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Collection Guide
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Register of the Church of the Brethren, Brethren Service Commission, Civilian Public Service records
69029  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Church of the Brethren, Brethren Service Commission, Civilian Public Service records
    Date (inclusive): 1941-1946
    Date (bulk): 1943-1945
    Collection Number: 69029
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 6 manuscript boxes (2.4 linear feet)
    Abstract: Collection includes memoranda, bulletins, newsletters, and reports relating to compulsory non-military public service, conscientious objectors, and the work of the Church of the Brethren, Brethren Service Commission in the United States during World War II.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Church of the Brethren. Brethren Service Commission. Civilian Public Service.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Church of the Brethren, Brethren Service Commission, Civilian Public Service records, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1969.

    Accruals

    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Historical Note

    The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination whose beliefs are guided by the New Testament, with an emphasis on peace, simplicity, and involvement in the relief of suffering and charitable work. The Brethren Service Commission (originally known as the Brethren Service Committee and later renamed the Brethren Volunteer Service), which was originally formed to work on humanitarian relief projects, helped oversee the operation of Civilian Public Service (CPS) camps from 1941 to 1947 for conscientious objectors drafted during World War II.
    In a joint operation between the three historic peace churches (the Church of the Brethren, the Mennonites, and the Society of Friends/Quakers) and the government, the CPS camps operated as compulsory non-military public service for conscientious objectors, fulfilling the Selective Service and Training Act of 1940's requirement that those rejecting military service complete other national service in the form of "work of national importance."
    The National Service Board of Religious Objectors (created by the three historic peace churches to serve as a liaison with the government) and the Selective Service worked together to select CPS camp sites and identify service project ideas, which included serving specific government technical agencies in areas such as forestry, soil conservation, public health, fish and wildlife, and agriculture, and helping to provide social and mental health services. Over 12,000 conscientious objectors lived in CPS camps and performed various lines of work for no wages; camp operations continued up to nineteen months after the end of World War II. Ultimately the CPS camps and the work of the conscientious objectors led to significant contributions in areas such as forest fire prevention, medical science, and the mental health system.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Collection includes memoranda, bulletins, newsletters, and reports relating to compulsory non-military public service, conscientious objectors, and the work of the Brethren Service Commission in the United States during World War II from 1941 to 1946. The first series, Civilian Public Service Camps File, provides a glimpse into the Civilian Public Service camps through newsletters and bulletins written by the conscientious objectors living and working in the camps. The second series, Brethern Service Commission File, consists of memoranda and papers from the Brethren Service Commission and the National Board of Religious Objectors.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Conscientious objectors--United States.
    Peace.
    Service, Compulsory non-military--United States.
    World War, 1939-1945--Conscientious objectors.
    World War, 1939-1945--United States.