New Archives for Peace Corps Books at American University Library

Thanks to a suggestion made by Pat Wand (Colombia 1963-65) I have been in touch with a new Peace Corps Archives at American University in Washington, D.C. and made arrangements, with the cooperation of Susan McElrath and Erica Bogese of the Archives, to have the university take our’Peace Corps Memoirs.  As Susan wrote me recently, “we would be interested in receiving copies of all of the Peace Corps memoirs.”

The one requirement is that the writers contact the Archives before sending anything to them.

The contact is:

Erica Bogese
Bender Library
American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8046

Erica’s contact information:
Phone (202) 885-3242

The information you need to know about what material to send the Archives  is outlined below or you can go directly to:

Thank you Susan and Erica and everyone connected with this American University Peace Corps Archives project. This is a wonderful opportunity for the books by Peace Corps writers to have a permanent home (besides the Library of Congress ) where these memoirs will be a major source of information for future research about the Peace Corps, the world of Peace Corps Volunteers, and the countries where we served. The Peace Corps agency, of course, has not expressed any interest in housing these valuable books, the history of the organization since 1961. The NPCA also had never been interested in the written word from RPCVs.

But now we have three independent collections: The Library of Congress, Kennedy Library in Boston, and now American University in Washington, D.C.

John Coyne


The Peace Corps Community Archives (PCCA) actively collects materials from former Peace Corps volunteers.  If you are interested in donating, please read our information below.

What does PCCA accept?

  • Materials created and acquired by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) during their service such as correspondence, diaries, film, photographs, reports, scrapbooks, and sound recordings (no limitations on format, date of service, or country)
  • Organizational records of National Peace Corp Association member groups
  • Oral histories and memoirs of RPCVs and host country nationals (Published materials will be added to American University Library’s circulating collection.)

What does PCCA not accept?

  • Three dimensional artifacts
  • Photocopies of materials
  • Peace Corps publications not relevant to the country where you served
  • Published materials about the Peace Corps in general
  • Videos and other media about the Peace Corps in general

How do I donate to PCCA?

  • Please send donation inquiries to
  • Please secure permission from the University Archivist before submitting any materials.
  • The physical transfer of collections can be done in person or by mail.  Digital materials should be sent on CD-RW or USB Flash Drive.  Inquiries are welcome about alternate methods. When copying your files, please ensure that materials you are submitting to PCCA are not read only so we can ensure their long term preservation.
  • As part of the donation process, American University requires a deed of gift or copyright license agreement. These documents formalize the transfer of ownership and copyright for collections.  The Society of American Archivists has a helpful brochure that explains the purpose of the deed of gift.

One Comment

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  • This is great. I hope it will be possible to physically stack the collection together. This could create tremendous synergy. The books would be together and assessable. I think reading just one will spark interest in the others, as well as curiosity to ask the all important historical question: “Then, what happened?” This is how we will get a history of the Peace Corps.

    As for PC/DC, I believe that the “powers that be” don’t want historical references because they are busy writing their own version of history or rewriting. George Orwell would be proud!

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