Michigan Fellowship of Reconciliation Records: 1940-1960
Summary Information
Title: Michigan Fellowship of Reconciliation Records
Creator: Michigan Fellowship of Reconciliation.
Dates: 1940-1960
Extent: 2 linear feet, 2.09 GB
Religious pacifist organization; correspondence, minutes of meetings, files of the editor of the Michigan F.O.R. News, topical files, and sound recording.
Call number: 851326 Bj 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
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by William H. McNitt

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The records were donated by Rebecca Shelley (donor no. 4218). Other records were received from the Guild House of the University of Michigan (donor no. 5848) where they had been stored.

Access Restrictions:

The record group is open to research.

The collection contains audio tapes from which digital copies have been made. Source tapes are for staff use only. Audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.

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: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.


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.

Processing Information:

In preparing digital material for long-term preservation and access, the Bentley Historical Library adheres to professional best practices and standards to ensure that content will retain its authenticity and integrity. For more information on procedures for the ingest and processing of digital materials, please see Bentley Historical Library Digital Processing Note. Access to digital material may be provided either as a direct link to an individual file or as a downloadable package of files bundled in a zip file.

Alternate Format:

Digitization: The Library has undertaken the digitization of a number of sound recordings within this collection. The resulting audio files are available for playback only in the Bentley Library Reading Room. Links to item images and additional information are available within this finding aid. Original sound recordings are only available for staff use.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Michigan Fellowship of Reconciliation records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


The Fellowship of Reconciliation is a religious pacifist organization which was founded in England and soon spread to the United States. The Michigan branch was organized at a convention in Detroit on April 15, 1940. This organization remained active in its opposition to wars and militarism at least until the late 1960's when its newsletter stopped appearing.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This record group came from two different sources. The papers for the period 1940 to 1951 were discovered in the basement of the Guild House at the University of Michigan. The papers for the years 1951 to 1957 are the files of past editors of the newsletter which were turned over to Rebecca Shelley when she became editor in 1958. The files on her period as editor are located in her personal papers also located at the Michigan Historical Collections. There is much additional information on the Michigan Fellowship of Reconciliation in the Shelley papers both before and after she served as editor. The library also has an almost complete file of the newsletters of the Michigan Fellowship of Reconciliation between 1940 and 1968 which has been separately cataloged and is not described in this finding aid.

The record group has been divided into the following series: Correspondence; Organizational Papers; Other Organizations; Record of meetings; and Other materials.

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.

  • Conscientious objectors.
  • Michigan F.O.R. news.
  • Peace -- Societies, etc.
  • Michigan -- Religion.
  • World War, 1939-1945.
  • Sound recordings.
  • American Friends Service Committee.
  • Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors.
  • Committee for Protection of the Foreign Born.
  • Congress of Racial Equality.
  • National Service Board for Religious Objectors.
  • U.S. Committee Against Militarization.
  • War Resisters League.
  • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
  • Michigan Fellowship of Reconciliation.
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation (U.S.)
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation (U.S.)
  • Niemöller, Martin, 1892-
  • Crane, Henry Hitt, 1890-1977.
  • Ferguson, Homer, 1889-1982.
  • Holmes, John Haynes, 1879-1964.
  • McNamara, Patrick Vincent, 1894-1966.
  • Meader, George, 1907-1994.
  • Muste, Abraham John, 1885-1967.
  • Nearing, Scott, 1883-1983.
  • Nelson, Wallace F.
  • Niemöller, Martin, 1892-
  • Potter, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1916-1979.
  • Rustin, Bayard, 1912-1987.
  • Sayre, John Nevin, 1884-1977.
  • Shelley, Rebecca, 1887-1984.
  • Sobel, Morton J.
  • Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965.
  • Swomley, John M., 1915-2010.
  • Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951.
  • Watson, Albert G.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Correspondence [series]

Some of the correspondents in this series include Henry H. Crane, Homer Ferguson, John H. Holmes, Patrick V. McNamara, George Meader, Abraham Muste, Scott Nearing, Wallace F. Nelson, Charles E. Potter, Bayard Rustin, John N. Sayre, Rebecca Shelley, Morton J. Sobel, Adlai E. Stevenson, John M. Swomley, Arthur H. Vandenberg, and Albert G. Watson.

Box   1  
1940-June 1957 (35 folders)
Organizational Papers [series]

(arranged chronologically)

Box   2  
Undated, 1940-1957 (19 folders)
Other Organizations [series]
Box   2  
American Friends Service Committee
Box   2  
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors
Box   2  
Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born
Box   2  
Congress of Racial Equality
Box   2  
National Service Board for Religious Objectors
Box   2  
Research Exchange on the Prevention of War
Box   2  
U.S. Committee Against Militarism
Box   2  
War Resisters League
Box   2  
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Record of meetings [series]
Box   2  
Minutes of meetings 1940-1944
Box   2  
Minutes of Executive Board meetings 1955-1960
Other materials [series]
Box   2  
Papers concerning the Michigan Student Conference on Militarism, Racism and the College Student at East Lansing 1949 (2 folders)
Box   2  
Historical data and constitution
Box   2  
Replies to membership questionnaires
Box   2  
Religious Literature
Box   2  
Speech of Martin Niemöller before the National Conference of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Ohio 1954 [Digitized audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.] (Audio Reel-to-Reel, 5 inch, 3 ¾ ips)
[Part 1] ([851326-SR-1-1]) [Digitized audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.]
(Martin Niemöller discussing the World War II, Nazi Germany, and contemporary issues of the 1950s.) [access item]
[Part 2] ([851326-SR-1-2]) [Digitized audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.]
(Martin Niemöller discussing the World War II, Nazi Germany, and contemporary issues of the 1950s and his pacifist beliefs.) (mp3 file) [access item]
Additional Descriptive Data
Selective Index to Correspondents
Crane, Henry Hitt, 1890-1977.
  • July 11, 1944, November 13, 1952, December 4, 1952
Ferguson, Homer, 1889-1982.
  • January 25, 1945, June 4, 1946, November 4, 1954
Holmes, John Haynes, 1879-1964.
  • September 24, 1942
McNamara, Patrick Vincent, 1894-1966.
  • May 6, 1955
Meader, George, 1907-
  • November 12, 1954
Muste, Abraham John, 1885-1967.
  • July 30, 1940, July 10, 1944, December 15, 1944, March 9, 1945, March 23, 1945, February 11, 1946, February 16, 1946, May 3, 1946, March 10, 1947, June 4, 1947 January 12, 1950, February 18, 1951, July 24, 1951, September 25, 1951, October 8, 1951, December 7, 1951, January 25, 1952, February 4, 1952, June 13, 1952, August 6, 1953, December 4, 1952, January 28, 1953, June 2, 1953 May 3, 1956, June 5, 1956, June 19, 1956, July 13, 1956, August 7, 1956, October 1, 1956, December 17, 1956, April 22, 1957
Nearing, Scott, 1883-
  • March 20, 1954
Nelson, Wallace F.
  • 1952, 1953, 1954
Potter, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1916-1979.
  • November 4, 1954
Rustin, Bayard, 1912-1987.
  • March 21, 1952
Sayre, John Nevin, 1884-1977.
  • December 4, 1945, October 18, 1951
Shelley, Rebecca, 1887-1984.
  • December 31, 1953, August 22, 1955, April 25, 1956, October 12, 1956, October 13, 1956, and December 7, 1956
Sobel, Morton J.
  • 1955, 1956
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965.
  • 1956 undated
Swomley, John M., 1915-
  • May 5, 1942, February 27, 1946, May 29, 1946, June 2, 1949, December 12, 1949, October 25, 1950, November 30, 1950, January 4, 1951, March 13, 1951, September 13, 1951, November 27, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957
Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951.
  • April 29, 1941, January 24, 1945, April 23, 1946
Watson, Albert G.
  • 1951, 1952, 1953