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MC 765

National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War (U.S.). Records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War (U.S.), 1920-1994 (inclusive), 1924-1949 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

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Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.
June 2014

© 2014 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 765
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War (U.S.)
Title: Records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War (U.S.), 1920-1994 (inclusive), 1924-1949 (bulk)
Quantity: 26.69 linear ft. (69 file boxes, 2 card boxes) plus 2 folio folders, 4 folio+ folders, 1 oversize folder, 1 supersize folder, 9 photograph folders, 3 objects
Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War, an umbrella organization of women's organizations which sought to study and determine the causes of war, as well as and promote peace thorough education and legislative methods.

Processing Information:

Processed: June 2014
By: Paula Aloisio,Camille Owens, and Julie Seifert, with assistance from Emily Underwood.

Acquisition Information:

Accession numbers: 87-M111, 91-M229, 93-M116, 93-M147, 94-M139, 97-M99
The records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War were given to the Schlesinger Library by Esther Hymer between 1987 and 1997.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions:

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred citation for publication:

Records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War (U.S.), 1920-1994; item description, dates. MC 765, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

HISTORICAL NOTE

In 1924, Carrie Chapman Catt convinced nine of the leading national United States women's organizations of the need for a conference on the cause and cure of war. The National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War was founded at a meeting in Washington in 1925. Carrie Chapman Catt served as chair until 1932, and as honorary chair thereafter.
The National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War was an umbrella organization composed of the following women's organizations: American Association of University Women, Council of Women for Home Missions, Federation of Woman's Boards of Foreign Missions, General Federation of Women's Clubs, National Board of the Young Women's Christian Association, National Council of Jewish Women, National League of Women Voters, National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and the National Women's Trade Union League. In 1940, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs and the National Women's Conference of the American Ethical Union became members.
Together, these organizations of educated women attempted to understand the causes of war, rather than protest against it. Members wrote letters to members of Congress, gave lectures, and organized petitions, study groups, and round-table discussion groups known as "Marathon Round Tables." The National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War also sponsored state, regional, and annual national conferences. The organization's focus was on education and promoting legislative methods of preventing war, particularly the World Court, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and disarmament treaties.
In 1943, the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War changed its name to the Women's Action Committee for Victory and Lasting Peace, which after World War II became the Women's Action Committee for Lasting Peace. The goal of the new organization was to "To unite American women to work for full participation by the United States in the United Nations in order to build a world of peace and justice under law." The Women's Action Committee for Lasting Peace had a research arm, the Committee on Education for Lasting Peace, which produced publications including the bulletin Backlog for Action. Carrie Chapman Catt died in 1947, and the Women's Action Committee dissolved in 1949.
Esther (Wanner) Hymer was born in 1898 in Chicago, Illinois. She was graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1920, and studied at Northwestern University, Columbia University, and the Zimmern School of International Affairs in Geneva, Switzerland. She married Howard Hymer, a mining executive, in 1922; they had two children. They lived in Arizona and Montana, finally settling in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Hymer became involved with the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War in 1934, when she served as a representative from the American Association of University Women. She chaired the Marathon Round Table committee, organized the discussion groups nationwide, and wrote materials for use in the program. Hymer attended the organizing conference for the United Nations in 1945 as an aide to Margaret Hickey, representative for the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs. She later served as a non-governmental representative to the United Nations focusing on women's issues. She was elected chair of the Committee for the International Women's Year and the Decade for Women and served in this position from 1972 to 1982. In addition to her work with the National Federation of Business and Professional Women, Hymer directed the World Relations Program for Church Women United from 1955 to 1964. Hymer died on April 4, 2001.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The first accession of the records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War came to the Schlesinger Library in 1987 and was designated by the accession number 87-M111. A preliminary finding aid for this accession was created in 1990. In 2013, additional records received between 1991 and 1997 (91-M229--97-M99) were added to 87-M111. The order for the original accession was largely retained; these records begin with folder #1.1 and end with folder #63.11. The additional records were added after the first accession and begin with folder #63.12; they are arranged in order of accession, beginning with 91-M229 and ending with 97-M99. Some records in the later accessions are related Hymer's work with other organizations and projects. These records begin with folder #68.2 and end with folder #69.23.
During the processing work in 2013, records were refoldered, reboxed, and assigned folder numbers. Folder titles used in the preliminary inventory were clarified when necessary, and dates were added. Original folder titles created by the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War were retained; new titles created by the processor are in square brackets. Some empty folders were discarded and removed from the finding aid. Clippings not by or about the organization, in addition to other extraneous material and duplicates, were discarded. The second batch of records (91-M229--97-M99) were processed in the same manner. Many records were found loose and unfoldered, and this material was sorted and placed in folders by the processor.
The collection consists of correspondence, reports, minutes, speeches, endorsements, resolutions, and press releases documenting the work of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War. The collection also contains bulletins, pamphlets, and other printed material created by the organization, as well as printed material and clippings on war, peace, disarmament, and public opinion and propaganda relating to these themes. Much of this printed material was used in the organization's Marathon Round Table program; the collection also includes kits used by the study groups. The collection also includes planning material and publications related to the organization's annual conferences.
In addition to the records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War, the collection includes papers of Esther Hymer, which document her involvement with a number of organizations, in particular the American Association of University Women, Church Women United, and the National Federation of Business and Professional Women. Also included are biographical clippings, correspondence, and writings by Hymer, particularly articles for Independent Woman and pamphlets for Lutheran Church Women.
The collection includes a small number of photographs of members of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War, as well as speakers at conferences and events, including Carrie Chapman Catt and Eleanor Roosevelt. Photographs are listed at the end of the finding aid. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and made available online.

INVENTORY

Additional catalog entries

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.

Authors

Subjects

SEPARATION RECORD

Donor: Esther Hymer
Accession number: 87-M111--97-M99
Processed by: Paula Aloisio
The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection (pending review by curator):
The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodicals collection:
The following items have been transferred to Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School:
The following items have been transferred to Widener Library, Harvard University:

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