Author Archives: admin

Wilcox in Dominican Republic Podcast Part 2 – Footprint

In his second year with the Peace Corps, Geer Wilcox changes his approach to development volunteering.  Rather than working directly with the students, he begins to work with the infrastructure of the school, hoping that developing infrastructure will last longer than work in the classroom.  Listen to the podcast below to hear straight from the source his reasoning and to understand how the Dominican Republic changed him, in return.

Music in this audio production was written by Kevin MacLeod.  The tracks used are “Notanico Merengue,” “Hackbeat,” and “Laid Back Guitars.”  To play the podcast, click to the far left of the black media bar.

With this, the 2018-2019 “season” has come to an end.  It has been an incredible experience to be the PCCA Fellow this year and to work with these collections and stories.  I want to thank several people, without whom I would not have been able to fulfill this role.  First, I want to thank Leslie Nellis.  As my mentor, she taught me everything I know about archives, and as my friend, she made this office an incredible place to work throughout my master’s program. I am grateful to her interest in and support of making the most of my fellowship this year.  It was with her help that I traveled to Morgantown, WV to present at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, by her suggestion that I curated exhibits for our hallway, and with her blessing that the blog has become as multi-media as it has.  I would also like to thank Dan Kerr and Trevor Owens who taught me the research and project-oriented history methods I utilized this spring semester.  Online exhibits and podcasts  wouldn’t have been possible if it had not been for them.  I am eternally grateful to the donors who shared their experiences with the PCCA and who allowed their materials and stories to be shared through our online media. Finally, I would like to thank you, dear readers, for coming with me all this way.

Paula Hirschoff in Kenya

Paula Hirshoff

Country of Service: Kenya
Place of Service: Sakwa Location, Nyanza Providence
Service Type OR Service Project Title: Nyamira Girls’ Secondary School
Dates in Service: 1968-1970
Keywords: Education

Accession Date: March 15, 2019
Access: Open
Collection Size: 6 inches

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Publications

Related Items in Other Repositories

Wilcox in Dominican Republic Podcast Part 1 – No Progress

Most of the Peace Corps Community Archives are textual documents and other visual media.  However, not all volunteers wrote their letters home; many sent audio tapes back and forth, and for some it was their main form of communication.  This audio production is based on the Geer Wilcox collection.  Wilcox served in the Dominican Republic from 1963 to 1965.  This production spans the first half of the collection, and you can look forward to the second half in April.

In the tapes, Wilcox discusses his efforts and frustrations in realizing his Peace Corps and personal goals while working with the National School for the Blind.  But, we want to know all about your experiences, as well!  If you’ve ever felt stuck in the Peace Corps, or at work, or in another kind of big project, tell us all about your experience in the comments!

“Play” button is located to the far left of the audio bar.

Music in this audio production was written by Kevin MacLeod.  The tracks used are “Notanico Merengue” and “Laid Back Guitars.”

Ronald F. Chapman in the Philippines

Ronald F. Chapman

Country of Service: Philippines
Service Type OR Service Project Title: Education
Dates in Service: 1964-1966
Keywords: Education

Accession Date: January 7, 2019
Access: No Restrictions
Collection Size: 6 inches

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Reports
  • Publications

Finding Aid

  1. After Peace Corps, 2011 
  2. Appointment, n.d. 
  3. Certificate of Appreciation, n.d. 
  4. Correspondence, 1964 
  5. Correspondence, 1965 
  6. Learning Ilocano (1/3) 
  7. Learning Ilocano (2/3) 
  8. Learning Ilocano (3/3) 
  9. Leonard Wood and Leprosy in the Philippines, n.d. 
  10. Magazine Cutting 
  11. Peace Corps I.D., 1964 
  12. Peace Corps Volunteer, 1965 
  13. Philippines XII Training Syllabus and Standards of Completion, n.d. 
  14. Training Materials, n.d. 

Dan Leahy in Turkey

Dan Leahy

Country of Service: Turkey
Place of Service: Comakli
Dates in Service: 1965-1967
Keywords: Agriculture

Accession Date: February 19, 2019
Access: Open
Collection Size: 2 folders (located in small collections)

Document Types

  • Correspondence

Digital Surrogates

Finding Aid

  1. Correspondence, 1965-1967 
  2. Transcriptions of Correspondence  

Michael Gainor in Colombia

Michael Gainor

Country of Service: Colombia
Place of Service: Pasoul Bravo
Service Type OR Service Project Title: Education
Dates in Service: 1963-1965
Keywords: Education, Youth

Accession Date: January 7, 2019
Access: Unrestricted
Collection Size: 21 inches

Document Types

  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Reports
  • Publications

Digital Surrogates

Finding Aid

  1. Gainor, Michael J.
  2. Biographical Sketches, 1963-1964 
  3. Booklocker, 1963 
  4. Journal, n.d. 
  5. Military Obligations, n.d. 
  6. Photographs, n.d. 
  7. Physical Education, 1964, n.d. 
  8. Registration and Training, 1963, n.d. 
  9. Speech: Why the Peace Corps?, n.d. 
  10. Travel Tag, n.d. 

Developing Volunteers Exhibit

As promised in the last story post, here is the newly-digitized exhibit which had been featured in at the AU Archives between October 2018 – February 2019.  The Developing Volunteers exhibit shares themes, examples, and ideas with another blog post, The Making of Global Citizens, but explores the artifacts in a different way.

Please enjoy this exhibit and I hope you will tell us if you’ve ever felt the same.  Have you ever lived abroad or experienced tremendous change which left you with a different perspective?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

Services Asked for, Given, and Received

For this next installment in the PCCA blog, I have decided to try something a little different.  For the last several months, I have worked on expanding the kinds of interpretation that can be done with the collections, including editing reel-to-reel tapes into digital podcasts and putting both visual and auditory media into exhibits.

In the AU Library Archives, we have a three-case exhibit space where small exhibits can be displayed.  If you follow the blog and live near DC, I encourage you to stop by and see in person how these items come together to tell slice-of-life stories about the PCV experience.  But, since many of our lovely readers do not live in the DMV area and since exhibits rotate, the exhibits are now going digital, starting with the current exhibit, Services Asked for, Given, and Received.

This exhibit explores the disconnect that sometimes occurred between what a PCV thought they would do and what they were asked to do, and the disconnect between what a partner government or community wanted from their volunteers and what they received.  This tension shows up in several of the collections, but featured here are pieces from the Geer Wilcox, Gail Wadsworth, Debby Prigal, and Ann Holmquist collections.

I hope you enjoy this little exhibit, and we would love to hear from you and your experiences.  So, what about you?  As a PCV, have you ever experienced this kind of disconnect?  Or in any other line of work?  Let us know in the comments!

John P. Hughes in Nepal

John P. Hughes

Country of Service: Nepal
Dates in Service: 1970-2010

Accession Date: 29 October 2018; 22 September 2022
Access: Unrestricted
Collection Size: 3 items

Document Types

  • Publications
  • Film/Video

Digital Surrogates

Related Items in Other Repositories

Finding Aid

  1. Peace Corps/Nepal 22: A Retrospective on the Post-Peace Corps Careers of Trainees, Trainers, PC Staff and RPCVs (1/2) 
  2. Peace Corps/Nepal 22: A Retrospective on the Post-Peace Corps Careers of Trainees, Trainers, PC Staff and RPCVs (2/2) 
  3. Nepal 22 Chronicles: A Virtual Reunion