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National Service Secretariat Records

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: PRB
Date: 1994

Biographical History

The National Service Secretariat is a private non-profit organization whose purpose is to act as a clearinghouse for information regarding national service and to promote the idea that young Americans can serve their country and humankind as effectively in civilian service as in military service. The organization was founded in 1966 by Donald J. Eberly, who served as its Executive Director from 1966-1994. His National Service for Peace proposal of 1958 was one of the sources of Senator Hubert Humphrey's Peace Corps legislation, and his convening of the first National Service Conference in 1966 launched a nationwide debate on the issue.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The National Service Secretariat Records span nearly forty years of the American non-profit organization and provide a comprehensive picture of its activities. The collection includes office files, material relating to national service conferences and legislation, files on various projects, and a considerable amount of resource material, some audiovisual but the majority printed.

Office files include individuals (Bill Clinton, Eli Ginzberg, Gary Hart, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, John D. Rockefeller), organizations (Atlanta Urban Corps, California Conservation Corps, Ford Foundation, Junior League, Kellogg Foundation, National Council of Churches), publishers (Pergamon Press, Penguin), and general topics (conscientious objectors, draft options, minorities, surveys).

Conferences includes material from National Service Conferences from 1966-1993 (not all years are represented). National service legislation contains material related to proposed laws and legislative bodies. Projects comprises material relating to specific projects undertaken by the National Service Secretariat.

Resource material (by subject) consists of nearly thirty boxes of material on ACTION, education, community service, conscientious objectors, international service, military, Peace Corps, poverty, tutoring, voluntarism, and other topics. Resource material (by format) includes books, newsletters, and audio- and videotapes.

Arrangement of the Collection

All series are arranged alphabetically.


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.

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.

Related Material

See also the Donald Eberly Papers.

Subject Headings


Eberly, Donald J.

Corporate Bodies

Coalition for National Service.
National Service Secretariat (U.S.), Archives.
Peace Corps (U.S.)


Military service, Voluntary.
National service -- Law and legislation.
National service -- United States.
National service.
Service -- Compulsory non-military -- United States.
Volunteer workers in social service -- Training of.
Young volunteers in community development -- United States.
Youth -- Employment -- United States.
Youth -- Government policy -- United States.
Youth -- Services for -- United States.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

National Service Secretariat (US) Records,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of the National Service Secretariat and Donald J. Eberly, 1993.

Table of Contents

Office files (general correspondence)


National Service legislation

Projects (Miscellaneous)

Resource material, by subject

Resource material, miscellaneous (arranged by format)