Department of State Research Topics
Cold War Era Agencies
Records of the Peace Corps (RG 490)
The Peace Corps was established as an operating agency in the Department of State, effective March 3, 1961. The Peace Corps was transferred to ACTION, effective July 1, 1971; to autonomous agency status within ACTION, effective May 16, 1979; and to independent agency status, effective February 21, 1982. The agency administers and coordinates federal international volunteer and related domestic volunteer programs. This record group includes textual records, motion pictures, sound recordings, and still pictures.
Textual records consist of the records of various offices, including the Office of the Director; the Executive Secretariat; the East Asia and Pacific Regional Office; the Office of Administration and Finance; the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Research; the Office of Programs and Training Support; and the Office of the Inspector General.
The motion pictures include films created, commissioned, or acquired by the Peace Corps, documenting the training of volunteers for service in various countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America; Peace Corps activities in agriculture, education, and family planning; and appearances by President John F. Kennedy and Peace Corps Directors R. Sargent Shriver and Jack Vaughn, 1961-71.
Sound recordings include those made by the Peace Corps primarily to promote its programs and to assist with recruitment efforts, including radio public service advertisements, interviews with returning volunteers, and a recorded account of Triunfo, a Peace Corps program implemented in Honduras, ca. 1975 - ca. 1985.
Still pictures consist of photographic prints, proof sheets, negatives, color slides, and posters. Included are images of Peace Corps staff, training of volunteers in the United States, activities of volunteers overseas, and public affairs activities. Posters include those relating to Peace Corps volunteer recruitment, the Peace Corps Partnership Program, and commemoration of Peace Corps anniversaries.
You can search the National Archives Catalog for entries from RG 490 or see a description in the Guide to Federal Records.