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American Friends Service Committee in Vermont Records

Identifier: mss-950

Scope and Content Note

The “peace movement” in Vermont engaged a large number of people and groups in pursuit of its goals, especially during the time when the mutual nuclear weapons freeze was a central organizing focus. This collection includes materials on the history and program activities of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Vermont from 1974 to 2009 and some, although many fewer, materials on peace activities by partnering groups.

The collection includes: Vermont AFSC planning documents, program materials, newspaper clippings, text of speeches and articles, press releases, a small collection letters from participants in activities, staff and committee reports, photo slides, photographs, Vermont Peace Action Network newsletters, a CD on program history, a DVD of the Washington to Moscow Walk and other documents. Many display materials (banners, posters, etc) were produced to support program activities but few posters are included in this collection. The slides and program materials provide images of some of these materials. While some posters are in this collection, the banners and some posters are kept at the Vermont Historical Society in Barre.


  • 1974-2009



Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Administrative History

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Vermont played a continuous leadership role in the Vermont peace and justice movement for over thirty years. During this period, Vermont AFSC was a part of, and financially supported by, the New England and National offices of the American Friends Service Committee (founded in 1917). Vermont AFSC received some support from the wider AFSC prior to 1974 but few documents from this period are available.

Steven Early was AFSC staff in the late 1960’s and Elizabeth Yeats was Vermont Field Secretary from 1974 until 1976 when she left this position. David McCauley started in 1974 as the AFSC Economic Alternatives Program Staff in Vermont, became the Field Secretary in 1977 and served until 1989. James Stephens was the staff from 1989 to 1991, after which the Vermont AFSC operated as a committee of the whole with executive support from Nancy Rice. In 1994, Joseph Gainza became the Vermont AFSC staff and served until 2009. The work of these staff was amplified by dedicated program committee members and the continuing financial support from the wider AFSC. This collection was assembled in 2013-15 by former Vermont AFSC staff, David McCauley and Joseph Gainza, and by David Conrad, a long-serving member of the Statewide Steering Committee and the Burlington Area AFSC. The collection was developed from materials in the possession of the collection organizers and the late Christel Holzer, another long-term Steering Committee member.


2 Linear Feet (One carton, one document box, one oversize box)

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Many foci of program activity continued for several years. These include: Cooperative Self-Reliance (land trusts, farmers market, economic alternatives); Mobilization for Jobs, Peace and Justice; Supporting a Statewide Network of Peace Groups; the Mutual Nuclear Weapons Freeze; Peace and Justice in Central America; Students and Non-Violence, Nuclear Weapons Abolition, the Eyes Wide Open Campaign. However, organizing the materials under these themes proved unwieldy.

The first folder includes documents that span multi-year periods (articles, strategy documents, a CD and a slide collection summarizing the AFSC program from 1980 to 1989), names and current (as of 2015) contact information for a limited number of participants in AFSC. Each subsequent folder in the collection containing program activities and reports is organized by year (beginning in 1974), but the themes that organized the work are reflected in the annual program folders. An interested researcher can relatively easily use the annual folders and summaries in the first folder to track the history of a particular program theme (e.g. the Mutual Nuclear Weapons Freeze). The last folder includes a limited set of letters to Vermont AFSC from peaceworkers.


Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Guide to the American Friends Service Committee in Vermont Records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)