Missing Pieces of the Puzzle: 1980s, 1990s Needed for Peace Corps Archive
By Patricia Sullivan on Friday, September 20th, 2013
There are thousands of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who have served during the 1980s and 1990s, yet these decades are scantily represented in American University’s Peace Corps Community Archives, established in early 2013 in Washington, D.C.
The mission of the archive is to “collect, exhibit, and provide educational and public programs that document the experiences and impact of individuals who served in the peace Corps and of individuals and institutions in host countries,” according to the official website.
American University has long been home to a significant amount of Peace Corps history since RPCV group Friends of Columbia initiated an archival exhibit in conjunction with former AU librarian and National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) board member Pat Wand (Columbia 1963-65). Since this time, the exhibit has grown to include the administrative files of Friends of Nigeria and the NPCA, in addition to the original Peace Corps Columbia-based collection.
Finally, a Home for Our Peace Corps “Stuff”
The Community Archive, announced March 21, marked an exciting chance for RPCVs who served in any country, at any time to share their photos, letters, journals, videos, country newsletters, training materials and any other items directly relating to their Peace Corps service and experience. American University’s new archive has created a non-discriminating medium for the expression of Peace Corps history through the eyes of RPCVs and former Peace Corps staff members.
However, as the collection has begun to grow, the archivists have noticed that the eighties and nineties mark somewhat of a hole in the history of Peace Corps. So, if you are an RPCV who served during these less-documented decades, don’t let your stories die with disco! Share your experience with the scholars and students this exhibit was intended to reach!
NPCA has created a “one stop shop” page on its website regarding Peace Corps Volunteer Archives
To learn more about the Peace Corps Community Archive at American University, as well as other archive resources available to the RPCV community , visit the Peace Corps Volunteers Archives page on the NPCA website.
If you are interested in donating to the Peace Corps Community Archive, visit the AU Library donate page.