Collection inventory

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Ruth S. Peale Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Peale, Ruth Stafford, 1906-2008.
Title: Ruth S. Peale Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1950-1965
Quantity: 23.0 linear ft. (ca.)
Abstract: Papers of the American businesswoman, writer, editor, speaker and church leader; wife of clergyman Norman Vincent Peale. Collection contains correspondence, organizational records, business and financial records, and manuscripts pertaining to the National Council of Churches, the Foundation for Christian Living, the Reformed Church in America, and other organizations. Correspondents of note include Smiley Blanton, Billy Graham, Leonard LeSourd, and Norman Vincent Peale.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Ruth Stafford Peale (1906-2008) was an American businesswoman, writer, editor, speaker and church leader. She was the wife of clergyman Norman Vincent Peale, and co-founder of Guideposts magazine and the Peale Center.

Born Ruth Stafford in Fonds, Iowa on September 10, 1906, she graduated from Syracuse University in 1928 and taught mathematics at Central High School. She married Norman Vincent Peale on June 20, 1930 and shortly began acting as his business manager and representing the family in committee work. She has been an active leader in denominational and interdenominational activities, including serving as vice president of the National Council of Churches and of the Board of Domestic Missions of the Reformed Church in America, as chairman of religion for the New York State Federation of Women's Clubs, as vice chairman o f the Broadcasting and Film Commission of the National Council of Churches, and chairman of the American Mothers Committee. She also appeared with her husband on the television program, "What's Your Trouble?"

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ruth S. Peale Papers are divided into two series: National Council of Churches, and General File.

National Council of Churches contains correspondence, organizational records, committee reports and published material dealing with-the various activities of the National Council of Churches, for which Mrs. Peale served as vice president. Included in this file is material on such activities as. the Broadcasting and Film Commission, General Board, Finance Committee and the United Church Women.

General files contains correspondence, sermons and articles, financial reports, as well as some organizational records for both the Foundation for Christian Living and The Reformed Church in America. Among the manuscripts are articles by Mrs. Peale entitled "When My Husband Nearly Left The Church" and "Brides To Be." The correspondence contains family letters, business correspondence and social correspondence, including letters to and from Lowell Thomas, Jr., Billy Graham, Dr. Smiley Blanton, Dr. Peale and Leonard Le Sourd.

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Arrangement of the Collection

National Council of Churches material is arranged alphabetically by major departments and their subdivisions, with separate files for the following years: 1950-1953, 1954-1957, 1958-1960, and 1061-1965.

General files are arranged alphabetically by subject in two groups, 1954-1961 and 1957-1959.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Written permission of George Hart required to view materials in this collection.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Blanton, Smiley, 1882-1966.
Graham, Billy, 1918-
LeSourd, Leonard E.
Peale, Norman Vincent, 1898-1993.
Peale, Ruth Stafford, 1906-2008.
Thomas, Lowell, 1892-1981.

Corporate Bodies

Foundation for Christian Living.
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Reformed Church in America.


Spouses of clergy.
Women in church work.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ruth S. Peale Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: circa 1965
Revision history: 17 May 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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National Council of Churches
Box 1 Analysis of memberships for major units 1952
Box 1 Board of Managers, Department of Public Relations Committee on Study and Adjustment
Box 1 General Assembly Minutes
Box 1 General Board
Box 1 General Board - Rules of Procedure
Box 2 Special Committee on Policy and Strategy
Box 2 Subcommittee on Public Relations
Broadcasting and Film Commission
Box 2 Administrative Committee
Box 2 Board of Managers
Box 2 Executive Committee
Box 2 Finance
Box 2 Miscellaneous Correspondence
Box 2 Protestant
Box 2 Migrant
Box 2 Migrant appeals
Box 3 Migrants, speaking material
United Church Women
Box 3 Administrative Policy
Box 3 Assembly
Box 3 Board of Managers
Box 3 Executive
Box 3 Finance
Box 3 National Laywomen's and Men's Committee
Box 3 Miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box 3 Reformed Church in America
Box 3 N.C.C. General (2 folders)
Box 3 N.C.C. General, Board of Domestic Missions 1955
Business and Finance
Box 4 General (2 folders)
Box 4 Executive Committee
Box 5 Executive Committee
Box 5 Chicago Office
Box 5 Committee to restudy committed fund
Box 5 General Assembly (2 folders)
Box 5 General Board
Box 5 General Budget Committee
Box 6 General Budget Committee
Box 6 General Personnel Committee (3 folders)
Box 6 General Policy and Strategy Committee
Box 7 General Policy and Strategy Committee
Box 7 General National Lay Committee
Box 7 General Subcommittee on Publication Operations
Box 8 Washington Memos
Broadcasting and Film Commission
Box 8 General (2 folders)
Box 8 Board of Managers (3 folders)
Box 8 Broadcast Training Committee
Box 8 Committee on Research
Box 8 Executive Committee (2 folders)
Box 9 Film Committee
Box 9 Finance Committee (2 folders)
Box 9 Joint Commission
Box 9 Radio Committee
Box 9 Special Committee of Ten
Box 9 Television Committee
Division of Home Missions
Box 9 General (2 folders)
Box 9 Assembly
Box 9 Administrative Committee
Box 9 Executive Board
Box 10 Executive Board
Committee on Migrant Work
Box 10 General
Box 10 Subcommittee on Finance (2 folders)
Box 10 Special Events (2 folders)
Box 10 Finance
Box 10 General Board
Interchurch Center
Box 11 General
Box 11 Board of Trustees
Box 11 Building Committee (2 folders)
Box 11 Executive Committee of Building Committee
Box 11 Fund Raising Committee
United Church Women
Box 11 General
Box 11 Board of Managers
Box 12 Executive Committee
Box 12 Fellowship Fund
Box 12 Finance Committee
Box 12 Joint Committee (2 folders)
Box 12 Personnel Committee
Box 12 Retirement Plan Committee
Box 12 "Let There be Light" (2 folders)
Box 12 Little Josephine (2 folders)
Box 13 General Business and Finance
Box 13 General Board (5 folders)
Box 14 General Board
Box 14 General Policy and Strategy Committee
Box 14 General Study and Adjustment Committee
Box 14 General Subcommittee on Public Relations
Box 14 General Subcommittee on Publications Operations
Broadcasting and Film Commission
Box 14 General
Box 14 Board of Managers
Box 14 Executive Committee
Box 15 Finance Committee
Division of Home Missions
Box 15 Administrative Committee
Interchurch Center
Box 15 [General] (2 folders)
Box 16 Board of Trustees
Box 16 Building Committee
Box 16 Chapel Committee
Box 16 Executive Committee
Box 16 Finance
Box 16 General Business and Finance Committee
Box 16 Operating Committee
United Church Women
Box 16 General
Box 16 Administrative Committee
Box 16 Board of Managers
Box 16 Constitution and By-Laws Committee
Box 16 Finance Committee
Box 16 Little Josephine
Box 17 General
Box 17 General Board
Box 17 General (2 folders)
Box 18 General (2 folders)
Box 18 Committee on Policy and Strategy
Box 18 Emergency Commission Religion and Race
Box 19 General Board (3 folders)
Box 19 Administrative and Finance Committee
Box 20 Business and Finance
Box 20 Business and Finance, Executive Committee
Box 20 Constitution and By-Laws Committee
Box 20 Nominating Committee
Box 20 Personnel Committee
Box 20 Policy and Strategy Committee
Box 21 Joint Committee on Relations
Box 21 Special Committee on Structure and Function (2 folders)
Box 21 Structures Committee 1963 (2 folders)
Box 22 Structures and Functions Committee (3 folders)
Broadcasting and Film Commission
Box 22 Business and Finance
Box 22 Board of Managers
Box 22 Executive Committee
Box 22 Joint Committee, Board of Managers
Box 23 Division of Christian Life and Work
Division of Home Missions
Box 23 Co-Operative Planning Board
Box 23 Department of Migrant Work
Box 23 Executive Board
Box 23 Migrants
Box 23 Interchurch Center, General
Box 23 Miscellaneous
General Files
Box 24 A 1956-1959
Box 24 American Bible Society 1956-1965 (2 folders)
Box 25 American Bible Society (3 folders)
Box 25 American Mothers Committee
Box 25 American Mothers Committee, Board of Directors 1957-1959
Box 26 Article - "When My Husband Nearly Left the Church" 1959
Box 26 B 1957-1959
Box 26 Book of the Month Club 1957
Box 26 Brides to Be article by Mrs. Peale
Box 26 Brown, Alice
Box 26 C 1956-1959
Box 27 Christmas 1949-1956
Box 27 Christmas gifts 1958
Box 27 Cook Christian Training School
Box 27 Current Sermons
Box 27 D 1957-1959
Box 27 Dickler 1957
Box 27 E 1957-1959
Box 27 Eby, A. James
Box 27 Elizabeth
Box 27 F 1957-1959
Box 28 Farwell
Foundation for Christian Living
Box 28 General
Box 28 Board of Directors
Box 28 Book Promotion
Box 28 Book Sales 1951
Box 28 Booklet Idea folder
Box 28 Booklets
Box 28 Financial Reports (2 folders)
Box 28 General
Box 28 General Correspondence
Box 28 Investments (2 folders)
Box 28 Look Reports (2 folders)
Box 29 Personnel (2 folders)
Box 29 Plate room
Box 29 Promotion (3 folders)
Box 29 Sermon Publications Committee
Box 29 Radio Reports
Box 29 Youth Booklet
Friends Seminary
Box 29 G 1957-1959
Box 29 Gill 1961
Box 30 Graham, Billy
Box 30 Guideposts Article, "Supreme Court and School Prayer"
Box 30 Guideposts Editorial
Box 30 Guideposts investments (2 folders)
Box 30 H
Box 30 Hall Syndicate
Box 31 Hooven letters
Box 31 I
Box 31 Inspirational Book Service
Box 31 Interchurch Center
Box 31 Interior Decorating
Box 31 Investments
Box 32 J 1957-1959
Box 32 Japan International Christian University
Box 32 John (2 folders)
Box 32 K
Box 32 L
Box 33 Layman's Leaders Institute 1960
Box 33 Mc
Box 33 M
Box 33 Marble Collegiate Church (2 folders)
Box 33 Margaret (2 folders)
Box 33 Marquis, Sarah - travel agency
Box 34 Marquis Who's Who
Box 34 Masterpiece Treasury, Inc.
Box 34 Memo to the Board
Box 34 Murphy's Furrier
Box 34 Music Appreciation records
Box 34 N
Box 34 National Council of Churches
Box 34 National Foundation for Medical Education (2 folders)
Box 34 N.Y. State Federation of Women's Clubs (2 folders)
Box 34 O
Box 34 Orient shopping
Box 35 Pa - Pi
Box 35 Pawling Property (2 folders)
Box 35 Po - Pz
Box 35 Protestant International Chapel Fund 1959
Box 36 P.E.O. (2 folders)
Box 36 Photographs
Box 36 Preparatory schools
Box 36 Presbyterian Church of U.S.A. (2 folders)
Box 36 Protestant Council of the City of N.Y. (3 folders)
Box 36 Protestant Motion Picture ratings (2 folders)
Box 36 Q
Box 36 R
Box 37 Record Sales (2 folders)
Reformed Church in America
Box 37 General (2 folders)
Box 37 Audio-visual committee
Board of Domestic Missions
Box 37 [General?] 1952-1953
Box 37 Department of Evangelism
Box 37 Executive Committee
Box 37 Finance Committee
Box 38 Indian Committee
Box 38 Policy Committee
Box 38 Women's Work Department
Box 38 Visual Aid Service
Box 38 Regretted Speaking engagements
Box 38 Religion in American Life, Inc.
Box 38 Reprints of articles
Box 38 Reservation orders
Box 38 S
Box 39 Sermon Cabinet collections
Box 39 Sermons by Dr. Peale
Box 39 General (2 folders)
Box 39 Anniversary Carbons
Box 39 Executive Committee
Box 39 Invitations (2 folders)
Box 40 Luncheon
Box 40 Speaking engagements
Box 40 Speeches made
Box 40 Standard Education Society
Syracuse University
Box 40 General (2 folders)
Box 40 Board of Trustees (2 folders)
Box 41 Development Plan 1961-1963
Box 41 Youth Development Center
Box 41 1030 5th Ave. Corp. Financial Statements 1958-1959
Box 41 1025 5th Ave
Box 41 25th Anniversary invitations
Box 41 United Church Women 1959-1960
Box 41 Volk, Kurt H., Inc.
Box 41 W
What's Your Trouble
Box 41 [General] (2 folders)
Box 42 1952-1953 (3 folders)
Box 42 Financial Statements
Box 42 A-C (3 folders)
Box 42 Companion Pocket Cross
Box 42 D
Box 42 Daniels, Charles R.
Box 42 Elizabeth
Box 43 F-G (2 folders)
Box 43 General Correspondence
Box 43 H-J (3 folders)
Box 43 Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Horace
Box 43 K-L (3 folders)
Box 44 M-P (4 folders)
Box 44 Peale, Mrs. - letters and memos
Box 44 Q-W (8 folders)
Box 45 Volk, Inc.
Box 45 Y-Z (2 folders)
Box 45 Correspondence 1957-1960 (Sep) (4 folders)
Box 46 Correspondence 1960, Oct-Dec (2 folders)

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