Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

An inventory of the collection at UIC

Collection Summary

Creator:Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Title:Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Dates:ca. 1960
Abstract: Part of the Jane Addams Memorial Collection. Part of the Midwest Women's Historical Collection. The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom was founded in 1915 with Jane Addams as the first International President. The League was born out of an International Congress of women who met in The Hague in 1915 to protest World War I. The organizers of the Congress were prominent women in the International Suffrage Alliance who saw the connection between their struggle for equal rights and the struggle for peace. The League continues to work towards social justice, sustainable development, women's equality and disarmament. The collection contains correspondence, articles, newspaper clippings, programs, and scrapbooks on the Jane Addams Centennial, 1960.
Quantity: 3.5 linear feet
Identification: WILPF

Biography of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Against the background of the bloody Great War then raging in Europe, Jane Addams and Carrie Chapman Carr summoned together a conference of 3000 women in Washington, D.C. to call for peace, the limitation of armaments, nationalization of weapons manufacture, opposition to militarism in culture and government, and economic sources of conflict. Jane Addams served as the first chairman of the new Woman's Peace Party.

Representatives of the WPP participated in the International Congress of Women in April 1915 held in The Hague. Addams chaired the Hague Congress and oversaw the creation of an International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace (ICWPP). The WPP would become the U.S. Section of the ICWPP at the latter organization's first annual meeting in January 1916. The Second International Congress of Women was held in May 1919 in Zurich, Switzerland as the great powers met to determine the final terms of peace in Paris. The ICW was critical of the sanctions regime of the Versailles Treaty and sought universal free trade, arms reductions with parity for all powers, and a world league that represented all people. The delegates decided to form a more permanent organization and the ICWPP became the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). The new organization chose Jane Addams as its international president and Emily Green Balch as secretary-treasurer to run its new headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The U.S. Section of WILPF was headquartered in New York City and later Washington, D.C. in November 1921. By 1924, the U.S. Section had 26 branches with a membership of 6,000. State and local branches varied in overall membership and level of activity, but most groups promoted "methods for the attainment of that peace between nations which is based on justice and good will and to cooperate with women from other countries who are working for the same ends." WILPF requested that the United States Government release political prisoners and conscientious objectors in January 1920. The group was an early advocate of U.S. recognition of the Bolshevik government in Russia. WILPF was an active proponent of efforts to outlaw war as it strongly supported the Kellogg-Briand Pact of August 1928. The emergence of fascism in the 1930s would prove more divisive to the organization as some members sought collective security while a majority continued to pursue complete neutrality.

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom continues to be an active organization in the United States and around the world. World War II saw the group defending civil liberties, supporting the rights of conscientious objectors, and seeking the abrogation of unfair laws and practices that affected the welfare of minorities.

WILPF was a pioneer for other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as it obtained formal recognition from the United Nations. Emily Greene Balch, international president of WILPF in 1946, received the Nobel Peace Prize, an honor shared by only one other American woman, Jane Addams. Supported by affiliated organizations such as the Committee for World Development and World Disarmament (CWDWD) and the Jane Addams Peace Association (JAPA), the U.S. Section of WILPF pursued peace and disarmament throughout the Cold War.

Scope and Contents

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Collection includes correspondence, brochures, pamphlets, materials for the Jane Addams Centennial, and miscellaneous items.


Restrictions on Access


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Addams, Jane, 1860-1935 --Anniversaries, etc.--Sources.
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom--Sources.
Women and peace--Sources.


Barr, Eleanor, "Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Collection (DG043)," [Finding Aid] http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/Dg026-050/dg043wilpft/history.htm, (198_)

Detailed Description/Box and Folder Listing

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

11W.I.L.P.F. brochures and pamphlets focusing on the history of the organization, 1921-1969
2Correspondence, statement on the Korean crisis, April 1923-July 1963
3WILPF stationary, ca. 1924
4Notes, cards, and invitations related to Jane Addams' activities in Geneva, July-September 1926
5Correspondence to Jane Addams, March 1927 - March 1930
6Tributes to Jane Addams, 1928-1938
7WILPF Printed programs, 1929-1937
8Newspaper clippings, 1935-1990
9Jane Addams Peace Association, Inc., correspondence, September 1948-November 1949
10Jane Addams Centennial Committee minutes and correspondence, October 1958-July 1960
11Jane Addams Centennial leaflets and postcard, 1959-1960
12Newspaper clippings regarding Jane Addams Centennial, March 1959 - November 1960
13"Jane Addams Centennial Plans Underway." The Round Table 23:4, (Fall 1959)
14Musselman, Virginia. "Jane Addams: September 6, 1860 to May 21, 1935Recreation (December 1959)
15Williams, Stanley. "Jane Addams, Hull House Founder, Honored Again." Wisconsin State Journal, newspaper clipping 1960
16Jane Addams Centennial, stationary 1960
17Chicago Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers - annual report 1960
18Leonard, William. "Friend of the Friendless." Chicago Tribune Magazine January 1960
19MacRae, Robert H. "Jane Addams and Our Unfinished Business." Child Welfare (October 1960)and remarks given at Welfare Council of Metropolitan Chicago February 1960
20Jane Addams Centennial - State of Illinois, minutes and memoranda, February 1960 - January 1964
21Levinson, Morris K. "Ye Ed's Corner." The City Club Bulletin: A Journal of Active Citizenship 53, New Series 26: 7, (February 15, 1960)
22Gardner, Dorothy. "Reveal Key to Her Success." Chicago American, (February 27, 1960)
23Jane Addams Centennial - 1960 Rockford College, invitation and printed program, April 1960
24Taylor, Ethel. "Jane Addams: A Tribute.", April 1960
25Carner, Lucy P. "The Legacy of Jane Addams." The Progressive (May 1960)
26Carner, Lucy P. "The Legacy of Jane Addams." The Progressive (May 1960)
27Unity 166:2 (May-June) 1960
28Michaloros, Demetrois A. "1960: Jane Addams Centennial." Athene: The American Magazine of Hellenic Thought 21:3 (Autumn 1960)
29Leonard, William. "Jane Addams Turned Down Life of Luxury." Toledo Blade (September 1960)
30McDaniel, Charles-Gene. "The Lady of Hull House." The Kiwanis Magazine (September 1960)
31Faherty, Robert. "Heart Without Frontiers; Jane Addams." Unesco Features 364 (September 2, 1960)
32Jane Addams Centennial materials - Cope, Everett, S. "A Forward: Jane Addams." Public Aid in Illinois (October 1960)and reduced copy of government proclamations honoring Jane Addams, 1960
33Curti, Merle. "Jane Addams on Human Nature." Essay, October 1960
34MacLeish, Archibald. "Jane Addams and the Future." Social Science Review 35:1, (March 1961)and tribute given on November 21, 1960
35Commager, Henry Steele. "Jane Addams: 1860-1890," Saturday Review (December 24, 1960)
36Hutchins, Robert M. "The Nurture of Human Life." Center For the Study of Democratic Institutions Bulletin (March 1961)
37Weybright, Victor. "Memories." Saturday Review (August 1961)
38Roger, Baldwin. "The Fighting Pacifist." Saturday Review of Literature (August 12, 1961)
39WILPF pamphlets and other printed materials August 1967 - August 1975
40Carner, Lucy P. Some Notes on Women in the Peace Movement. 1973
41WILPF Officers Lists, n.d.
Oversize Material42Scrapbook containing newspaper clippings, awards, certificates, and miscellaneous materials. n.d.