Author - Joanne Roll

1
A plethora of public places for Peace Corps papers, publications, people and stuff: Sorting it all out.
2
From Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen, Opening Statement at Hearing on Peace Corps Volunteer Safety
3
“What?” I exclaimed. “Some reports compiled by Peace Corps Volunteers are actually permanently preserved at the National Archives!”
4
An Actual Visit to View Peace Corps Records at the National Archives II in College Park, MD
5
Government Shutdown: Never Mind – For now
6
Visiting the National Archives at College Park, MD
7
OnLine with NARA: More State Department electronic telegrams
8
Wikileaks? No. National Archives? Yes.
9
Listen to President Kennedy via recordings on Podcast speak about and to the Peace Corps
10
Charlie Peters’ Excellent Adventurers and their Peace Corps Evaluation Reports 1961-1967

A plethora of public places for Peace Corps papers, publications, people and stuff: Sorting it all out.

The Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, The National Archives and the JFK Presidential Library, as well as the Peace Corps Agency are all involved in preserving and presenting elements of the Peace Corps Experience. For anyone coming to DC for any of the celebrations or just curious, here is how it all sorts out. The Smithsonian and the Library of Congress are located in downtown Washington DC.  The National Archives stores Peace Corps records at its facility in College Park, Md.  The JFK Library is in Boston, MA.  The Peace Corps agency has a small digital library. ( See: http://collection.peacecorps.gov/index.php)  All others institutions have information available online; but few actual pictures and papers have been digitalized. This means that to access the actual material one has to physically visit the facility or pay for copies. First, the Smithsonian has three different divisions involved with Peace Corps. The first and perhaps the . . .

Read More

From Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen, Opening Statement at Hearing on Peace Corps Volunteer Safety

“Despite critical reports by its own Inspector General, the General Accountability Office, and prior Congressional hearings, Peace Corps’ safety and security failures have been a recurrent problem with tragic consequences for thousands of volunteers. Some who seek to ignore those problems have asserted that volunteer service, itself, is inherently risky as an excuse for lax and ineffective safety and security measures. That attitude is unacceptable.” Read the complete statement at: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press_display.asp?id=1819 Please note:  The links for the actual testimony are no longer active.  The testimony should be available in hard copy at those public libraries that are federal depositories.  The hearings were held on May 11, 2011 before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.  A librarian should be able to help you access the hard copies, or tell you how to find them.  The links are now here just for reference. The hearings can be viewed at the link provided . . .

Read More

“What?” I exclaimed. “Some reports compiled by Peace Corps Volunteers are actually permanently preserved at the National Archives!”

I was reminded, once again, that such outbursts are frowned upon in this establishment. Here is the description in the ARC catalog that caused me such glee: Mid-Service Conference Reports, compiled 1971 -1975, documenting the period 1970 – 1975. ARC Identifier 1512310 / MLR Number P92 – http://www.archives.gov Scope & Content This series consists of reports compiled by Peace Corps volunteers, concerning projects they were concerned with and the general situation in the country they were serving in. The Reports were generally compiled at the one-year mark of their two year service. I had been searching for anything written by Volunteers and had been frustrated at finding almost nothing.  All reports that I had seen were reports generated by or for PC/DC by administrative staff. The voices of serving Volunteers as well as those of Host Country staff and counterparts were not there. Absent such contributions, The Peace Corps collection is . . .

Read More

An Actual Visit to View Peace Corps Records at the National Archives II in College Park, MD

Washington DC is a morning town. It is just 8 am when the first shuttle from the National Archives I pulls out from Pennsylvania Ave and 7th Street NW and heads towards Archives II in College Park Md. Although there are many different ways to get to College Park, this free staff shuttle almost always has room for researchers, like me, and perhaps you. I like to be on that first bus because finding and reading Peace Corps public records can take all day. Besides, I like the drive through early morning traffic. We pass TV studios, Fox News nestled right next to C-Span (who knew?); pass Union Station; the fabled Gonzana High School; out NE Washington; pass historic Glenwood Cemetery into the Maryland suburbs; and then the University of Maryland. About forty minutes later, we turn off the apt named Adelphi Road into the circle drive of Archives II. The mission . . .

Read More

Government Shutdown: Never Mind – For now

The shut down of the government has been adverted, at least for now.  In the event of a government shut down, both the Peace Corps and the National Archives have developed contingency plans.  It might be well to be familiar with them. Here is the link to a PDF file of the plan posted on the Peace Corps website: Peace Corps Contingency Plan I was reassured by just a quick review of the plan.  It would appear that serving Volunteers will be supported and protected. However, I am always concerned that any kind of transition involving Washington DC may make serving Volunteers more vulnerable. The National Archives, in Washington DC and College Park, Md as well as regional facilities, will close.  Here is the link to a PDF file of that contingency plan: Archives Contingency Plan   The website of the National Archives should be up.  I hope so much . . .

Read More

Visiting the National Archives at College Park, MD

  I have stumbled upon yet another great web resource from the National Archives: http://www.ourarchives.wikispaces.net/ This site gives an oversight of the facilities and their use. The Archives at College Park, home of Peace Corps Records, has its own webpage. Please visit the page for complete information, including transportation options: http://www.ourarchives.wikispaces.net/National+Archives+at+College+Park I have copied here, from that web page, the pertinent specifics about the logistics of a visit there. “The National Archives in College Park, Maryland, opened for research on January 3, 1994. Records held there include the cartographic and architectural holdings; electronic records; motion picture, sound, and video records; the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection; still pictures; the Berlin Documents Center microfilm; and textual records from most civilian agencies and military records dating from World War II. Mailing/Visiting Address: National Archives at College Park 8601 Adelphi Road College Park, MD 20740-6001 Telephone: 301-837-2000 Customer Service Center Telephone Number: . . .

Read More

OnLine with NARA: More State Department electronic telegrams

I have found more State Department telegrams mentioning Peace Corps and available online on the NARA website. I  originally had been able to locate only three.   Using “hunt and peck,” “try different combinations,” and, of course, “when all else fails, read the instructions,” I was able to locate this very valuable collection. I apologize for the earlier incomplete information.  Peace Corps is mentioned in 87 items that include State Department telegrams from 1973-1976 and Memos for the Record of conversations. They have been declassified and posted online on the NARA website.  The telegrams can be read online; the memos are in PDF format.  Some of the situations described in the telegrams involve the closing of country Peace Corps programs.  Peru is one such country. This is how the collection can be accessed: 1) Go to http://www.archives.gov 2) Choose “Research our Records” on the home page. 3) On the next . . .

Read More

Wikileaks? No. National Archives? Yes.

So what was happening with Peace Corps in Afghanistan in 1974? There are a handful of records online.  One does describe Peace Corps in Afghanistan. To find out what was happening in 1974, read this: A State Department cable, dated Mar 75, reads, in part, ” THE PEACE CORPS HAS HAD A FRUSTRATING YEAR, PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULT IN OBTAINING FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF AFGHANISTAN ITS (THE GOA’S) WISHES AND GOA PROGRAMMING PREFERENCES FOR PEACE CORPS AFGHANISTAN, AND SECONDARILY AND RELATEDLY BECAUSE ATTEMPTS TO BECOME INVOLVED IN SEVERAL ATTRACTIVE PROGRAMMING AREAS HAVE SO FAR BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL BECAUSE OF THE COLLAPSE IN 1973- 1974 OF SOME MAJOR HEALTH AND AGRICULTURE PROJECTS AND NON-REPLACEMENT OF VOLUNTEERS IN OTHER PROJECTS, ENGLISH TEACHING FOR A LARGER, MORE PREDOMINANT SHARE OF THE TOTAL PROGRAM. THIS PRESENT BALANCE AMONG PEACE CORPS PROGRAMS AREAS IS NOT OUR PREFERENCE: BUT THIS DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN WE HAVE . . .

Read More

Listen to President Kennedy via recordings on Podcast speak about and to the Peace Corps

Hear President Kennedy speak at the University of Michigan in the Fall of 1960 and then in the Rose Garden sending off Ghana I. The National Archives administers the Presidential Libraries.  It has made available online podcasts of the Presidents speaking on historic issues. I have read the transcripts of President Kennedy speaking, but I have not listened to the Podcasts.  There are instructions on the website on how to connect to the Podcasts.  I can only link to the Home page of the National Archives and Records Administration, nara.gov.  It is not possible to hyperlink to a specific page from outside the web.  The steps I outline should take you to these valuable public records. Please note:  On January 31, 2013, I learned that the page with these podcasts was no longer operative.  I contacted the JFK Library and spoke with an archivist who was not aware that the . . .

Read More

Charlie Peters’ Excellent Adventurers and their Peace Corps Evaluation Reports 1961-1967

Charlie Peters, lawyer, WWII Veteran, Kennedy campaigner,  Master’s in English and former West Virginia Legislator, was chosen by Shriver to head up the first evaluation unit in a federal agency.  He did so with relish, hiring professional journalists and fanning them out overseas to independently evaluate the fledging Peace Corps programs, many times to the consternation of those in the Program Department who had created those very same programs. ( See: Redmon, Coates, Come As You Are, Chapter six “Charlie Peters, the Burr under the Saddle”, Orlando, Florida, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1986). These reports compose the first real public record of the Peace Corps and the National Archives has preserved all of them in its vaults at College Park, Md. The evaluators spent weeks or even months in-country traveling to sites and interviewing both staff and Volunteers. Upon their return, their reports circulated among staff at PC/DC as well . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.