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World Emergency, circa 1939-1946

 File — Box: 1, Reel: 77, microdex: 2
World Emergency, circa 1939-1946
World Emergency, circa 1939-1946

Scope and Contents

Documents concerning YWCA war relief activities in India, Southeast Asia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. During World War II, the YWCA of the U.S.A. cooperates with the World YWCA, YWCA organizations around the world, and other relief agencies to assist with the global cause. War relief activities include operating hostess houses, refugee relief, financial support, health aid and supplying provisions. Correspondence and report from secretaries contain detailed narrative accounts of the effect the war has on the women and people in these countries. In India and Southeast Asia, letters request assistance, describe the YWCA centers assisting service-women and describe the needs of refugees coming from Singapore and Malaysia. Correspondence from Spain described the difficulty in operating a protestant organization under the fascist rule in Spain and the YWCA activities are not highly publicized due to their uncertain reception. In Turkey the greatest need is in assistance to refugees from Europe and Asia. Stories of the hardships and treatment faced by young girls prior to gaining entry to the Fabrica in Sivas tell a vivid story of the conditions in Turkey. With the World YWCA headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, news concerns the war efforts around the globe. Newsletters and correspondence give updates on the activities YWCA organizations are doing to help with war relief and a report of refugees around the world highlights the refugee crisis due to the war. Other letters and reports contain narrative updates of the war, requests for more assistance and supplies, and further descriptions of affect the war has on the women and civilians around the world. 

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: circa 1939-1946

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

From the Record Group:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

However, by agreement with the YWCA of the U.S.A., microdexes known to contain financial records or personal health information (usually on job applications) were not digitized and/or not published in our online repository as part of the CLIR Digitizing Hidden Collections grant. These microdexes may still be accessed on the original microfilm, and digital files may be made available to individual researchers upon request.


591 frames (1 partial reel)