|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in three series: Administrative records; Publications; and Personal accounts.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains administrative material, including meeting minutes, by laws, reports, and financial papers; publications, including newsletters, published and unpublished articles, promotional materials, reports, and correspondence; as well as personal stories from those who worked for CWS.
Burke Library record group:
William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Archives
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, WAB: Church World Service records, 1925-1969, series #, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Records of the Church World Service, 1946-1992 (inclusive). HR1128. Special Collections, Yale Divinity School Library.
Church World Service Records, RG 529, Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The papers are part of the William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Archives, which was founded in 1945 by the Union Theological Seminary Board of Directors.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The exact provenance of this collection is unknown.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Material was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-08-05. Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Metal staples were left in some items to prevent document(s) from tearing. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed. Some articles were kept together with glue and/or tape; they were not separated to prevent damage(s) to the documents. The finding aid was created by Fatoma Rad and Brigette C. Kamsler in 2013 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2021.
2021-11-05 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The Church World Service (CWS) was founded in 1946, with a mission of "Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless." It merged three preexisting groups: the Church Committee for China Relief, the Church Committee for Relief in Asia, and the Church Committee for Overseas Relief and Reconstruction. A total of seventeen denominations, both Catholic and Protestant, formed CWS in order to provide aid such as food, clothing and medical supplies to those affected by World War Two. Successful programs included the Immigration and Refugee Program, Christian Rural Overseas Program and One Great Hour of Sharing, which still exist today. In the 1950s and 1960s, CWS expanded from Europe and Asia to assistance in Africa and Latin America. It was also during the 1960s that the organization began to provide funds for development along with pre-existing emergency aid. In 1965, CWS merged with the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States: Division of Overseas Ministries. Aside from their help to overseas, in 1970 CWS began serving the United States during disaster. Much of CWS's success is due to partnerships, some of which have separated to create other organizations such as the Middle East Council of Churches, the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh or CEPAD in Nicaragua. CWS is still active in over thirty countries. The National Council of Churches considers it a sister agency.