Barbara Bassett McIver papers: 1961-2011 (bulk 1961-1964)
Summary Information
Title: Barbara Bassett McIver papers
Creator: McIver, Barbara Bassett.
Inclusive dates: 1961-2011
Bulk dates: 1961-1964
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
A Detroit, Mich. native, Barbara Bassett McIver was part of the second cohort of Peace Corps volunteers and part of the first Peace Corps group to go to the Philippines. The bulk of the material is dated between 1961 and 1964, and includes McIver's diary, a scrapbook, letters home, and ephemera relating to McIver's experiences in the Philippines. Also included in the collection are Peace Corps 25th and 50th anniversary program materials.
Call number: 2018019 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid created by Nichole L. Manlove, April 2018

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by Barbara Bassett McIver (donor no. 11670) in February 2017.

Access Restrictions:

This collection is open without restriction.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Barbara Bassett McIver papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.


A Marygrove College (Detroit, Mich.) Class of 1958 graduate, Barbara Bassett McIver served with the Peace Corps in the Philippines as an Elementary School Aide from July 29, 1961 to June 3, 1963 teaching science and English as a second language. Prior to joining the Corps, McIver worked as an educator within the Detroit Public School System (DPS). She also began to pursue a law degree through the Detroit College of Law (currently the Michigan State University College of Law). However, her interest in global initiatives led her to postpone law school and join the Peace Corps.

Upon her return to the United States, McIver became an officer with the Detroit Police Department (DPD). In 1966, while serving with the DPD, she returned to the Detroit College of Law to complete her degree. In 1967, McIver was admitted to the Michigan Bar and shortly thereafter began working as an Assistant Prosecutor in Jackson County, Michigan.

In later years, McIver worked under Michigan Attorney General Frank J. Kelley, the nation's longest serving Attorney General (1962-1999) as an Assistant Attorney General. She became the Chief Deputy Judicial Assistant for the 36th District Court and later went into private practice. In 1996, after 30 years of service in the legal field, McIver retired from the Michigan Court System.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the material in the collection relates to McIver's time as a volunteer in the Peace Corps. The majority of items dated between 1961 and 1964 include McIver's correspondence (mostly letters to her mother) her diary, and a scrapbook. McIver's letters and her diary describe her daily activities, thoughts, and concerns regarding the Philipines, the Filipino culture, the Peace Corps, and other volunteers. McIver's scrapbook contains maps of the Philippines, photographs of McIver, the Peace Corps volunteers, Filipino students and citizens. Of note (within the scrapbook) are two signed letters to McIver from President John F. Kennedy and four letters from R. Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps, as well as two letters from Congresswoman Martha W. Griffiths (D-Michigan; 1955-1974) commending McIver for her work in the Philippines. The scrapbook also contains newspaper clippings (scattered dates), a 1967 Outstanding Young Women of America certificate, a 1961 Peace Corps Volunteer certificate, and a 1961 Pennsylvania State-Peace Corps Training Completion certificate, among other items.

The collection also includes the Peace Corps 25th and 50th anniversary program announcements and itinerary.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Americans -- Philippines.
  • Civil service.
  • Education -- Philippines.
  • Manila (Philippines)
  • Volunteers in education -- Philippines.
  • Women volunteers.
  • Diaries.
  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • McIver, Barbara Bassett.
  • Peace Corps (U.S.)
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Peace Corps 1961-1963 , 1986 , 2011 [series]
Box   1  
Diary 1961-1963
Box   1  
Peace Corps Anniversary Materials 1986 , 2011
Box   1  
Peace Corps Letters 1961-1963 (2 folders)

Folder 2 of 2 includes scanned color group photographs.

Box   1  
Scrapbook 1961-1964 (3 folders)

(Two original letters to McIver signed by President John F. Kennedy, dated May 22, 1961 and June 19, 1962 (in folder 2 of 3) have been removed from the collection and replaced with photocopies.)