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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Howard Schomer papers

Repository: Harvard Divinity School. Andover-Harvard Theological Library. Manuscripts and Archives Department

Collection Description (Extant): Howard Schomer (June 9, 1915-June 28, 2001); Harvard College, B.S., 1937; Chicago Theological Seminary, D.D., 1954; ordained minister (United Church of Christ), 1941; married Elsie Swenson, 1942. Schomer refused ministerial exemption from the draft in World War II and served as a conscientious objector assigned to Civilian Public Service. From 1946-1955 he and Elsie served as Fraternal Workers in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, where thousands of Jewish and other refugees had been rescued during the Nazi occupation. In 1948, as Special Assistant to the UN Commission on Human Rights, he helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He subsequently served the World Council of Churches in Geneva, with primary focus on the preservation of religious freedom behind the Iron Curtain. In 1958, he became President of Chicago Theological Seminary, guiding its involvement in the ecumenical, civil rights, peace and urban renewal movements. He worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and marched with him in Selma, Alabama. In 1966 he became Director of Specialized Overseas Ministries of the National Council of Churches, and was active in opposing the war in Vietnam. In the 1970s, as World Issues Secretary of the United Church of Christ, he developed action programs for the promotion of peace, human rights and corporate social responsibility.

The collection documents Schomer's career as a minister, human rights advocate, pacifist, and business consultant. It is divided into eleven series.

Series I. Biographical and Personal Material

This section includes Who's Who information, clippings, photos, and articles about Schomer.

SERIES XI. Audiovisual materials

Audiocassette recordings of discussions and interviews with Schomer; recorded public addresses and ceremonies in which he participated; selected sermons and lectures; and recorded radio and television appearances.

Access Copy Note: There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Date(s): 1928-2001

Digital Status: No

Extent: 53 boxes

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Related Archival Items: See the Civilian Public Service (CPS) collection at Lewis and Clark College.

Interviewees: Howard Schomer

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


Civil rights--Religious aspects--Christianity
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Peace movements
United Church of Christ
United Nations
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Urban renewal
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements


Sound recordings


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   May 15, 2015
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