Download The Women's Peace Oral History Project Guidelines


Telling Our Stories - Supporting Our Mission

On this page, find resources to begin your Branch Oral History Project. These materials were presented by Judy Adams at the 2011 U.S. Congress.

Excerpts from Judy's oral history work with peace women is on our web site here.

Why Oral History?

As WILPF approaches its 100th anniversary, it’s important for each branch to think about collecting, organizing, and preserving its written records. Now is a good time to think about using these materials to draft a branch chronology or written history summarizing your branch’s founding and activities.

But we must also preserve another precious part of our history, in addition to written documents:  the personal stories of our members,  in their own voices, of how they came to peace work, what they’ve done in the struggle for peace and justice, and what sustains them. In this workshop we hope to motivate you and give you the practical tools and resources to organize a branch oral history project, in audio and/or video format.

Our recommendation is that branches contact the Swarthmore College Peace Collection as a final archival repository for their branch papers and oral histories.  Swarthmore will provide information on what materials and formats are acceptable, how to organize them and keep them safe until they are transferred there.  We can’t preserve these important materials indefinitely in our garages and basements! At Swarthmore they will be part of the U.S. WILPF section collection and available for researchers.

Your project will not only add to the historical record, but you can also use excerpts from the oral histories creatively to inspire others, including younger women in your community, to become part of WILPF, and possibly raise funds for your branch’s work.

What one branch did to preserve our members’ voices: report on the Women’s Peace Oral History project (Palo Alto/Peninsula branch, CA)

How we involved younger community members in the project:

How we used the oral histories to create community interest in WILPF and peace activism:

Interested WILPF members can contact Judy Adams for assistance in getting their project started, and may download a a copy of the 40-page guidelines here. This document includes information on: