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 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.)
Peace Corps Official Websites:
- 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.
National Archives & Record Administration:
- National Archives and Records Administration: The Peace Corps records are located at Archive II in College Park, MD, Record Group 490
- John F. Kennedy Presidential Library: The library has memorabilia from RPCVs who served during the Kennedy years and RPCVs oral histories from all years
- Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library
Other Federal Resources:
- The Smithsonian has a collection of materials from Volunteers and staff. The American History Museum and the National Anthropological Archives are two of the museums. Access the Papers of Peace Corps Volunteers, 1920-1984, or the Online Finding Aid
- The Education Research Information Center or ERIC: ERIC also has a wide range of Peace Corps materials. The materials include training manuals, reports of successful projects, and plans to engage schools in learning more about the world among many other topics.
- Library of Congress: An annotated bibliography of books authored By RPCVs and Staff.
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.
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 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.