima Day in Reyburn Plaza, Philadelphia, and was sponsored by the Peace Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. From The Friend (London, 1960)

Friends Reconstruction Unit, Barclay Hall, Haverford College, 1918.

Print, Suggest