Scope and arrangement
The records of CARE, 1945-1985, document the organization's initial years as a temporary relief agency in post-war Europe and the evolution of its scope into international development work, with missions in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The bulk of the collection dates from circa 1950 to 1980; the volume of material drops sharply after 1980. There are also a few scattered items from 1986-1989.
Materials include the files of CARE's executive staff, project files, administrative correspondence between CARE's headquarters and its overseas missions and regional field offices in the U. S. and Canada, reports, studies, press releases, and financial records. There is also documentation on the establishment of CARE International, the activities of MEDICO, which merged with CARE in 1962, and the Peace Corps, with which CARE worked closely from 1961 to 1967. Nearly all of these materials are from CARE's central offices in New York; there are relatively few files from its overseas missions and regional offices, except in the cases of a few missions or offices that have closed.
CARE has retained certain items, including recent financial records, Human Resources Department files, and its film and picture archive. In some cases, as with donor files, materials were sampled, with the bulk remaining at or returned to CARE.
The CARE additions span the dates 1945-1997, with the bulk of the records documenting the 1970s and 1980s. These additions contain the original minutes of the Board of Directors of CARE, 1945-1991, from the organization's inception as a relief organization assisting war-torn Europe after World War II, to a modern 21st century organization that has expanded relief and extended self-reliance to developing countries.
Notable among these additions are the records of the Presidents of CARE. Series 10, Management 1945-1994, hold the files of President Edwin J. Wesley and Philip Johnston, President and Chief Executive Officer. The files of both of these presidents span over thirty years, Wesley from 196's through the 1980s, and Johnston's files from the 1970s to the mid 1990s. Johnston's records offer the most complete and detailed record for a former President and CEO. Other important administrator files include those of George H. Radcliffe, the Executive Vice-President. Radcliffe held a variety of positions with CARE and his records span the 1960s through the early 1990s. Overall, the files of CARE's top executives provide additional insight into policy-making decisions during the late 20th century. Series 10 also holds the records of CARESBAC, a CARE agency concerned with small business development. Founded in 1989, CARESBAC eventually became an independent non-profit agency known as SEAF (Small Enterprise Assistance Funds) in 1995.
The Program Department records, 1961-1993, form the largest series in the Additions. CARE developed projects in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, tackling issues such as agro-forestry, education, nutrition for mother and child, farming, and small business development. Most of the CARE records were generated by the former New York Headquarters before CARE moved to Atlanta in 1993.
The CARE records are arranged in thirteen series:
Series 1, Management Files, consists primarily of the records of CARE's chief policy-makers and administrators: the Board of Directors, Executive Directors and Deputy Executive Directors, several of its Assistant Executive Directors, and its General Counsel. There are also annual reports, organizational histories, and related items.
- 1949-1986 [bulk 1958-1980]
Program Department materials include administrators' files, particularly those of the nutritionists and the assistant director responsible for obtaining surplus agricultural commodities; country project files; departmental annual reports; and assorted forms, reports, and manuals.
Working in conjunction with the mission chiefs, the Overseas Operations Department staff is responsible for the administration of CARE's missions, including the acquisition and maintenance of supplies and equipment, the dissemination of information to and from each mission, and personnel and budgetary matters.
Over ninety percent of this series consists of intra-CARE correspondence, in particular the numbered letters and cables exchanged between each mission and CARE headquarters in New York, and the log books in which each item of correspondence was recorded. There are also relatively complete runs of CARE's numbered administrative memos, 1947-1983, and ALMISes (letters from headquarters to all missions), 1957-1986.
The remainder of materials in Series 3 consists of administrators' files, chiefly those of Bertran Smucker, who in 1958 became the director of Overseas Operations (then a division of Operations), and was the assistant executive director of Overseas Operations from 1965 to 1979. The series also includes a fairly complete run of discursive reports by country directors, 1946-1984; disaster files documenting CARE's response to natural catastrophes such as floods and earthquakes; and reports and other items from CARE's world and regional conferences.
- 1946-1989 [bulk 1962-1980]
The Public and Donor Relations Department has grown faster and changed its structure more frequently than other CARE departments. From about 1962 to 1980, when the bulk of these papers were created, it consisted of two main units: the Publicity or Public Relations Division (later Public Information, and now called Communications), which handled routine external inquiries about CARE and prepared and disseminated press releases and radio and television spots about CARE; and the National Field Operations Division (also called Field Services, Resource Development, and currently Development), which oversaw CARE's fund-raising activities, especially through its regional offices. Each division had its own director, who reported to the Assistant Executive Director of Public and Donor Relations.
The Donor Services Division, which maintains information on individual and institutional contributors, has at various times been a separate unit, a part of Public Relations, and a subdivision of Resource Development. It appears here as a separate subseries.
- 1947-1984 [bulk circa 1955-1970]
Budget plans, statistical tables, grant applications, memos, and other items from CARE's Finance and Procurement departments. The former, called Administrative Operations before 1964 and Financial Control from circa 1964 to 1981 deals with the budget, payroll, and other monetary concerns of CARE, and includes its Accounting, Remittance, Treasury and Insurance, and Data Processing divisions. The Procurement Department is responsible for the acquisition of agricultural commodities, MEDICO supplies, general and special purchases, and the shipping of all such materials.
The items in this series represent only a small sample of those generated by either department. CARE has retained its recent Finance Department files and apparently routinely discarded most earlier ones. A January 1976 memo to Jack Thacher from Howard Powell, director of Procurement, mentions that the Procurement Department destroyed most of its inactive files in the early 1970s, owing to space limitations. Subseries descriptions follow.
- 1956-1986 [bulk 1962-1980]
There are 89 boxes of files in the MEDICO series, mainly containing administrators' correspondence, end-of-tour reports by contract personnel and volunteer specialists, VVS personnel files, and minutes of meetings and other materials of the MEDICO Advisory Board. Items date from MEDICO's earliest days to the mid-1980s.
Researchers should note that in 1981, at the request of the Western Historical Manuscript Collection of the University of Missouri in St. Louis, CARE donated several files of original correspondence from Tom Dooley to the W. H. M. C.'s Thomas A. Dooley III Collection.
Related MEDICO materials can also be found in the files of Ralph Devone (Program Department Box 104) and in Boxes 863-870, the files of Jack Thacher and Ron Burkard, Assistant Executive Directors of the Public and Donor Relations Department.
The bulk of Series 8 consists of contracts, budget proposals, administrative correspondence, and progress reports, as well as items pertaining to the selection and training of each contingent of volunteers. Most of the files are those of CARE's Program Department staff members: Gordon Alderfer, the Program Department A. E. D. in 1961; Ralph Greenlaw, Program Department Director; and Merton Cregger, director of the Colombia Peace Corps Project. There are also Peace Corps files of Lou Samia, then the A. E. D. for Administrative Operations, and those of James Lambie, A. E. D. for special assignments.
- 1947-1985 [bulk 1968-1979]
Series 9 consists of posters, charts, films, slides, and sound recordings, chiefly reel-to-reel tapes. Most of these items were produced by the Public Relations Department for promotional purposes, or by the Program Department for use overseas in health education projects.
As mentioned in the Scope and Content Note, CARE has retained most of its audio-visual materials, chiefly photographs, slides, motion pictures, and videotapes. Items in Series 9 were separated during processing from the Public Relations and Program Departments files in which they had been stored.
Continues Series 1.
Continues Series 2.
This series continues Series 3, Overseas Operations. The Country Files document only the year 1988, and most closely relate to Series 3.2 Numbered Country Correspondence, 1947-1984.
The remaining files include materials on CARE's world conferences, 1961-1982, and ALMISs Files, 1986-1990.
The Donor and Public Relations Department (formerly the Public Relations and Donor Department) is described in Series 4.