Series IV, which served as the subject files for WILPF's Geneva office, consists of correspondence, reports and draft revisions, meeting minutes, circular letters, newsletters, various lists, financial records, and a multiplicity of printed matter like pamphlets, leaflets, broadsides, article reprints, and newspaper clippings. The materials in these files generally date from between the two world wars, although the dates of the files often depend upon the nature of the subject.
Series IV is arranged in alphabetical order by topic. Files under each topic are roughly in chronological order but--like the first three series-items often overlap chronologically both between folders within a single file and between files. Materials in Series IV are mostly in English, French, and German, although the language of the documents varies from topic to topic.
National sections of WILPF have been formed in several countries throughout the world, and it has been in these national sections that women have organized themselves for peace work at the grass-roots level. The files in Series III, which is the largest series in the WILPF Papers, contain materials on WILPF's national sections, and on other countries in which WILPF attempted to organize women and men for peace.
Since these records come from WILPF's international office in Geneva, Switzerland, the researcher will find a great amount of information not only on the organization and activities of WILPF's work in different countries, but also on the interaction between international WILPF and its national sections. There is also valuable documentation of occasional conflicts that appeared between a national section and international WILPF, between two national sections, or within a national section. Perhaps the major virtue of the materials in these files lies in their depiction of the frustrations, the agonies, the suffering, and the glimmers of hope encountered by women and men who have struggled to keep the peace movement alive in the face of the turmoil of twentieth-century international politics.
The files in Series III contain primarily correspondence between individuals in specific countries and the international office of WILPF. There is also a quantity of other types of materials like reports and resolutions of national sections; other reports dealing with specific topics; newsletters, annual reports, circular letters, press releases, and other publications of WILPF's national sections; printed matter like pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, broadsides, article reprints, and newspaper clippings; minutes of meetings within the national sections; lists of members; and financial records.
There are files in Series III on 96 different countries. For the 20 countries in Series III that have the most materials, individual descriptions have been added that detail topics, types of materials, and correspondents found in the files on that country.
The researcher should note that the amount of materials on the countries in Series III varies widely. In several countries, WILPF was unable to establish national sections because of a lack of either interest or the human and financial resources required to do so. Files on countries in which WILPF failed to establish national sections thus tend to contain very few items.
The files on national sections, on the other hand, usually contain a greater number of items. However many of the national sections that were established, especially in the European countries, were disbanded during the Second World War and reorganized thereafter. As a result, files on the national sections often contain significant gaps during the World War II period. In the case of an eastern European nation whose peace work was curtailed first by World War II and then by Soviet restrictions after the war, like Poland, the great majority of materials will date from before World War II when there was still an active Polish section of WILPF. The researcher can get a clear idea of the amount and scope of materials for each country by looking at the number of files for that country, years covered, and -in pertinent cases-the individual descriptions.
Series II, Individual Correspondence, contains primarily correspondence, but also reports, lists, draft revisions of essays, and printed matter like article reprints, newspaper clippings, and pamphlets. The body of correspondence in Series II covers more individuals and is over twice as large as the correspondence of the International Executive Committee found in Part A of Series I. Series II also consists of correspondence, especially in the organization's formative years, for WILPF members who did not serve on the International Executive Committee. Roughly 60-75% of the items in Series II are in English,with most of the remainder in French and German.
The correspondence in these files documents multiple aspects of the work of the League's international office: its handling of routine matters like ordering office supplies and acknowledging receipt of contributions and membership dues; its initiation and coordination of peace activities among individual members and national sections; and its stances on issues of international significance like the perilous situation in Europe and the Far East in the 1930s and the post-World War II nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Therefore, unlike Part A of Series I, this correspondence does not deal exclusively with International Executive Committee business.
The correspondence in Series II is in chronological order by year (or, sometimes, set of years), and then in alphabetical order within each year (or set of years). Until the mid-1930s, the files within a year are in alphabetical order by last name of each correspondent, with individual files on more frequent correspondents coming after that letter of the alphabet. After the mid-1930s, the files for each year are simply arranged in alphabetical order by last name of the correspondent. For each correspondent in the files for a particular year, the items are in chronological order by month and day.
Even though there is correspondence of rank-and-file members of WILPF in Series II, the majority of the correspondence in these files is that of women who were active in international WILPF and who at some time served on the International Executive Committee. Among the correspondents found in Series II are Jane Addams, Gertrude Baer (who added the "e" to her first name around 1941), Adelaide Baker, Emily Greene Balch, Louie Bennett, Gertrude Bussey, Marcelle Capy, Madeleine Doty, Camille Drevet, Gabrielle Duchene, Vilma Gliicklich, Yella Hertzka, Lida Gustava Heymann, Kathleen Innes, Andree Jouve, Marie Lous-Mohr, Chrystal Macmillan, Rosa Manus, Catherine Marshall, Anna Nilsson, Edith Pye, Clara Ragaz, Cor Ramondt-Hirschmann, Naima Sahlbom, Rosika Schwimmer, Mary Sheepshanks, Emily Parker Simon, Agnes Stapledon, Helena Swanwick, Elizabeth Tapper, and Else Zeuthen.
The researcher should especially note that Series II contains far more than correspondence of the individuals noted in the file headings. For some of the larger files of well-known WILPF leaders like Gertrude Baer, Edith Pye, and Emily Greene Balch, there are essays, reports, draft revisions, rough notes, and newspaper clippings and other printed matter on a variety of topics that concerned that individual. The best examples of how wide-ranging these files can be occur in the post-World War II files of Gertrude Baer, which consist of the above types of material, as well as United Nations reports and press releases.
Because of the abundance of printed matter in this series, only the first page of newspaper clippings, article reprints, and pamphlets (unless they were generated by WILPF) were microfilmed. This will allow the researcher to be aware both of issues of concern to the League, and of where to find further information on WILPF and the international peace movement.
The most famous leaders of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom have served at various times on the International Executive Committee, which has acted as the governing body of the organization since its formation at the Second International Congress at Zurich, Switzerland in May 1919. Historically, the International Executive Committee has been responsible for a number of matters: organizing and setting the agenda for the organization's international congresses; contacting world dignitaries either individually or at summit meetings like those in Munich, Germany in 1938 or Geneva, Switzerland in 1955; working between the two world wars with the League of Nations and, after World War II, with the United Nations; writing and distributing WILPF literature, and its publications like Pax International and Pax et Libertas (see Series V); assisting, communicating with -sometimes mediating between- national sections; and coordinating WILPF's activities with other activist and pacifist organizations throughout the world.
The International Executive Committee of WILPF has always contained a number of outstanding personalities to carry out these responsibilities. The original International Executive Committee of 1919, for instance, con sisted of the following members:
President: Jane Addams, U.S.A.
Vice-Presidents: Lida Gustava Heymann, Germany; Helena Swanwick, Great Britain.
Secretary-Treasurer: Emily Greene Balch, U.S.A.
Assistant Secretary: Cor Ramondt-Hirschmann, Holland.
Committee Members: Gabrielle Duchene, France; Marguerite Gobat, Switzerland; Yella Hertzka, Austria; Martha Larsen, Norway; Chrystal Macmillan, Great Britain.
The efforts of these and several other well-known leaders of WILPF -some of whom worked in the international office at Geneva, but most of whom traveled widely and also remained active members of their own national sections- are documented in Series I, International Executive Committee. Series I is divided into eight parts, each designated by a letter of the alphabet. Preceding the complete reel list for each part is a more detailed description, which addresses the arrangement, content, and types of materials found in that part. Duplicate items within each part of Series I were not microfilmed, but some duplication may occur between parts. For instance, the Swarthmore Collection (Part H) was microfilmed in its entirety to preserve the integrity of the collection, despite periodic duplication of items in Parts B, D, and F.
At its first session, second part, in 1946, the General Assembly called upon ECOSOC to undertake the necessary studies for drawing up a draft convention on the crime of genocide. The Council instructed the Secretary-General to prepare a preliminary draft with the assistance of experts in international and criminal law. To this end the Ad Hoc Committee on Genocide was formed to work together with the Division of Human Rights. In June 1947 the Secretary-General transmitted the text of the first draft convention to the General Assembly Committee on the Progressive Development of International Law and its Codification. The Committee requested that the Secretariat proceed with the gathering and evaluation of comments from governments. The final text of the draft convention was presented to the General Assembly in 1948. It was completed and ratified in December 1948, entering into force in 1951. It is the first multilateral human rights treaty adopted and opened for ratification or accession by the General Assembly.
The drafting of the covenants on human rights was undertaken in March 1947 by the Drafting Committee, a sub-organ of the Commission on Human Rights composed of eight members. Originally, the drafters intended to create one document covering all rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The initial discussions were based on a Secretariat outline prepared by the UN Division of Human Rights and on a British draft convention.
Very soon it became evident that it would be impossible to develop one system to implement both sets of rights - economic, social and cultural on one hand and political and civil on the other. These records cover this early period of drafting, where the interchange of correspondence between all concerned (the drafters, ECOSOC, the General Assembly, specialized agencies and some NGOs) shows the many divergent views.
The drafting process went on from the 1st through the 10th session of the Commission on Human Rights. In April 1954, the Commission transmitted to ECOSOC and thenceforth to the Third Committee of the General Assembly two draft covenants on human rights. It took the General Assembly 12 more years, until December 1966, to adopt the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the Optional Protocol. All three instruments entered into force in 1976.
The records of this series address questions related to stateless persons and refugees and victims of war. They include correspondence regarding the international instruments concerned with refugees and stateless or displaced persons, namely the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
The records of this sub-series attest to the work of the Secretariat in advocating for victims of war on the one hand and in the drafting of international instruments addressing human rights issues in armed conflict on the other. The work of the Ad Hoc Commission on the Protection of Prisoners of War is well documented in the series, as are questions related to the application of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
The largest group of files consists of correspondence and documentation with regard to the plight of the survivors of so-called scientific experimentation in the Nazi concentration camps, a continuation of earlier documentation contained in the SOA sub-fonds.
The United Nations has been concerned with the question of slavery since 1949, when the General Assembly requested ECOSOC to study the problem. In the same year, ECOSOC arranged for the appointment of the Ad Hoc Committee, who reported its findings on the nature and extent of slavery and other institutions resembling slavery in 05.1951. ECOSOC subsequently requested the Secretary-General to obtain additional information on the question and report back in 1953. In 1954, ECOSOC appointed Mr. Hans Engen (Norway) as Rapporteur to prepare a concise summary of all available information on slavery and servitude. The report of the Rapporteur was presented to the Council in 1955.
At the request of the ECOSOC in resolution 960 (XXXVI) the Secretary-General appointed Mr. Mohamed Awad as Special Rapporteur on Slavery to bring up to date the Engen Report by collating existing information on slavery by governments,
The United Nations also arranged in 1953 for the drawing up of a Protocol amending the Slavery Convention of 1926 and for the preparation of a supplementary Convention on the abolition of slavery, the slave trade and institutions and practices similar to slavery. This Supplementary Convention was finalized in 09.1956.
The records relate to the work of the Division on matters related to slavery from 1956 to 1974 and include the collection of material form the Special Rapporteur, allegations of slavery and servitude, and correspondence related to the acceptance by States of the international legal instruments aimed at abolishing slavery and related practices.
In 1953 the UN-ILO Ad Hoc Committee on Forced Labour submitted to ECOSOC a fact finding document on forced labour which was followed up in 1955 by a second report. In 06.1955 the ILO set up an independent Ad Hoc Committee on Forced Labour to analyze material dealing with the use and extent of forced labour throughout the world. ECOSOC resolution 607 (XXI) in 1956 supported the work of the ILO on forced labour, essentially affirming that the main responsibility for dealing with the question would be vested in the ILO.
In 1956 at the International Labour Conference it was decided to draw up an International Convention on Forced Labour and in 1957 adopted the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention.