Category Archives: Middle East

Barbara VanderWerf (Jones) in Iran

Places of Service: Kerman and Arak

Service Type: Education

Dates in Service: 1964-1966

Keywords: Community Development, Education

Accession Date: March 21, 2023

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 0.25 linear feet

Document Types

  • Publications

Finding Aid:

  1. Training Materials, 1969
  2. Peace Corps magazines featuring stories about Iraq, 1964-1970
  3. Memoir, 2021

Peggy Schaeffer in Yemen

Country of Service: Yemen
Place of Service: Taizz
Service Type: Librarian
Dates in Service: 1977-1979
Keywords: Business, Community Development, Education, Environment, Health, Information Technology, Libraries, Literacy, Urban Planning, Youth

Accession Date: October 21, 2020
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 1 linear foot

Document Types:

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Publications
  • Reports

Related Items in Other Repositories

Finding Aid:

Box 1 

  1. Audio Cassette Tapes, “Letters from Yemen” 
  2. Correspondence, Aug. 1977-June 1978 
  3. Correspondence, July 1978-May 1, 1979 
  4. Correspondence, May 16, 1979-Oct. 1979 
  5. Index to Negatives, Slides, and Photographs 
  6. Negatives, Various Dates and Subjects 
  7. Photographs and Negatives, Dec. 1977-Jan. 1978 
  8. Photographs Set 4, Sana’a, January 1978 
  9. Photographs Set 5, Sana’a, January 1978  
  10. Photographs, June-Sept.1978 

Box 2 

  1. Photographs and Negatives, July-Sept. 1979 
  2. Photographs, no date (Yemen; Zabid, Mocha) 
  3. Publications, 1977-1979 (Diary, Trainee Assignment, Short Story, Map) 
  4. Slides Rolls 1, 2, 6, and 7; Nov. 1977-Dec.1978 
  5. Slides Rolls 8, 9, 10, and 11; April 1978-March 1979 
  6. Slides Rolls 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20; April 1979-November 1979 

Mary Dana Marks in Iran

Country of Service: Iran
Place of Service: Kerman
Service Type: English Teacher
Dates in Service: 1964-1966
Keywords: Community Development, Education, Libraries, Literacy, Youth

Accession Date: September 22, 2020
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: .5 linear feet

Document Types:

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Publications (Memoir & Cookbook)

Finding Aid

  1. Correspondence, 1962-1965 
    1. Postcards, letters with photographs, etc. 
  2. Correspondence, Sept. 1964-March 1965 
  3. Correspondence, April 1965-Jan. 1966 
  4. Correspondence, Dec. 1965-May 1966 
  5. Correspondence, July 1966-Aug. 1966 
  6. Correspondence, July 1971-Dec. 1971 
  7. Correspondence, Jan. 1972-June 1974 
  8. Memoir & Cookbook 
    1. Mary Dana Marks, Walled in Walled Out: A Young American Woman in Iran (Oakland: Peace Corps Writers, 2017). 
    2. Cookbook: Peace Corps, Iran (no publication information). 
  9. Photographs, 1965 

Priscilla Murray in Turkey

Name: Priscilla Mae Murray
Country of Service: Turkey
Place of Service: Konya (taught at Konya Maarif Koleji)
Dates in Service: 1967-1969
Keywords: Community Development, Education, Environment, Health, Youth

Accession Date: September 9, 2020
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 0.01 linear feet

Document Types:
• Correspondences
• Photographs

Finding Aid:

  1. Correspondence, 1967-1969 
  2. Description of Peace Corps Volunteer Service 
  3. Writing about training, interactions with fellow Peace Corps Volunteers 
  4. Includes postcard 
  5. Photographs & Slides, 1968 
  6. Pictures of Priscilla Murray with her students  

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  

Sending Season’s Greetings: Holiday Cards from Abroad

There’s no place like home for the holidays but for Peace Corps Volunteers, it was difficult to return stateside at any point during their service, much less during any holiday. Peace Corps Volunteers reconnected with family and friends during the holidays through the mail. Holiday cards have been popular all over the world as a holiday tradition and PCVs found unique cards to send during their service abroad.





Winifred Boge served in India from 1965-1967 and sent the card featured above home. While the written message inside sends warm wishes, the images of the card are clearly Indian. In another letter from Boge on December 9th, 1966, Boge writes, “[I] had thought to make ‘Christmas Cards’ but I don’t think I have time to be messing.” Instead, Boge must have sent this card home as substitute.









Ed and Karen DeAntoni served in Turkey from 1964-1966 and sent many holiday cards to the states. One features a winter scene of the Parthenon in Athens with snow adorning its ruins. The other two holiday cards feature woodblock-esque prints with different holiday scenes. Inside as with the example below, there are holiday greetings in both Turkish and English and in some cases handwritten notes.



No matter where they were, PCVs celebrated the holidays when they served abroad. Holiday cards were one way to send well wishes to their friends and family. Many found these cards in their respective locations, but most of these cards had a cultural twist depending on where they originated. Whether it be a different language or a different type of image on the card, many of the holiday cards PCVs sent were unique while still honoring the tradition of sending cards for the holidays.


For more information, please visit the Peace Corps Community Archive website. To use the collections or make a donation, please contact the AU Archives at archives [at]

Leonard J. Oppenheim in Afghanistan

Leonard J. Oppenheim

Country of Service: Afghanistan
Dates in Service: 1964-1966
Keywords: Afghanistan, RPCV reunions, Peace Corps Training

Accession Date: February 23, 2015
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 1 DVD (located in small collections)

Document Types and Finding Aid

  • 1 Photo slideshow
    • Video produced for 2010 reunion by Leonard Oppenheim- features remarks by volunteers and photos from their service in Afghanistan. The volunteers speak about their Peace Corps experience including their reasons for joining the Peace Corps, memories of the training program, their work and life in Afghanistan, and, in retrospect, what their Peace Corps service meant to them.

Peace Corps through Images: The People

Below are images of local citizens taken by Peace Corps volunteers.  Each photograph captures local culture and customs through the nation’s people — as artisans, students, families, and participants in celebrations.

“Paraguayan artisan making ‘nanduti’ (spider-web lace) in her home shop in Itagua, the center of the nanduti artistry.” Caption written by Robert Meade.


“Students husking–polishing the floor with a coconut husk. At 7:00 AM–before school duties.” Caption written by Joyce Emery Johnston


“Campesino home and family.” Caption written by Robert Meade.


PC Boge- Snake Charmer edit

Snake Charmer


Celebration. Captured by Norm and Janet Heise while working for Walt Sangree, professor of anthropology. circa 1963-1965.


Through the Lens of a Camera

Dizon Relief

The Wait. Copyright for image is held by Ron Dizon.

Ronald Dizon served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan from 1971-1973.  During his time abroad, he worked with Operation Help—a joint project between the US Peace Corps and USAID.  The project fed the Afghan people who suffered from starvation, disease, and destitution worsened by a severe two-year drought.

Dizon created a photo essay about the project for the Afghan Government.  The images capture the effects of drought on the lives of people.   Not only informative, the images are simply fascinating.

Dizon Transport

Food Transport to Darzak Valley. Copyright for image is held by Ron Dizon.

Additional images from the project are located in the collection.  The collection also includes a letter from the Afghan Government noting the importance of Dizon’s contribution to Operation Help in Afghanistan.

Dizon Wrestling

Village Wrestling Match. Copyright for image is held by Ron Dizon.

Ron Dizon in Afghanistan

Ron Dizon

Country of Service: Afghanistan
Place of Service: Kabul
Service Type: Operation Help (Food for Work Program)
Dates in Service: 1971-1973
Keywords: Community Development, Middle East

Accession Date: May 6, 2013
Access: No Restrictions
Collection Size: 12 items, 2 CDs and an e-book (located in small collections)

Document Types

Book on Operation Help is available for free download here.

Finding Aid

  1. Two CDs: 
    1. (1) “Afghanistan Black and White 2020: Images and Slide Show 
    2. (2) “Returned Peace Corps Afghanistan E-Book, 1964-1978” 
  2. Correspondence