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Dayton Council on World Affairs Records

Identifier: MS-46

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the organizational records from the Dayton Council on World Affairs and its affiliated Junior Council. The records span the entire history of the organization starting with its founding in 1947, and currently ending in 2014. The years between 1978 and 1987 have limited and scattered records due to a fire at the DCOWA offices. Files from more recent years, particularly 1996 and forward, are incomplete, but may be filled in by future accruals.

Group I, Series I, Administration, 1947-2014, undated is divided into six subseries. Subseries IA, History (1947-2008), contains the constitution of DCOWA, organizational data such as structure; general histories, timelines, and reflections written about DCOWA, as well as information about anniversary celebrations. Subseries IB, Annual Meetings (1955-2014),consists of minutes of the annual meeting and annual reports of DCOWA. Subseries IC, Board of Directors (1947-2012), contains most of the Board of Directors’ meeting minutes, rosters, board packets, and other relevant material, including planning information. Subseries ID, General Administration (1947-2008), is arranged chronologically, and contains administrative materials that pertains to volunteers, personnel, and the community, as well as DCOWA’s non-profit status and website development. Subseries IE, Committees (1949-2008), contains minutes and records of various committees within DCOWA including the Adult Program Committee, the Development Committee, the Evaluation Committee, the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, the Marketing Committee, the Nominating Committee, the Program Committee. It also contains information on miscellaneous committees on topics like planning, events, and outreach. Subseries IF, Membership (1948-2007), contains Board of Directors biographies and basic dossiers of board members, records on corporate membership, records for the “Diplomat’s Club,” and scattered membership reports, rosters, and surveys.

Group I, Series II, Financial, 1948-2009, undated, is divided into two subseries. Subseries IIA, Reports / Receipts (1948-2008), contains Budget documents, Treasurer’s Reports, cash receipt books, and various reports, statements and audits. Subseries IIB, Fundraising (1948-2009), contains materials related to corporate sponsorship, grants, and fundraising campaigns, and reports from the financial campaign.

Group I, Series III, Programs, 1951-2011, circa 2006-2008, undated is divided into three subseries. Subseries IIIA, Educational Programs (1956-2010), contains materials relating primarily to lectures, discussions, and educational outreach. Files on dozens of programs are present including the International Forum, “Great Decisions,” Insight Lecture Series, Lecture Programs, and the Speaker’s Bureau. The programs feature many different perspectives on foreign affairs, including those of local political science professors, diplomats, reporters, and individuals who were born or lived in other countries. Subseries IIIB, Coordinated Events / Projects (1951-2011), undated, contains planning materials for DCOWA programs. Materials are organized in the following groups within the subseries: Planning, Conferences, Festivals, Performances, Style show, Task force, Awards, Art programs, Tours, and Other events. Each is arranged chronologically. Subjects include Foreign Policy Conference, Miami Valley International Summit, and numerous other conferences; festivals including scattered World A’Fair, and Columbia in Dayton records; World of Flair Style Show and various single performances and events. Some of these programs were collaborations with other organizations, such as the Dayton Art Institute and Miami Valley International Trade Association. Subseries IIIC, Exchange Programs / Travel (1957-2007, circa 2006-2008), contains materials related to international tours and visitor exchange programs including the Experiment in International Living program, International Visitors program, the Global Dayton project, and other materials relating to travel.

Group I, Series IV, Publications, 1955-2009, undated, is divided into three subseries. Subseries IVA, Newsletters (1955-2009), contains the Council’s newsletters. Subseries IVB, Publicity (1956-1994), contains press releases and limited news clippings and speeches. Subseries IVC, Educational Resources (1966, 1971-1997, undated), contains “Great Decisions” articles and publications.

Group I, Series V, Audio Visual, 1985-2009, after 1970, after 1987, undated contains audiocassettes and video recordings primarily of DCOWA events. Other recordings include speeches and interviews given by key DCOWA members such as John Yeck, Louise Mead Walker, and Pfeife Smith. There is also a five-VHS tape series “The Dayton Peace Accords: The Next Phase of Implementation,” accompanied by a written ‘table of contents’ explaining the topics covered on each tape. Also of note is a brief documentary on the 1988 fire that destroyed most of the DCOWA office. Note that all audiovisual material must be digitized before research access.

Group I, Series VI, Photographs, 1948-2007, circa 1990-2001, undated is divided into three subseries. Subseries VIA, Events (1948-2007, circa 1990-2001, undated), contains pictures of different DCOWA events, and is organized chronologically. One file contains an assemblage of pictures gathered for DCOWA’s 60th anniversary, featuring photos highlighting events throughout the organization’s history. Subseries VIB, People (1950-1996, circa 1990-2001), undated, contains pictures of different personalities associated with DCOWA, and is organized chronologically. Subseries VIC, Negatives (1959-1995, 2001, 2007, undated), contains photograph negatives, also organized chronologically.

Group I, Series VII, Scrapbooks, 1948-1972, 1989-1991 contains scrapbooks created by the DCOWA. Subseries VIIA, Loose Books (1958-1972, 1989-1991), features loose leaves, primarily of newspaper clippings. Subseries VIIB, Bound Books (1948-1959), contains scrapbooks in more traditional book format. One scrapbook documents the Midwest conference on “The Effects of Foreign Aid.”

Group I, Series VIII, Correspondence, 1947-2008, circa 1992 is divided into four subseries. Subseries VIIIA, Individuals and Groups (1963-2000), primarily contains correspondence relating to the Board of Directors, as well as correspondence relating to influential figures in DCOWA, including John S. Moore, John Yeck, and Judy Baker. There is also some correspondence with the U.S. State Department. Subseries VIIIB, Membership (1954-2006), contains correspondence relating to membership with the Council. Subseries VIIIC, Programs (1951-1997, circa 1992), contains correspondence relating to the Great Decisions program, the Miami Valley International Summit, potential speakers, potential programs , and other events. Subseries VIIID, General Correspondence, (1947-2008), contains general correspondence, organized chronologically.

Group II, Series I, Administration, 1955-2009, circa 1980-2010, undated, is divided into six subseries. Subseries IA, History (1964; 1972-1973; 1993-2001, undated), contains organization history and mission statements for the JCOWA. Subseries IB, Handbooks (1960-2005, circa 1980-1992, undated), contains JCOWA manuals, Advisors Handbooks, and an undated President’s manual. Subseries IC, General Administration (1957-2009, circa 1995-2010, undated), contains assorted reports, minutes, calendars, and surveys organized chronologically. Subseries ID, Committees (1955-1995), contains documents relating to different committees including the Student Executive Committee, the Top Policy Committee, and a few other committees and task forces. Subseries IE, Membership (1955-2008, undated), contains membership lists and directories. Subseries IF, Financial (1957-2005, undated), contains financial scattered financial records.

Group II, Series II, Programs, 1954-2007, circa 1975-1992, circa 2006-2007, undated, contains information on the programs that JCOWA has sponsored since its inception. These materials are arranged alphabetically by the title of the program, and then chronologically within a title set. Among the programs included are the Foreign Bazaar (also known as the World Bazaar), Foreign Study League, High School Institute, International Quiz and International Quiz Bowl, Model U.N. General Assembly. A significant amount of material documents planning and activities of the annual Washington/New York Study Tour.

Group II, Series III, Publications, 1958-2006, is divided into two subseries. Subseries IIIA, Newsletters (1958-2006), contains the JCOWA newsletter and other scattered newsletters. Subseries IIIB, Publicity (1962-1985; 1995-1996; undated), contains brochures, pamphlets, as well as press releases covering JCOWA’s activities. There are also copies of JCOWA’s newspaper activity column, “Global Watch.”

Group II, Series IV, Photographs, 1951-2007, undated, is divided into two subseries. Subseries IVA, Prints (1951-2007), contains assorted photographs organized chronologically, documenting events including activities and meetings, and interactions with prominent figures like Eleanor Roosevelt. Subseries IVB, Negatives / Slides (1956-1995), contains negatives and slides organized chronologically.

Group II, Series V, Scrapbooks, 1951-1992, undated, is divided into two subseries. Subseries VA, Loose Books (1952-1992, undated), contains three unbound scrapbooks 1952-1954, 1961-1968 and 1963-1970, as well as album pages and collected news clippings. Subseries VB, Bound Books (1951-1958), contains five scrapbooks.

Group II, Series VI, Correspondence, 1955-2007, contains general correspondence relating to JCOWA, including about programs and scholarships.

Group II, Series VII, Audio Visual, 1990-2001, undated, contains recordings related to JCOWA programs. These include videos of Quiz Bowls in the 1990s and 2000s, as well as a broadcast of an unnamed program. All recordings are in video cassette format, and must be digitized before viewing.


  • Creation: 1947 - 2014
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1947 - 1997


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing PAPER-based materials in this collection.

Preservation of magnetic media formats (audio/video reels, cassettes) without a reference copy: Due to preservation concerns, original audio and video materials cannot be played in the reading room. Patrons may have access to digitized reference copies. Items without existing reference copies can be digitized at the patron’s request for the cost of creating a digital copy. Please contact us at least two (2) weeks in advance if you would like to request an audio or video reference copy.

Electronic records: Access to electronic records (indicated by an e-number, e.g., ms46_e0001) in this collection is restricted until they are fully processed. Requests for unprocessed electronic records can be submitted for consideration by contacting us at least two (2) weeks in advance. Archives staff reserve the right to restrict access to files with privacy or confidentiality concerns or to deny requests in which the review period is insufficient, given the volume of records requested and the desired access date. Access to original electronic media is restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

The Dayton Council on World Affairs (DCOWA) exists to foster an informed public opinion as the democratic basis for sound foreign policy, to conduct a comprehensive program of the community education in world affairs, and to develop the widest possible understanding of international relations as an essential step toward lasting peace. The Council is non-profit and non-partisan.

Founded in 1947 and headed by George Mead, the DCOWA, like other Councils on World Affairs, grew out of a concern on the part of several prominent Dayton citizens that Americans would choose isolationism over a foreign policy based on international engagement. The founding members felt that the citizens of Dayton should be informed about international movements, politics, and culture and how it affected the lives of people living in Dayton.

DCOWA has operated continuously since 1947. The organization regularly hosts and/or sponsors discussions, lectures and events featuring scholars and international speakers. The DCOWA has produced television programs, a study series, tours, style shows, and international festivals among other programs in the past.

In 1949 the DCOWA added the Junior Council program, partnering with high schools in the Dayton area to charter chapters under the Junior Council on World Affairs. These councils allow students to participate in monthly events focused on international topics in addition to regional events hosted by the DCOWA.


54.91 linear feet

Language of Materials



The Dayton Council on World Affairs (DCOWA), was founded in 1947 to educate and engage the Dayton community with programs to promote and nurture public awareness of critical international issues. The collection consists of organizational records, annual reports, meeting minutes, publications, committee documents, membership information, newsletters, correspondence, budgets, and financial records. Also included are records relating to educational programs, lecture series, exchange programs, and community events. The collection contains numerous photographs of DCOWA events and people related to the organization, and organizational clipping scrapbooks. Also included are the records of the Dayton Junior Council on World Affairs (JCOWA), which serves high school students.


The collection is arranged into 2 record groups, 15 series, and 35 subseries.

Series I:
Administration, 1947-2014
Subseries IA:
History, 1947-2008
Subseries IB:
Annual Meetings, 1955-2014
Subseries IC:
Board of Directors, 1947-2012
Subseries ID:
General Administration, 1947-2008
Subseries IE:
Committees, 1949-2008, undated
Subseries IF:
Membership, 1948-2007, undated
Series II:
Financial, 1948-2009, undated
Subseries IIA:
Reports / Receipts, 1948-2008
Subseries IIB:
Fundraising, 1948-2009, undated
Series III:
Programs, 1951-2011
Subseries IIIA:
Educational Programs, 1956-2010
Subseries IIIB:
Coordinated Events, 1951-2011, undated
Subseries IIIC:
Exchange / Travel Programs, 1957-2007, circa 2006-2008, undated
Series IV:
Publications, 1955-2009, undated
Subseries IVA:
Newsletters, 1955-2009
Subseries IVB:
Publicity, 1956-1994, undated
Subseries IVC:
Educational Resources, 1966; 1971-1997, undated
Series V:
Audio Visual, 1985-2009, undated
Series VI:
Photographs, 1948-2007, undated
Subseries VIA:
Events, 1948-2007, undated
Subseries VIB:
People, 1950-1996, circa 1990-2001, undated
Subseries VIC:
Negatives, 1959-1995, 2001, 2007, undated
Series VII:
Scrapbooks, 1948-1972, 1989-1991
Subseries VIIA:
Loose Books, 1958-1972, 1989-1991
Subseries VIIB:
Bound Books, 1948-1959
Series VIII:
Correspondence, 1947-2008, circa 1992
Subseries VIIIA:
Individuals and Groups, 1963-2000
Subseries VIIIB:
Membership, 1954-2006
Subseries VIIIC:
Programs, 1951-1997
Subseries VIIID:
General Correspondence, 1947-2008
JUNIOR COUNCIL ON WORLD AFFAIRS, 1951-2009, circa 1980-2010, undated
Series I:
Administration, 1955-2009, circa 1980-2010, undated
Subseries IA:
History, 1964; 1972-1973; 1993-2001, undated
Subseries IB:
Handbooks, 1960-2005, circa 1980-1992, undated
Subseries IC:
General Administration, 1957-2009, circa 1995-2010, undated
Subseries ID:
Committees, 1955-1995
Subseries IE:
Membership, 1955-2008, undated
Subseries IF:
Financial, 1957-2005, undated
Series II:
Programs, 1954-2007, undated
Series III:
Publications, 1958-2006, undated
Subseries IIIA:
Newsletters, 1958-2006
Subseries IIIB:
Publicity, 1962-1985; 1995-1996; undated
Series IV:
Photographs, 1951-2007, undated
Subseries IVA:
Prints, 1951-2007
Subseries IVB:
Negatives / Slides, 1956-1995
Series V:
Scrapbooks, 1951-1992, undated
Subseries VA:
Loose Books, 1952-1992, undated
Subseries VB:
Bound Books, 1951-1958
Series VI:
Correspondence, 1955-2007
Series VII:
Audio Visual, 1990-2001, undated

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Scrapbooks in the collection are highly acidic and should be handled with care when turning pages. Please wear gloves when handling photographs and negatives in the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Dayton Council on World Affairs collection was transferred to Wright State Special Collections and Archives on December 7, 1976 by unanimous vote of the Dayton Council on World Affairs Board of Directors. Several additions to the collection have been received since the original accession.


Regular accruals are expected in the future.

Existence and Location of Originals

A fire destroyed the offices that housed the DCOWA offices in December 1987; some materials were recovered but as such the records from 1978 to 1987 are scattered.

Related Materials

MS-60 C. Philip Skardon Papers

MS-130 Dayton Foundation Records

MS-247 Discussion Club of Dayton Records

MS-300 Dayton Peace Action Committee Records

MS-340 Juliet Stroh Blanchard Papers

MS-411 Dayton: A Peace Process Papers

Wild, William H. Seeking Peace Through Understanding: The Dayton Council on World Affairs : a 60-Year History. Dayton, Ohio: Dayton Council on World Affairs, 2007. Print. Available in the Reading Room, JZ27 .D3 .W55 2007.


Wild, William H. Seeking Peace Through Understanding: The Dayton Council on World Affairs : a 60-Year History. Dayton, Ohio: Dayton Council on World Affairs, 2007. Print. Available in the Reading Room, JZ27 .D3 .W55 2007.

Processing Information

Some of the acidic scrapbooks were disassembled at the time of processing due to their condition. Some newspaper clippings in the scrapbooks were photocopied onto acid free paper for preservation.

The 2021 additions were processed using a modified MPLP (more product, less process) approach. Many documents thus remain in their original office file folders. Notations denoting box and file information (e.g. 105:13 for Box 105, File 13) were written on the file tabs for easy reference, and more complete archival labels were written across the fronts of the folders.

Some office folders featured adhesive labels that may de-adhere over time. Information on the adhesive labels was transcribed to the front of the folder. Note that if an adhesive label has fallen off, it may reveal older folder labels that do not relate to the folder content.

Guide to the Dayton Council on World Affairs Records (MS-46)
Julia Miller, Spring 1977
2022 Feb
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 1995: Significant additions processed by Amy Speelman.
  • 2005: Significant additions processed by Jim Kohler.
  • 2006: Significant additions processed by Amber McPherson.
  • 2018: Finding aid revised according to DACS by Craig Finnell.
  • 2022 Feb: From 2021 to Feb 2022, Megan O'Connor processed extensive additions to the collection, in semi-MPLP style, in boxes 105-116 (about 12 feet of additional materials).

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA