Bob Klein: Inspiration for the Peace Corps Community Archive

Bob Klein was among the first Peace Corps volunteers. After teaching in Ghana (1961-1963), he joined the Peace Corps overseas staff.  He served as Ghana Country Director from 1966 until 1968.  Bob was an ardent advocate for the documentation and preservation of the experiences of individual Peace Corps volunteers. He served as organizer for the Returned Peace Corps Archives Project, which collects Peace Corps oral histories in cooperation with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.  Between 1999 and 2012, Bob interviewed close to 300 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.  As the fiftieth anniversary of the Peace Corps approached, he increasingly stressed the importance of collecting archival materials.  With the assistance of Joanne Roll and Pat Wand, Bob prepared a concept statement for a Peace Corps Volunteer archive which they shared with the University Librarian at American University in late 2011.  This document became the starting point for a series of discussions which resulted in the inauguration of the Peace Corps Community Archive in March of 2013.

Before Bob Klein passed away unexpectedly in April 2012, he donated his papers to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.  The collection includes a draft of his book, Being First, correspondence, Peace Corps publications, and circulars & memoranda from the Peace Corps Accra office.