Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 16076

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Audiovisual Records, Photographs, 1940-1980.


Photographs of relief efforts by the UUSC throughout Europe, the United States, and other countries. The records cover 1940-1980.


  • Creation: 1940-1980.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


14 boxes

The photographs in this collection document the relief efforts of the Unitarian and Universalist Service Committees in a number of countries throughout the world, including France, Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. During and after World War II, the Unitarian Service Committee administered 10 homes for displaced and unaccompanied children in the British Zone of Germany, in cooperation with the International Relief Organization of the United Nations and the British Control Commission. The Arbeiterwohlfahrt, an anti-Nazi German workers' organization that had been suppressed under Hitler, also participated in directing these homes. The Service Committees were also very active in France, offering medical assistance, shelter, food, and clothing to many victims of war in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Meillon, Monnetier, Modane, St. Goin, St. Jean de Luz, and Toulouse. 

This collection also includes photographs of many key USC members, such as William Emerson, Duncan Howlett, Elizabeth and Robert Dexter, Persis Miller, Gustav Ulrich, Helen Fogg, Charles Joy, and Noel Field. It also includes photographs of some of the children rescued by Martha Sharp; the Diamant sisters, 1942; Mercedes Brown, 1940; and the Theis sisters, 1940. 

Biographical / Historical

The Unitarian Service Committee was formed as a standing committee of the American Unitarian Association in May 1940. Its purpose was to be a committee to investigate opportunities both in America and abroad for humanitarian service. During and after World War II, the Unitarian Service Committee aided hundreds of displaced persons in occupied countries, allowing many of them to find passage to the United States. The present-day Unitarian Universalist Service Committee continues to endeavor to advance human rights and social justice throughout the world.

General note

The number after the slash in each entry in the following list indicates the box number, and the number in parentheses is the folder number. Portions of this collection have been digitized for a collaborative project with the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine (CDJC), France. Those items have a "See digital image" link.

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Audiovisual Records, Photographs, 1940-1980: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Divinity School Library, Harvard University Repository

Special Collections at Harvard Divinity School Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies. Known as Andover-Harvard Theological Library since 1911, it was renamed the Harvard Divinity School Library in 2021.

45 Francis Avenue
Cambridge MA 02138-1911 USA
(617) 496-2485