The collection includes contributions from 101 former volunteers or administrators who served in such countries and regions as Afghanistan, Antigua, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ceylon, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dahomey, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland,Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey and Upper Volta.
The volunteers were involved in diverse assignments such as education, community development, agriculture, health work, and service through such special skills as art, surveying, mechanics, and photography. Two additional collections are including materials of missionaries that were offered to the archives as the result of the program to collect Peace Corps materials. Included are diaries, correspondence, writings, printed and processed material, sound recordings, and administrative materials. There are also photographic materials that show such subjects as traditional and modern agriculture, architecture, body scarification, ceremonies, dance, dress, fishing, food preparation and other domestic activities, industry, medicine, and transportation.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Arranged numerically, with indexes based upon creator names and subject of materials.
In 1975, Herman Joseph Viola, the director of the National Anthropological Archives; Saul Herbert Riesenberg, the curator for Oceania Ethnology in the Smithsonianʹs Department of Anthropology; and Dirk Ballendorf, assistant chief of programs and training for Peace Corps operations in North Africa, the Near East, Asia, and the Pacific, worked out a program whereby the archives would collect materials of former Peace Corps volunteers. In addition to photographic and other materials of potential use to many researchers, the collection was intended to document the impact of the volunteers on host countries and the experiences of the volunteers in working in foreign cultures.