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bMS 16181

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Audiovisual Records. Photographs, 1941-1986: A Finding Aid.

Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University


Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: bMS 16181
Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Creator: Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
Title: Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Audiovisual Records. Photographs, 1941-1986.
Date(s): 1941-1986.
Quantity: 8 boxes
Abstract: Photographs of relief efforts by the UUSC throughout Europe, the United States, and other countries. The records cover 1941-1986.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Biographical / Historical

The Unitarian Service Committee was formed as a standing committee of the American Unitarian Association in May 1940. Its purpose was to be a committee to investigate opportunities both in America and abroad for humanitarian service. During and after World War II, the Unitarian Service Committee aided hundreds of displaced persons in occupied countries, allowing many of them to find passage to the United States. The present-day Unitarian Universalist Service Committee continues to endeavor to advance human rights and social justice throughout the world.

Scope and Contents

The photographs in this collection document the work of the Unitarian and Universalist Service Committees in a number of countries throughout the world. Many of these photographs document the work of the USC medical missions. In 1942 the Commission on Hygiene of the Coordinating Committee for Relief in the Camps at Nimes, France conducted a study on malnutrition in the internment camps. The Unitarian Service Committee was part of this coordinating committee. In 1945, the USC organized an Italian Medical Nutrition Mission in order to study malnutrition in Italy. This was conducted in cooperation with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). Out of this project grew the idea of the medical missions, first suggested by Dr. Maurice B. Visscher. The purpose of these missions was to exchange information and to further international relationships with other countries. In 1946, the USC sent medical missions to Poland and to Czechoslovakia in cooperation with UNRRA. These missions were successful, and in January 1947, a USC Medical Projects Department was established under the direction of Dr. Erwin Kohn. In 1947 a medical mission was sent to Austria under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization. In 1948 there were medical missions to Greece, Italy, Germany, Poland and Finland, and a dental mission to Austria in August of 1948. In 1949 refresher courses for displaced person physicians, pharmacists and dentists took place in Germany with the IRO. Medical missions conducted by the USC continued to take place into the 1960s, to countries such as Japan, Germany, Israel, Iran, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Turkey.


The number after the slash in each entry in the following list indicates the box number, and the number in parentheses is the folder number. Portions of this collection have been digitized for a collaborative project with the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine (CDJC), France. Those items have a "See digital image" link.

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