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Peace Corps Resources

An unofficial guide to the locations of items describing the Peace Corps, and its history.

 
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he Peace Corps is a federal agency staffed by civilian service employees, who may or may not have served in the Peace Corps and who are responsible for managing the agency.  Peace Corps Volunteers are private citizens serving in a public capacity in foreign countries and doing the actual work of the Peace Corps. Overseas administrative units are staffed by a combination of citizens of the host country and US personnel.

When Volunteers complete their 27 months of service, they may self-identify as Returned Peace Corps Volunteers or RPCV’s.  RPCV’s have no official affiliation with the Peace Corps Agency and their activities are independent of Peace Corps.  RPCV’s who are employed by Peace Corps are the exception.
 

ARCHIVES

Please note: The Peace Corps in-house Library was closed in 1999.  Books published before that date may reference Peace Corps Archives. That usually refers to the defunct Library. In 2011, Peace Corps posted the statement that “Staff was not available to help with research”.

  • PeaceCorps.gov:
    • Open Government & FOIA: Documents, reports and general information
    • Office of Inspector General: Program and country evaluations as well as accountability reports
    • Media Library: Photos and descriptions of Volunteer work
    • Online Library:  “This online library is a collection of resources produced by the Peace Corps (both in Washington and around the world), Peace Corps Volunteers, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), other government agencies, international development partners and other external organizations1. Anyone can search the library and learn about all of the resources that the Peace Corps makes available, however, only select resources are available for download by the general public.”
       
  • National Archives and Records Administration: The Peace Corps records are located at Archive II in College Park, MD, Record Group 490 (Federal)
     
  • John F. Kennedy Presidential Library: The library has memorabilia from RPCVs who served during the Kennedy years and RPCVs oral histories from all years (Federal)
     
  • Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library  (Federal)
     
  • Smithsonian  
     
  • American University: The Peace Corps Community Archives collection contains memorabilia from RPCVs.  (Private university)
     
  • Colorado State University: (Public university) Colorado State University became involved with the early development of the Peace Corps through the work of Maurice L. Albertson and the successful 1960 proposal on behalf of CSURF (Colorado State University Research Foundation) to the ICA (International Cooperation Agency) to investigate the possibility of establishing a "youth corps" that would become the Peace Corps. Colorado State University soon began training Peace Corps volunteers for work in Pakistan and other parts of the world. Albertson remained interested in the Peace Corps, and in 1986 he organized a seminar focusing on the future of the Peace Corps. The collection contains correspondence, reports, printed materials, photographs and slides from the period during and following the Peace Corps' founding, as well as correspondence, planning documents, publications, notes, and cassette tapes from the 1986 seminar.
     
  • George Washington University
     
  • University of Kentucky
     
  • University of Michigan 
     
  • University of New Mexico: (Public University) The University of New Mexico Peace Corps Collection contains the original proposals and correspondence with national Peace Corps for the creation of the first Latin American Training Center in the nation. The collection contains materials on all aspects of the program and is separated into office, training and country records. The office records include proposals, contracts, meeting minutes, correspondence, and financial information. The training records include booklets, pamphlets, articles, correspondence, evaluations, and photographs. The country records include training materials from the Latin American countries UNM sent volunteers to. There are published reports, correspondence, articles, Peace Corps newsletters produced in Latin America, field feedback related to programs, biographical information on volunteers, and photographs. The collection also includes two audio cassette tapes of John F. Kennedy at Michigan Union in 1960 and a copy of the videorecording, Peace Corps at thirty-five; the power of an idea.

ONLINE RESOURCES

The following are not affiliated with the Peace Corps and created by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers


REFERENCE WORKS

  • Peace Corps Chronology – 1961-2010   by Lawrence F. Lihosit, RPCV
     
  • When the World Calls – The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and its First Fifty Years by Stanley Meiser (former Peace Corps Staff)
     
  • All You Need is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960s by Elizabeth Coffs Hoffman
     
  • What You Can Do for Your Country - An Oral History of the Peace Corps by Karen Schwarz
     
  • The Peace Corps Experience: Challenge and Change  1969-1976 by P. David Searles (former Peace Corps Country Director and staff)
     
  • The Bold Experiment, JFK’s Peace Corps by Gerard T. Rice (former Peace Corps Country Director and Staff)
     
  • Cultural Frontiers of the Peace Corps edited by Robert T. Textor (former Peace Corps Staff)
     
  • The National Peace Corps Association: Includes a roster of RPCV alumni groups.
 
 

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