The Gerritsen Collection

Guest blog by Taylor Ackerman.

The Gerritsen Collection is a comprehensive collection of works pertaining to women’s history, but it also contains a plentitude of books, articles and essays relevant to peace history and the development of international law.

The collection honors the legacy of famous peace heroes and feminists.  One of Bertha von Suttner’s obituaries remarked that “she promised to take an active part in this great question of Peace, a promise she kept with determination and energetic enthusiasm.” A “strong fighter for the cause of women’s rights till the end, who “had a mission to the governments regarding peace” and “worked for peace and disarmament in the International League for Peace and Freedom,” Aletta Jacobs was celebrated. “Andrew Carnegie’s Work for Peace” was also praised by Lucia Mead.

In addition to information on peace heroes, the peace history includes announcements and reports of various women’s organizations and conferences for arbitration and disarmament. In Jus Suffragii, the seeds of the 1915 International Women’s Congress are planted in The Hague with an invitation from Dr. Aletta Jacob and Rosa Manus “to bring the women who represent the women of the world together in an international meeting” after Marie Stritt announced “No Congress in 1915” in Germany because of the World War. An article in Equal Rights announced “the presentation of an internationally collected World Peace Prize of $7,000 to Rosika Schwimmer.” The International Demonstration of Women for the Peace-Conference of Mai 15th 1899 is one of many important books full of peace history found in the collection.

Plus, the collection is abounding with sources on global politics. One can read first-hand perspectives from the past on the League of Nations, the United Nations, human rights, international congresses and conferences, treaties and resolutions, internationalism, the Red Cross and other international organizations. So, if an article on the Equal Nationality Treaty or the Four Power Treaty sound enticing, this is a collection to consider. Or, Carrie Chapman Catt’s articles on the League of Nations and how it ought to effect the US Presidential elections, the World Court and “The End of War 2000 A.D.” are also interesting finds.  Of course, it is important to note that the Collection can be of interest not only for a feminist, pacifist perspective on the push for global governance. If anti-feminist, anti-pacifist journalism needs reference, the collection also includes conspiracy theory induced slander and witty patriarchal, militaristic propaganda in the Woman’s Patriot and similar publications within the collection.

If you would like access to the Gerritsen Collection, contact the Peace Palace Library for information at info@peacepalacelibrary.nl.

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