The William E. Stafford Archives, Series 9, Sub-Series 2: Civilian Public Service Subject Files, 1942-2006

Overview of the Collection

Stafford, William, 1914-1993
The William E. Stafford Archives, Series 9, Sub-Series 2: Civilian Public Service Subject Files
1942-2006 (inclusive)
.5 cubic feet, (1 box)
Collection Number
William Stafford (1914-1993) was one of the most prolific and important American poets of the last half of the twentieth century. This subseries of the collection includes subject files related to Pacifism assembled by the William Stafford archivist. The Index to the entire Stafford Archives can be found at:
Lewis & Clark College, Special Collections and Archives

Aubrey R. Watzek Library
615 S. Palatine Hill Rd.
Portland, OR
Telephone: 5037687758
Fax: 5037687282
Access Restrictions

This collection has no restrictions and is open for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

William Stafford (1914-1993) was one of the most prolific and important American poets of the last half of the twentieth century. Among his many credentials, Stafford served as consultant in poetry at the Library of Congress, and received the National Book Award for his poetry collection Traveling through the Dark (1963). During his lifetime, Stafford wrote over sixty books of poetry that still resonate with both scholars and general readers. Stafford’s perspectives on peace, the environment, and education serve as some of the most articulate and engaging dialogues by a modern American writer about three of the most important issues of the second half of the twentieth century with lasting impacts on future generations. Howard Zinn, one America’s most iconic modern historians, was keenly aware of Stafford’s insight into modern American culture. Zinn claimed, “William Stafford’s prose and poetry, wise and eloquent, speak directly to the violence of our time, and to our hope for a different world” (from cover of Every War Has Two Losers).

The William Stafford Archives, donated to Lewis & Clark College by the Stafford family in 2008, contain the private papers, publications, photographs, recordings, and teaching materials of the poet William Stafford. The Lewis & Clark College Special Collections actively add to this collection by acquiring unique Stafford related materials.

Stafford wrote every day of his life from 1950 to 1993. These 20,000 pages of daily writings form a complete record of the poet’s mostly early morning meditations, including poem drafts, dream records, aphorisms, and other visits to the unconscious, recorded on separate sheets of yellow or white paper or when traveling, often in spiral-bound reporters’ steno pads. The archive also includes typescripts of poems submitted for publication and for use in readings. Stafford listed where he submitted each poem, and whether it was accepted for publication on the typescript. Each of his published collections, large and small, is represented by its gathering of documentary copies (typescripts), called by Stafford a “put-together.” Unpublished poems, poems published in journals, and reading copies of published poems were also gathered, in a virtually complete record from 1937 to 1993, totaling about 7,000 items. The collection also includes copies of all known Stafford books and translations. Stafford saved correspondence received, with an indication of the date of reply, and sometimes a copy of the reply, from the early 1960s to August 1993. Estimated at 100,000 sheets, the collected correspondence contains some full exchanges of correspondence initiated by WS. One such exchange is the correspondence with Marvin Bell on their sequence Segues. In addition to many photographs of and relating to William Stafford, the archive includes an estimated 20,000 photographs and negatives taken and developed by Stafford of fellow poets, family, friends, and Lewis & Clark College faculty. The archive provides documentation of Stafford's teaching career, including more than one thousand index cards, some dating from research at Iowa, others from later. These were much used in preparing for classes, workshops, and lectures. The files also contain scattered notes for workshops and lectures. The archive also includes course syllabi, and faculty documents relating to Stafford's teaching years at Lewis & Clark College.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Includes subject files assembled by the William Stafford archivist including correspondence, copies, and documents.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish, exhibit, broadcast, or quote from materials in the Watzek Library Archives & Special Collections requires written permission of the Head of Archives & Special Collections.

Preferred Citation

The William Stafford Archives, Lewis & Clark College Aubrey Watzek Library Archives & Special Collections, Portland, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Grouped by subject.

Location of Collection

Special Collections

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Container(s) Description Dates
3.1 Julian Schrock, “The Yamada Case.”
Copy of comment on Yamada case from August 1942 Mono Log (Coleville camp), and copy of letter by Charlie Davis about the case, July 5, 1942. Correspondence between Schrock and Paul Merchant (2005).
3.2 Jeff Kovac, "Confrontation at the Locks"
Correspondence between Paul Merchant and Jeff Kovac about Cascade Locks camp and Charlie Davis. Also incudes articles by Kovac.
3.3 Correspondence between Paul Merchant and Julian Schrock and Bob & Vi Metzler
3.4 Paul Merchant and Gladden Schrock
Correspondence and text of Schrock’s play “Taps.”
3.5 Essays and reviews by Jeff Gundy
Photocopy of “Without Heroes, without Villains: Identity and Community in Down in My Heart,” from Tom Andrews, On William Stafford: The Worth of Local Things; Three copies of “Peaceable Poet: William Stafford’s Witness,” (review of Kim Stafford’s Early Morning and Every War Has Two Losers published in Christian Century, April 6, 2004); Advance copy of “Almost One of the Boys: Marginality, Community and Nonviolence in William Stafford,” chapter 4 of the forthcoming Walkers in the Fog: Mennonite Writing.
3.6 Essays and reviews by Philip Metres
Primer for Non-Native Speakers (poem chapbook), Kent & London: Kent State University Press, 2004; Copy of “William Stafford’s Down in My Heart: The Poetics of Pacifism and the Limits of Lyric”; Correspondence with Stafford archives.
3.7 Materials from Tom Polk Miller and daughter Abigail
Explanatory materials relating to Miller & Eshelman’s The Waldport Project; Photocopies for WS items from Illiterati; Essay by Abigail on CPS poems by WS (“CO’s Work on Mountain Road”), William Everson (“War Elegy IV”), and Kermit Shets (“You and I” from The Mikado in CPS).
3.8 William Eshelman and Pat Rom
General correspondence, 1998 onwards, including material for the exhibit at Oregon Historical Society to accompany the 1998 launch of the Down in My Heart reprint.
3.9 James L. Henry Collection notes
Documents and manuscript notes from a visit to the Bancroft Library, Berkeley.
3.10 CPS exhibit
Correspondence and catalog from The Waldport/San Francisco Exhibit, University of San Francisco, Feb/Mar 2005.
3.11 General CPS and San Francisco Renaissance Materials
Copy of cover of Magnolia camp newsletter, “Peace Pathways,” with WS signature; WS journal entry on “The Beats,” with Glen Coffield commentary; copy of poem by Jim Harmon (Waldport); recent news reports of pacifist activity by Los Prietos camper Chuck Worley (“George” in DIMH); copies of printed Waldport reminiscences by William Eshelman and Adrian Wilson; copies of Portland State University PSU Magazine, containing excerpts from Katie Barber’s Waldport transcriptions; copies of web materials on San Francisco Renaissance and Conscientious Objection.
4 Refusing War Affirming Peace: A History of Civilian Public Service Camp No. 21 at Cascade Locks by Jeffrey Kovac
Drafts and a copy of the book published by Oregon State University Press, 2009. Also includes notes about the research conducted by Kovac in the Special Collections at Lewis & Clark College.
5 CPS Camp 56 at Waldport Oregon
Notes about the research conducted by Steve McQuiddy in the Special Collections at Lewis & Clark College.
6.1 "A Million Moves Begin at the Beach" by Matt Love
An article about the Waldport, Oregon CPS camp from Northwest Coast Magazine.
Winter 2008
6.2 Directory of Assignees to CPS Camp 56 Waldport, Oregon undated
6.3 "CPS: An Experiment in Personal Discipline" by Richard C. Mills
Photocopy of article from the Camp Walhalla News (Walhalla, Michigan).
6.4 Some of the Words We Said
Photocopy of an unpublished collection of Stafford poems (original housed in Stafford Archives A4.1) with correspondence of the gift of the collection of the family of Tom Polk Miller.
6.5 "Conscientious Objection to War: Heroes to Human Shields" by Alfred J. Sciarrino and Kenneth L. Deutsch
An article from the B.Y.U Journal of Public Law v. XVIII.
6.6 Flyer for an informational program for conscientious objectors featuring William Stafford as speaker
Program created by the American Friends Service Committee, Portland, Oregon. Folder also includes a photocopy of a flyer titled "That Men Live: Statement of Purpose of the Fellowship of Reconciliation."
6.7 "Two Narratives by Tom Polk Miller: Wars End, Portland and Civilian Island"
photocopies of typed drafts
6.8 Men Agaianst the State by George Reeves
photocopy of pamphlet (original shelved with rare books "PACIFISM" collection)
6.9 Kemper Nomland obituary 2009
6.10 Acirema Stories by Kermit Sheets
Photocopy (original housed in the Kermit Sheets Collection). Folder also includes a photo of Kermit Sheets and Paul Merchant taken in 2005.
6.11 "The History of Zines: Civilian Public Service Newsletters" by Donny Smith
From the publication Xerography Debt #11..
6.11 "The History of Zines: Civilian Public Service Newsletters" by Donny Smith
From the publication Xerography Debt #11.
6.12 CPS materials gathered by John Ellison
File includes correspondence between John Ellison and the Stafford archives and materials sent to the archives by Ellison including: The CO Project Newsletter (March/April 2006); a biographical sketch of Clayton James from; a photograph of a Clayton James' sculpture of William Everson; two photographs of men from CPS Camp 56, including Everson and Coffield; and a copy of an essay titled "An Introduction to CPS 56, Waldport, Oregon, 1942-45" by N.S. Hayner dated 1947.
6.13 letter from Melvin Luersen to Paul Comly French
Photocopied letter about forestry work at the Santa Barbara/Los Prietos CPS Camp no. 36.
Sept. 16, 1942
6.14 "My Stand for Consicentious Objection" by Lew Ayres
A copy of Lew Ayres statement to his draft board.
ca. 1942

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Pacifism--Poetry.
  • Pacifism--United States.
  • Poetry -- Authorship.
  • Poetry -- Study and teaching.
  • Poetry--20th century.
  • Poets, American--20th century.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Conscientious objectors -- United States.

Personal Names

  • Stafford, Dorothy
  • Stafford, William, 1914-1993--Archives

Corporate Names

  • Lewis & Clark College (Portland, Or.)

Geographical Names

  • Kansas.
  • Oregon.

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Stafford, Kim (creator)