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Records of the Jamaica Peace Corps Training Program

Call Number



1961-1982, inclusive
; 1962, bulk


Rubin, Vera D.


22 boxes

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


In 1961 the Research Institute for the Study of Man (RISM) was contracted to train volunteers for the United States Peace Corps. Transferred to the Caribbean, the volunteers assisted the Jamaican government by training workers in librarianship, industrial arts, nursing and vocational education. The collection, which reflects the early years of the Peace Corps, and RISM's specialized knowledge of the Caribbean, includes correspondence, financial records, teaching papers, training guides, clippings, photographs, print material, reports, cassette tapes, and compact discs.

Historical Note

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the U.S. Peace Corps to promote international peace efforts through volunteer workers. Based on its specialization in Caribbean research, the Research Institute for the Study of Man (RISM) was selected to train Peace Corps volunteers to assist and support the vocational adult education programs sponsored by the government in Jamaica, West Indies.

The initial phase of the training program was conducted between April 2 - May 31, 1962 with Peace Corps volunteers housed at the International House situated on the Columbia University campus. Dr. Vera Rubin served as a consultant for the program, which was co-directed by Drs. Lambros Comitas and Robert Stigler. Course work included Caribbean (area) studies, American studies and world affairs, technical and agricultural training, commerce, industrial arts and health care. Noted anthropologists Sidney Mintz, David Lowenthal, M.G. Smith and others gave lectures. Many individuals involved in public service provided lectures for the American Affairs unit, notably Dean Acheson, U.S. Secretary of State from 1949 - 1953, Zbigniew K. Brzezinski, and Adlai E. Stevenson.

The Program's field trips and extra-curricular activities included a visit to Hyde Park, New York, where volunteers spoke with Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, attending the birthday party of President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in New York City and visits to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

During the second phase of the training program, volunteers received additional instruction and orientation to the region at the University College of the West Indies (UCWI) at Mona, Jamaica, W.I. Approximately 30 Peace Corps volunteers were assigned to diverse institutions, including youth camps at Chestervald and Cobbla, Regional Trade Training Centers, Teacher Training Colleges that included the Mico Training College for Teachers, the Shortwood Training College for Women Teachers, and at Frome Senior High Schools, Holmwood Technical School in Manchester, Vere Technical School in Clarendon and technical institutes in Port Antonio and Montego Bay. Their work responsibilities included teaching industrial arts, vocational skills, commercial bookeeping, chemistry, biology and physics. Other volunteers worked as nurse-educators, participated in agricultural projects or assisted the Jamaican Library Service, and the University College of the West Indies with cataloguing and classification.


The papers of the Jamaica Peace Corps. Project are arranged as # series, and some further arranged as subseries. The contents of each series or subseries is arranged chronologically with the exception of Series V, Volunteer Records, which is arranged alphabetically.

The files are grouped into 19 series:


  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Peace Corps Program Development
  3. III. Volunteer Registration Records [Restricted]
  4. IV. Program Health Services [Restricted]
  5. V. Volunteer Evaluation Records [Restricted]
  6. VI. Program Administration Records
  7. VII. Teaching Papers
  8. VIII. Field Trips and Extra-Curricular Activities
  9. IX. Volunteer Files [Restricted]
  10. X. Regional Placement Records
  11. XI. Photographs
  12. XII. Public Relations
  13. XIII. Clippings
  14. XIV. Audiovisual Materials
  15. XV. Maps
  16. XVI. Peace Corps Graduation Ceremony
  17. XVII. Peace Corps Volunteer Publications
  18. XVIII. Final Reports
  19. XIX. Miscellaneous Papers

Scope and Contents

The records of the Jamaica Peace Corps Training Program document the activities of the U.S. Peace Corps, and the Research Institute for the Study of Man (RISM) from the 1960s through the 1980s. The bulk of the collection, which consists of 21 boxes and approximately 12 linear feet, documents the actual training program, which was conducted between April - May 1962. The materials generated during the course of the Program are mainly textual in nature comprising correspondence between the U.S. Peace Corps, staff and faculty members, and Dr. Vera Rubin. Other textual documents include program guides, which outline the goals and objectives of setting up a training program and includes RISM's own training proposal. Syllabai and teaching papers, publications, clippings, maps, reports and print materials associated with the Program's graduation ceremony are also included.

Other formats in the collection are individual and group photographs of the Peace Corps Volunteers, and tickets from the birthday celebrtion organized for John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden. Audiovisual materials include a film reel of the volunteer's visit to Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, audiocassettes and reel-to-reel tapes of the Jamaican Language Guide by Mrs. Beryl Bailey, class lectures, and the Graduation ceremony. Note: Several series pertaining to the Peace Corps volnteers are restricted due to the sensitive nature of the materials and privacy of individuals. These series are as follows: Series III. Volunteer Registration Records, Series IV. Health Services, Series V. Volunteer Evaluation, and Series IX. Volunteer Files.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research with the exception of part or all of Series III, IV, V, and IX, which are restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the: >New York University Archives; Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012. Phone: (212) 998-2646; Fax: (212) 995-4225;

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); The Records of the Peace Corps Training Program; RG 6; box number; folder number;
Research Institute for the Study of Man/New York University Archives

Location of Materials

Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least two business days prior to your research visit to coordinate access.


The records of the Peace Corps Training Program were generated by Dr. Vera D. Rubin (1911 - 1985), Director of the Research Institute for The Study of Man (RISM) and her staff in fulfillment of a contract with The U.S. Peace Corps.

Separated Material

There is no information about materials that are associated by provenance to the described materials that have been physically separated or removed.

Related Material

The Vera Rubin Papers, RG 1 (at RISM)

Study of the Aspirations of Youth in a Developing Country (The Trinidad Study), RISM RG 5
Attitudes of Medical Students, RISM RG 7
Inter-University Consortium, RISM RG 9

Collection processed by

Emilyn L. Brown, April 2007 and edited by Nancy Cricco in March 2009. Inventory edited by Margaret Fraser and Samantha Gibson.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-06 14:27:44 -0500.
Language: Description is in English.

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Emilyn L. Brown between Mar - Apr 2007

Revisions to this Guide

July 2022: Updated by Lyric Evans-Hunter to reflect the digitization of audiovisual materials.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Guide to Records-Jamaic-PC.doc


New York University Archives
Research Institute for the Study of Man
New York University Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012