Records of the American Committee for the Evacuation of Children

Scope and Content

Administration files, including minutes of meetings of the London Advisory Committee to the U.S. Committee for the care of European Children, and papers of the Children’s Overseas Reception Board, 1940-1947; evacuation schemes by commercial firms and other groups, 1940-1946; details of evacuations, lists of children and related papers, 1940-1945; correspondence, 1940-1946; papers relating to the children's return to Britain, 1943-1948; papers regarding publicity, 1940-1946; miscellaneous papers, including files on individual children, 1940-1947; Northern Branch Office files, including files on individual children, 1940; research papers of Ian Whitaker, including correspondence with ex-evacuees, 1969.

Administrative / Biographical History

The American Committee for the Evacuation of Children was established in 1940 as the London representative of the United States Committee for the Care of European Children. A Northern branch was established in September 1940.

The purpose of the committee was to select the children and facilitate their passage to the US. Once in America the children’s welfare was the responsibility of the US Committee although american sponsors, be they individuals or corporations, assumed all financial responsibilities.

Priority was given to children age 5-16 although younger children could be accommodated if accompanied by an elder sibling. The US committee undertook to find suitable sponsors for all the children. Although some parents had contacts in the US, many more children were placed through schools, orphanages and multinational companies including Hoover and Kodak.

The committee organised the evacuation of 836 children between October and June 1940. A further 1000 children were waiting to sail and 1500 going through the processing stages when the evacuations were suspended following the sinking of one of the boats in October 1940.

Switching its focus to the children they had already managed to evacuate, the committee appointed a British social worker to liaise with the parents and the US committee. Some of the group sponsors were resistant to these overtures and as a result information for children evacuated by these groups is sparse.

Conditions Governing Access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws.

Acquisition Information

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1989 by the librarian of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRISS) at the University of York. They had been deposited at the university in the 1960s by a member of the Northern Branch committee.

Note

The American Committee for the Evacuation of Children was established in 1940 as the London representative of the United States Committee for the Care of European Children. A Northern branch was established in September 1940.

The purpose of the committee was to select the children and facilitate their passage to the US. Once in America the children’s welfare was the responsibility of the US Committee although american sponsors, be they individuals or corporations, assumed all financial responsibilities.

Priority was given to children age 5-16 although younger children could be accommodated if accompanied by an elder sibling. The US committee undertook to find suitable sponsors for all the children. Although some parents had contacts in the US, many more children were placed through schools, orphanages and multinational companies including Hoover and Kodak.

The committee organised the evacuation of 836 children between October and June 1940. A further 1000 children were waiting to sail and 1500 going through the processing stages when the evacuations were suspended following the sinking of one of the boats in October 1940.

Switching its focus to the children they had already managed to evacuate, the committee appointed a British social worker to liaise with the parents and the US committee. Some of the group sponsors were resistant to these overtures and as a result information for children evacuated by these groups is sparse.

Other Finding Aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute.

Archivist's Note

2015-06-16

Conditions Governing Use

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Accruals

Further accruals are not expected.

Additional Information

Published

GB 193