Scope and arrangement
The Edith Wynner papers date from 1890 to 1999 and contain correspondence, writings, personal files, photographs, and research notes. The collection covers Wynner's family life and earliest work as a world government advocate; her time as secretary to Rosika Schwimmer; work as an independent researcher, lecturer, and writer on world government and peace activism; and as the biographer of Rosika Schwimmer.
Correspondence is both personal and professional in nature, and is filed throughout the collection. Wynner's writings and lectures-including books, articles, reviews, numerous letters to the editor, and her unfinished biography of Rosika Schwimmer-are represented by drafts, revisions, and documents on the publicity and distribution of her work. Position statements, notes, and photographs document her participation in world government conferences, government hearings, local organizations, and demonstrations. Wynner compiled general subject files that broadly cover the areas of her ideological interests, particularly the creation of world federal government, pacifism, and feminism. Research files make up the bulk of the collection and were created in the course of writing her books, primarily The Life and Times of Rosika Schwimmer. In addition to Wynner's notes, the research files include transcriptions and translations from papers in the Schwimmer-Lloyd collection.
Owing to the division of her papers between the Schwimmer-Lloyd collection and those in her possession until the time of her death, as well as her work on the same subject spanning a 50 year time period, Wynner's original filing schemes were not consistent. The collection currently contains a small number of duplicates throughout the series, as well as documents of similar type and subject spread among the series. For instance, correspondence about Wynner's research pursuits can be found in Series I, filed by date, Series V, filed by correspondent, or Series VI, filed by subject. Researchers should review the finding aid for all possible series and subseries for a given topic.
Materials in the collection are in English, Hungarian, and German.
The Edith Wynner papers are arranged in six series:
- 1921-199911 boxes
The Correspondence series contains incoming and outgoing correspondence, arranged chronologically by year. The series is divided into two subseries: General Correspondence and Family Correspondence. Correspondence can be found throughout each of the other series in the collection, where, with the exception of Series V: Subject Files, it is noted in the folder title.
Wynner began creating subject files out of her correspondence in the 1960s and 1970s, and these subject files have remained as created in Series V. While the subject files primarily relate to world government issues, her letters tend to discuss both personal and professional topics. Researchers looking for complete correspondence from an individual are advised to check the General Correspondence subseries as well as Subject Files, where names are arranged alphabetically by surname.
- circa 1890-19989 boxes
Wynner's personal files contain her secondary school papers, diaries, and household paperwork. Her citizenship and visa documents include her birth certificate and family immigration paperwork, with material that details her successful application for derivative United States citizenship through her father's status. Wynner lived with the Schwimmer sisters, and was primarily supported by them in addition to her modest earnings from book sales and lectures. Household notes and estate documents also discuss her care for both sisters in their final illnesses and her inheritance of their literary rights.
Wynner's diaries range from day-to-day accounts of her home life and early travels to documentation of her various health ailments, particularly early hearing loss. Wynner's experience at Camp Tera, a Civilian Conservation Corps offshoot camp for young women, is recounted in its own volume. The cards and memberships file provides an overview of her personal, civic, and professional engagement, particularly her continued participation in activist and feminist organizations. Telephone diaries and mail books offer only sporadic documentation of her correspondence, with the name, date, and subject of telephone calls and letters; additional telephone diaries and mail books are kept in the Schwimmer-Lloyd collection, Series AA.
Photographs in this series consist primarily of candid snapshots of family and close friends, as well as a small number of formal family portraits. General photograph files consist of snapshots and portraits of Wynner herself as well as unidentified scenes. Wynner's photograph albums contain Wynner family snapshots, photographs of her European travels, and summer vacations with the Schwimmer and Lloyd families.
- 1939-199228 boxes
This series covers the intellectual output of Wynner's world government and peace activities, from her earliest writings on the topic to lectures, book reviews, her two published books, and drafts of two unfinished books. The series is divided into 5 subseries: one for each substantial book-length project-Searchlight on Peace Plans, World Federal Government, and The Life and Times of Rosika Schwimmer-her Lecture Tour, and Short Works. Wynner's published books are represented by drafts and revisions, pre-publication correspondence, publicity materials, and review solicitations. Files on her shorter works are mostly limited to drafts, with some correspondence.
The subjects of Wynner's writings and lectures include the creation of a world governing body, disarmament, nuclear proliferation, pacifism, commentary on the world government community, and the intersection of these topics with feminism and women's issues. Wynner also wrote essays and historical articles on Rosika Schwimmer, the events surrounding the Hague Congress of Women, and the Ford Peace Expedition.
All subseries are arranged alphabetically, with the exception of The Life and Times of Rosika Schwimmer.
- 1934-19917 boxes
Files in Organizations and Conferences consist of Wynner's notes and statements from conferences, congressional hearings, and organizational meetings, as well as minutes, programs, and photographs of events. Materials in this series document Wynner's activism and participation in conferences to shape the creation of a democratically elected world governing body. Her earliest activist efforts in Chicago are represented in the Federation of Active Pacifist Youth files. One of the more significant events Wynner contributed to-the Conference of the World Movement for World Federal Government-is also represented in this series. In addition to world government activism, she advocated for pacifism and feminism; her photographs in this series show her participation in protests and demonstrations for these causes into the 1980s.
General notes contain written shorthand notes on a range of events, some of which are unidentified. Wynner's secretarial notes are filed here, as her work with both Schwimmer and Usborne directly related to and supported their work in the world government movement. Wynner's hearing statements are accompanied by early drafts and revisions. Conference material includes minutes, programs, and Wynner's notes on sessions; the general conference files contain documents from a range of conferences without original material from Wynner. The series also contains ephemera, such as a t-shirt and buttons from demonstrations.
Files for the Campaign for World Government and Griffin-O'Day Bill Committee offer scant coverage of Wynner's participation in each organization. For complete documentation, see the Campaign for World Government New York Office records and the Schwimmer-Lloyd collection: Griffin-O'Day Bill Committee records, respectively. Wynner's work for the World Peace Prize for Rosika Schwimmer committee is found in the Lola Maverick Lloyd papers, Series I.C.
- 1940-199911 boxes
The subject files are arranged alphabetically. The files contain correspondence, written works, meeting minutes, programs, clippings, and fliers. Most files in this series were created by Wynner with the intention of integrating them into the larger Schwimmer-Lloyd collection; materials not originating from or collected by Wynner were sent to her for retention in the collection. Her arrangement has been retained, though folder titles that originally listed personal names where the material enclosed largely represented an organization have been amended, and are filed under the organization's name with relevant individuals noted following the folder title. The subject files broadly cover the world government movement, with content that also discusses women's issues, feminist organizations, and pacifism.
Beginning in the 1970s, Wynner created files for her regular correspondents in the world government circuit, such as Garry Davis and Philip Isely, rather than filing correspondence chronologically. These letters by Wynner and others often contain in-depth arguments about the creation of a world federal body and administration of world government advocacy organizations that are similar in tone and substance to Wynner's published essays. The subject files do not include complete correspondence files, however, and should be used in concert with Series I.A. when looking for thorough documentation of an individual.
Files on general topics, namely peace and world government, and women, contain a range of items, such as programs, clippings, and fliers, that cover events and organizations not represented by an individual file. Documents that discuss the administrative and ideological issues of Tom Liggett's World Peace News are filed in this series, while correspondence on Wynner's editorial and review work are filed in Series III.D., and documents on the World Peace News world government seminars in Series IV. Individuals pursuing the same research topics as Wynner-Schwimmer and early women suffrage and peace activists-are also documented here, with correspondence as well as Wynner's commentary on her colleagues' developing manuscripts. This material is not duplicative of the formal reviews by Wynner in Series III.D., but is complementary in providing a complete overview of her engagement with authors.
In addition to Wynner's collecting for the subject files, some individuals sent her material for the expressed purpose of adding to the Schwimmer-Lloyd collection. In particular, the Georgia Lloyd/Campaign for World Government, Frances Fenner/Fedonat Press, and Josephine Rubin files are a mixture of correspondence with Wynner as well as their own documents gathered for donation to the collection.
- 1936-1992113 boxes
Wynner's research notes are the largest series of the collection and cover research for her two published works as well as two unpublished manuscripts. The notes are arranged by work title, with further alphabetical arrangement in The Life and Times of Rosika Schwimmer subseries by subject. While this series primarily contains notes, files also include bibliographies, unpublished sources, clippings, and correspondence.