Peace Corps Resources Menu

Use the drop down menu below to browse resources, or scroll below for all listings. To suggest an addition to this list of resources, please contact us.

 
 

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. There are documents that we could not locate and that may be a consequence of the closing of the Library. It could also mean that such documents do not exist. We could not find material provided directly by the Host Country Nationals with whom Volunteers worked. We could not find material provided directly by the Host Country Nationals with whom Volunteers worked.

We could not find many documents about the overseas administrative units. We could not find chronological, comprehensive documentation of all the work done by approximately 225,000 Volunteers, in 141 countries, over 56 years. This list of resources reflects these gaps. We are committed to continue to work towards bridging these gaps. And the many interviews recorded for this documentary will become part of these archives. (In 2011, Peace Corps posted the statement that staff was not available to help with historical research.)


  • PeaceCorps.gov: (Federal) Documents, reports and general information.

  • Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps: Program and country evaluations as well as accountability reports.

  • Media Library: Photos and descriptions of Volunteer work.

  • PC Live: 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 organizations. 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. 

  • Office of Freedom of Information Act: The Peace Corps is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, including provisions of the act providing individuals with the right to request records created by the Peace Corps and other federal agencies. Some examples of federal records obtained through the FOIA procedures and available from the FOIA office by number:
    • FOIA 17-0044: Peace Corps Transition Briefing Book November 2, 2016.
    • FOIA 17-0148: MOU between Peace Corps and Rotary International establishing partnership.
    • FOIA 10-060: Information about the closing of the Peace Corps Library.



  • American University: (Private university) The Peace Corps Community Archive curated by the American University Library collects, preserves, and makes available materials that were created and acquired by Peace Corps Volunteers. The archive is used to support student and scholarly research, create exhibits, and provide educational and public programs that document the experiences and impact of individuals who served in the Peace Corps.

  • 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      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: (Private university) The National Security Archive at George Washington University is an excellent resource for public documents describing the diplomatic, military and other areas of US Foreign Policy. It an independent archive and provides a subscription service to public and private libraries. To access its entire collection online,  it is necessary to visit a library that subscribes to the Digital National Security Archive to be able to view all the documents. Learn more about the archive.
    • DNSA/GWU:Collection: El Salvador, The Making of U.S. Policy 1977-1984, Item Number: ES00332): These documents describe the events leading up to the evacuation of Peace Corps from El Salvador in 1980.

  • University of Kentucky: (Public university) This project includes interviews with returned Peace Corps volunteers and individuals associated with the Peace Corps with connections to Kentucky. Interviewees served in the Peace Corps from its inception in 1961 to the present. Volunteers discuss their experiences before, during, and after Peace Corps including their motivations for joining, the application process, training, living situations, difficulties, the job, relationships, coming home, and their impact on the host country and on their own lives. 

  • University of Michigan: (Public University) The Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan has a collection of papers from Peace Corps Volunteers. 

  • 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 video-recording, Peace Corps at thirty-five; the power of an idea.

  • University of Oklahoma: (Public University)Project Peace Pipe: Indian Youth Pre-Trained For Peace Corps Duty, by Fred R. Harris and Leon H. Ginsberg.


  • Radcliffe: (Private University) “Once in Afghanistan” by RPCV Jill Vicker.

  • University of Texas-El Paso: (Public University) A report of one of the first college sites for Peace Corps Training; Tanzania I.


  • The World Catalog: An index of over 500 dissertations and theses for which Peace Corps was the subject.

    Please Note: Many other universities, both public and private, may have Peace Corps documents in their collections. It may be necessary to contact each library directly to learn about such items and the manner to access them. 


Please note: These resources are not affiliated with the Peace Corps but were created by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.


  • Peace Corps Worldwide, Peace Corps Worldwide celebrates the Peace Corps experience by publishing stories from around the world by RPCVs and Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs), to share with all who have a desire for international understanding.

    This effort is at the heart of the Third Goal of the Peace Corps, to “bring the world back home.” Publicizing the writings of RPCVs and PCVs, all their novels, short stories, essays, and poetry is a positive way of educating Americans about the world; an essential Peace Corps Third Goal activity to provided a link between the cultures of the world and our culture. This site also includes a href="http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/third-goal-initiative-peace-corps-writers/">brief history about the important effort of Peace Corps volunteers.

    All work done for Peace Corps Worldwide is volunteer, and the site is in no way associated with the Peace Corps or the National Peace Corps Association. This online magazine is an outgrowth of the print newsletter Peace Corps Writers that was first published in 1989 by John Coyne and Marian Haley Beil (both Ethiopia 1962–64) to promote, encourage and recognize Peace Corps writers. In the duration the effort has expanded to do all that as well as to share news and information about the Peace Corps, assist the members of the Peace Corps community bridge cultures as they fulfill the Third Goal of the Peace Corps, tell the incomparable stories that come from the Peace Corps experience, and more recently, publish their books.

  • Peace Corps OnlineThe Independent News Forum Serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers: Hugh Pickens, RPCV, is publisher.  There are no current postings, but it is a historical source.

  • Posh Corps: Producer and director of the film Posh Corps, RPCV Alan Toth, also produces this online resource. Posh Corps is a website which focuses on the modern Peace Corps experience. “Our films and videos tell the stories of volunteers in South Africa, West  Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Americas.”

  • Live Lingua: The U.S. Peace Corps has been sending volunteers from the United States to countries all over the world for over 50 years. In fact, Live Lingua was founded by one of these volunteers. During his training he was amazed at how quickly and effectively the language learning material worked. Live Lingua has contacted the Peace Corps offices in Washington D.C. to obtain permission to be a repository of these courses, but we do not own any rights to them. If anybody wants to use this material for commercial purposes they will need to contact the Peace Corps offices to get permission. We are offering this material free of charge with no cost or commercials. If you have information that would lead you to believe that some of this material is not public domain, or if you have some PC training material that we have missed, please contact support@livelingua.com. Enjoy the free language learning. 

    Please note: Even though Live Lingua was founded by a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Mexico 2006-2008) neither he nor Live Lingua is currently affiliated with the U.S. Peace Corps. Making and maintaining this portion of Live Lingua is his way of helping complete the Peace Corps Third Goal.


  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute: The Institute includes online speeches by Sargent Shriver delivered during the time he was the first Peace Corps Director. Photos, documents, and the PBS documentary about Sargent Shriver, American Idealist, are also part of the Institute’s collection.


Please Note: The museum is an NGO and not affiliated with the Peace Corps; it was created by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

The Committee for a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience (CMPCE) is devoted to sharing the Peace Corps story with the broader American public. The museum is not yet a reality, but active support from the national returned volunteer community will get us there.

We were started in 1999 by a committed group of returned Peace Corps Volunteers in Portland, Oregon. While most of our members are drawn from the Portland metro region, involvement is welcome from returned Peace Corps Volunteers, staff, and supporters all over the world.

We are an affiliate group of the National Peace Corps Association, and we coordinate our activities with the Columbia River Peace Corps Association.

Please contact the Museum about their policy for accepting items from RPCVs.
 


This list is divided into two parts.  The first includes works by authors who were Peace Corps Volunteers and/or Peace Corps Staff.  The second includes work by Scholars and Journalists who were not Peace Corps Volunteers and/or Peace Corps Staff.

The list is not meant to be exhaustive.  As already noted, the Library of Congress has an annotated bibliography of over 300 books authored by RPCVs and Staff.

Peace Corps World Wide has a bibliography of Peace Corps Writers that is constantly updated. 

Works by Authors who were Peace Corps Volunteers and/or Peace Corps Staff

  • Peace Corps Chronology – 1961-2010, by Lawrence F. Lihosit, RPCV, 2011

  • Point of the Lance by Sargent Shriver, 1964

  • When the World Calls – The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and its First Fifty Years, by Stanley Meiser (former Peace Corps Staff), 2011

  • The Peace Corps Experience: Challenge and Change 1969-1976, by P. David Searles (Former Peace Corps Country Director and staff), 1997

  • Keeping Kennedy’s Promise - Unmet Hope of the New Frontier, by Kevin Lowther and C. Payne Lucas (Former Peace Corps Staff),1978

  • A Moment in History: The First 10 Years of the Peace Corps, by Brent Asgabranner (Former Peace Corps staff),1971

  • Agents of Change: A Close Look at the Peace Corps,by David Hapgood and Meridan Bennett (Former Peace Corps Staff),1968

  • Cultural Frontiers of the Peace Corps,edited by Robert T. Textor (former Peace Corps staff),1966

  • Come As You Are: The Peace Corps Story,by Coates Redmon,1986

  • The Politics of the Peace Corps & VISTA, by T. Zane Reeves,1988

  • Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties, by Harris Wofford, 1980

Works by Journalists and Scholars who were not Peace Corps Volunteers and/or Peace Corps Staff

  • The Bold Experiment, JFK’s Peace Corps,by Gerard T. Rice, 1985

  • All you need is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960s, by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, 1998

  • Making A Difference: The Peace Corps at Twenty-Five by Milton Viorst, 1986

  • Letters from the Peace Corps edited by Ireis Luce, 1964

  • Volunteers for Peace: The First Group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Colombia by Morris Stein, 1966.

  • What You Can Do For Your Country: An Oral History of the Peace Corps, by Karen Schwarz,1991

  • Making Them Like Us: Peace Corps Volunteers in the 1960's, 1998

  • The National Peace Corps Association: A roster of RPCV alumni groups. Many groups preserve history of their host countries. Many RPCV alumni groups also are working on projects, now, to benefit their host countries, and their websites would carry information about such efforts. 

  • Ad Council ads for Peace Corps  

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