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Prudence Wayland-Smith Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Wayland-Smith, Prudence
Title: Prudence Wayland-Smith Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1925-1994
Quantity: 18 linear feet
Abstract: Papers of the 20th century social activist, focused on migrant reform, education for migrant children and prison reform. Correspondence, 1925- 1994. Also newspaper clippings, personal notes, and memorabilia including student artwork from migrant schools, photographs and photo boards. Some government documents and publications along with manuscript materials from Wayland-Smith's personal and professional life.
Language: Most material in English, with a few items in Spanish
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Prudence Wayland-Smith (1908-1995) was a social activist dedicated to migrant and prison reform for over 50 years.

Born in 1908, Prudence Wayland-Smith was a descendant of the Oneida Community and a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). She graduated from Curtis High School on Staten Island in 1925 and went on to the Women's College at Brown University.

In 1934 Wayland-Smith was elected president of the Oneida-Kenwood-Sherrill League of Women Voters. Later, she became chairwoman of the Oneida-Kenwood-Sherrill Migrant Committee. Much of the work that the committee carried out was in response to the needs of migrant workers who came up from Florida and other southern states in the summer months to help plant and harvest crops in Oneida County and Madison County in central New York. Migrant families often lived in horrible conditions in labor camps and their children had little or no education. The migrant committee not only worked for better housing conditions and labor rights in migrant camps, they also established day-care centers and summer schools for migrant children so that they could get a basic education. The committee also established a scholarship fund for migrant children going on to college. Prudence remained an active member of the League and the Migrant Committee until the late 1970s when the committee disbanded due to the fact that agriculture had become more mechanized and labor camps were closing.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Wayland-Smith dedicated most of her time to prison reform in local correctional facilities in Oneida and Madison County. As a church leader she brought together other Quaker women to visit inmates, correspond, coordinate Alternatives to Violence workshops, and establish other education programs for prisoners, while also pushing for reform of the treatment of prisoners and conditions within the prisons themselves. Following the Quaker belief that there was goodness in everyone, Wayland-Smith worked to make sure that inmates would have a way to survive once they returned to society. She worked continually in local prisons up until her death at the age of 86 in 1995.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Prudence Wayland-Smith Papers reflect the social reform work that Wayland-Smith carried out from the 1940s to the mid-1990s. The collection is divided into four parts: general files, migrant reform, prison reform and miscellaneous reform.

General files contains material on a variety of non-reform topics, including the Oneida Community Mansion House, Syracuse University, and general news of the day. The majority of the material deals with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Migrant reform contains correspondence, notes, photos, and other material related to Wayland-Smith's work with regional and state-level migrant committees and organizations, primarily the Oneida-Kenwood-Sherrill Migrant Committee. Included here is information on summer camps for migrant children, the migrant children's scholarship fund, and other related topics. There are also several scrapbooks and other items of memorabilia from the summer camps.

Prison reform materials relate to Wayland-Smith's work assisting prisoners directly as well as her efforts to bring about reforms in the prison system as a whole. This series includes inmate correspondence, news and media coverage, and regional and state-level committee materials as well as material relating to specific prisons in central New York.

Miscellaneous reform covers a range of other areas of reform in which Wayland-Smith was interested, including the peace movement, birth control, human relations, poverty, and non-violence.

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Arrangement of the Collection

All series are arranged alphabetically.

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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.

Use Restrictions

The 1965-1970 Report published by the American Friends Service Committee (Box 4) is not to be quoted or reprinted without express permission of the AFSC. Permission of James Garofalo is required to quote or use any part of 1968 migrant teachers idea booklet (Box 4).

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Related Material

Some material has been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging, including eight copies of Migratory Labor Notes and four other government publications, a pamphlet on Martin Luther King, Jr. Please refer to the Classic Catalog for a complete listing.

SCRC has several collections related to prison reform and the Oneida Community. Please refer to the the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing. See in particular Oneida Community and Robert Wayland-Smith Papers (Prudence's husband).

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Subject Headings


Garofalo, James.
Wayland-Smith, Prudence.

Corporate Bodies

Alternatives to Violence Project.
American Friends Service Committee.
Auburn Correctional Facility.
Auburn Prison Friends Meeting (Auburn, N.Y.)
Consumers' League of New York.
Delta Kappa Gamma Society.
League of Women Voters of New York State.
New York (State). -- Migrant Labor, Interdepartmental Committee on
New York State Council of Churches.
New York State Federation of Growers and Processors.
New York State Migrant Child Care Program.
New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
Oneida community.
Oneida-Kenwood-Sherrill Migrant Committee.
Quaker Project on Community Conflict of the New York Yearly Meeting.
Quakers -- New York (State)
Quakers -- United States -- Political activity.
Society of Friends.


Children of migrant laborers.
Civil rights movement -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Migrant agricultural laborers -- Government policy -- New York (State)
Migrant agricultural laborers -- Government policy -- United States.
Migrant agricultural laborers -- Housing -- New York (State)
Migrant agricultural laborers -- United States -- 1930-1960.
Migrant agricultural laborers -- United States -- 1960-1970.
Migrant labor -- Camps.
Migrant labor -- Education -- United States.
Prisons -- Law and legislation -- United States.
Race relations.

Genres and Forms

Annual reports.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Financial records.
Government records.
Negatives (photographs)
Notes (documents)
Serials (publications)
Slides (photographs)


Prison reformers -- United States.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Prudence Wayland-Smith Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Giles, Robert, and Paul Wayland-Smith, 2003.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: LR
Date: 10 Aug 2009
Revision history: 14 Feb 2012 - adds (MRC) ; 26 Oct 2012 - extent revised (MBD)

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General files
Box 1 Date book 1965
Box 1 Delta Kappa Gamma
Box 1 Government documents
Box 22 Negatives
Box 1 Oneida Community Mansion House
Box 1 Personal 1920s-1980s - Includes high school papers and continues with later correspondence
Religious Society of Friends
Box 1 General
Friends Journal
Box 1 1950s
Box 1 1960s
Box 2 1970s-1980s
Box 2 Friends World College
Box 1 Friends World Committee for Consultation
Box 2 Printed material
Box 2 Syracuse University
Box 2 George Arents Research Library
Box 2 Urban Education and Cultural Deprivation 1964
Box 2 World and national news
Box 2 Miscellaneous (2 folders)
Migrant reform
General correspondence
Box 2 A-G
Box 3 H-Z (3 folders)
Box 3 "Letters from families to whom boxes were sent" Christmas 1957, Winter 1958-59
Box 3 Migrant letters
Government legislation and reform
Box 3 General
Box 3 Congressional hearings and Senate reports
Migratory Labor Notes by the President's Committee on Migratory Labor
Transferred to Rare Books for cataloging
Box 3 Printed material
Box 3 Exhibitions on black migration history 1989-1990
Box 4 Financial
Box 4 Housing
Box 4 Newspaper clippings
American Friends Service Committee
See also Prison Reform: Organizations: American Friends Service Committee
Box 4 General
Box 4 1965-1970 Report
RESTRICTED: Permission of AFSC required to quote or use any part of this report.
Garofalo, James
Box 4 Correspondence
Box 4 1968 Migrant teachers idea booklet
RESTRICTED: Permission of James Garofalo required to quote or use any part of this booklet.
Box 4 Clinton Migrant Committee
Box 4 Colorado State Department of Education - Report: Providing Education for Migrant Children
Box 5 Consumers League of New York 1952 - includes pamphlet titled Sweatshops In the Sun on the findings of a year's study of migrant farm workers in New York State
League of Women Voters
Box 5 Agenda and advocacy
Box 5 Correspondence
Box 5 Finances and fundraising
Box 5 Newspaper clippings
Box 5 Publications
Box 5 Reports
Box 5 Mohawk Valley Meeting (Society of Friends)
Box 5 National Migrant Committee and Ministry
Box 5 National Sharecropper's Fund
Box 5 New York State Committee on Farm and Food Processing Labor - annual reports
New York State Council of Churches and "Migrant Ministry"
Box 5 General correspondence
Box 5 Financial
Box 5 Meetings
Box 6 Policies, legislation and agenda
Box 6 Projects and reports
Box 6 State Council Reporter publication
Box 6 Training conferences and workshops
Box 6 Miscellaneous
New York State Federation of Growers and Processors - New York State Migrant Child Care Program
Box 6 General correspondence
Box 6 By-laws and program operations
Box 6 Financial (2 folders)
Box 7 Meetings and conferences
Box 7 Newsletters
Box 7 Newspaper clippings
Box 7 Summaries and statistics
Box 7 Various local programs
Box 7 Miscellaneous
Box 7 New York State Migrant Education Program 1981
Box 7 New York State Interdepartmental Committee on Migrant Labor 1969-1973 (2 folders)
Oneida-Kenwood-Sherrill Migrant Committee
Box 7 Annual reports
Box 8 General
Box 8 Committee annual reports
Box 8 George, Anne V., New York State Committee on Farm and Food Processing Labor
Box 8 New York State Education Department
Box 8 Price, Arthur F., New York State Migrant Child Care Program
Box 8 Daily notes of migrant activities
Box 8 Essays/reports on migrant issues and reform
Box 8 Financial - budgets, receipts, fund raising and contributions
Box 8 Journal
Box 9 Lobbying efforts
Box 9 McAllister Summer School/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School
Box 9 Migrant camp choir
Migrant labor camps
Box 9 General
Box 9 Photos - migrant labor camps, migrant child-care centers and summer schools
Oversize 3 Photos, oversize
Box 9 Newspaper clippings
Box 9 Personal notes
Box 9 The Readers' News
Scholarship program
Box 9 Brown family general files
Box 10 Brown, Alfred
Box 10 Brown, Anthony
Box 10 Brown, Betty
Box 10 Brown, James
Box 10 Brown, Larry
Box 10 Edwards, Cora
Box 10 Freeman, Mary
Box 10 Holloway, Janie
Box 11 Williams family
Box 11 Funding
Box 11 Memorabilia
Oversize 3 Memorabilia, oversize
Box 11 Miscellaneous
Box 11 Sherrill Child Care Center - part of the New York State Migrant Child Care Program
Box 11 Special Milk Program
Box 11 Workshops/conferences on migrant education
Box 11 Miscellaneous
Box 11 Oneida-Madison Migrant Committee
Box 11 State-level migrant groups in New York
Box 12 Syracuse Monthly Meeting of Friends
Box 12 Utica Area Migrant Committee
Box 12 World Council of Churches - publication: Migration today: current problems and Christian responsibility
Box 12 Miscellaneous conferences, committees, programs and workshops
Box 12 Photographs (3 folders)
Box 12 Printed material
Box 13 School memorabilia (5 folders)
Oversize 3 School memorabilia, oversize
Box 14 Scrapbook
Oversize 2 Scrapbooks, oversize
Box 23 Slides
Box 24 Slides
Box 14 Miscellaneous
Prison reform
Box 14 Advocacy and outreach - coalitions, workshops, projects, legislation
Box 14 General correspondence
Inmate correspondence
Box 14 Ford, Glen (Ted) - Mid-Orange, Wallkill, Auburn and Elmira correctional facilities (2 folders)
Box 14 Johnson, Mel - Auburn Correctional Facility
Box 14 Maloney, Robert
Box 14 Montgomery, Michael - Eastern New York, Mohawk and Auburn correctional facilities (2 folders)
Box 15 Moseley, Winston - Auburn Correctional Facility
Box 15 Sims, Bill - Auburn Correctional Facility
See also Prison Reform: Organizations: Auburn Prison Friends
Box 15 Swanson, John - Auburn Correctional Facility
Box 15 Miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box 15 News and media coverage
Box 15 American Friends Service Committee
See also Migrant Reform: Organizations: American Friends Service Committee
Box 15 Attica Friends Meeting
Auburn Correctional Facility
Box 15 General correspondence
Box 15 Auburn Hospitality Association
Box 16 Contraband: Poetry from Prison and Other Ghettos of the Mind
Auburn Prison Friends
Box 16 General correspondence (2 folders)
Box 16 Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)
Box 16 New York State Department of Correctional Facilities
Box 16 Schmidt, Mattie - mostly financial
Box 16 Auburn International Peace Petition
Meeting of Oversight Committee
Box 16 1975-1982 (5 folders)
Box 17 1983-1994 (9 folders)
Box 17 Undated
Box 17 Miscellaneous
Box 17 Central Intelligence Agency
Box 17 Chautauqua County Rural Ministry
Box 17 Church Women United of Oneida
Box 17 Clinton Correctional Facility
Box 17 Department of American Studies - counseling, therapy, and crisis intervention
Box 17 Friends Committee on National Legislation
Box 17 Idyllic Foundation - for troubled young people
Box 17 Land Trust Committee of the New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Box 17 Madison County Correctional Facility
Box 17 Madison County bail fund (2 folders)
Box 18 Mohawk Meeting (Society of Friends)
Box 18 New York State Coalition for Criminal Justice
Box 18 New York State Council of Churches
See also Migrant Reform: Organizations: New York State Council of Churches
New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends - Alternatives to Violence Project (NYYM/AVP)
Box 18 Correspondence
Box 18 Meetings and minutes
Box 18 Newsletters and reports
Box 18 Policies, by-laws and finance
Box 18 Printed material
Box 18 Prisons Committee
Box 18 Training and workshops
Box 19 Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR)
Box 19 Syracuse Meeting (Society of Friends)
Box 19 Women's Prison Project
Box 19 Miscellaneous
Box 19 Printed material
Box 19 Training and coursework
Box 19 Miscellaneous
Miscellaneous reform
Box 19 Birth control - Planned Parenthood
Civil rights movement
Box 19 General correspondence
Box 19 The Fellowship of Reconciliation
Box 19 Magazine clippings
Box 19 Martin Luther King, Jr.
Box 19 New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (NYYM) 1968 - race relations
Box 19 Newspaper clippings
Box 20 Printed material
Box 20 Runnymede Corporation against segregated housing
Box 20 Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
Box 20 Miscellaneous
Box 20 Discrimination in housing - Housing and Home Finance Agency, Washington DC 1957
Box 20 Human relations - National Conference of Christians and Jews
Box 20 Low-income family aid
Box 20 Missions work
Peace and community nonviolence
Box 20 General files
Box 20 Quaker Project on Community Conflict
Box 20 Peace movement
Box 20 American Friends Service Committee
See also Migrant Reform: Organizations: American Friends Service Committee and Prison Reform: Organizations: American Friends Service Committee
Box 20 Disarmament
Box 20 New York Telephone Federal Tax Protest
Box 20 Peacemaker publication
Box 20 Peace walks and vigils
Box 21 Publications and newsletters
Box 21 Vietnam and draft law
Box 21 Women's peace movements
Box 21 Poverty
Box 21 Miscellaneous

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