Skip to main content

Chester S. Williams papers

Identifier: Coll 018

Scope and Contents note

Collection consists of a large amount of information on education, international awareness and other issues that concerned Williams. Basically, it has been kept in the chronological order in which it was received. Addenda have been interfiled and Williams' folder titles have been used. It should be noted that some of the Williams Papers were destroyed in a flood from Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and therefore gaps will be found.

The collection contains information on the strife in the Imperial Valley of California, Communist infiltration in the Philippines, Nazi propaganda, and events in the Middle East. Removed from the collection was "The Victory March" (1942), an anti-Nazi comic book written by Williams and Walt Disney. It has now been catalogued as a rare book.


  • 1926-1976


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Chester Sidney Williams (1907-1992), worked in fourteen countries between 1928-1929 as representative of the Convention des Etudiants. From 1930-1931 he was the Executive Secretary for the National Student Federation of America. During the thirties he held several positions in the Educational Branch of Government. He was a lecturer for adult education forums (1932-1934); Assistant to the U.S. Commission of Education (1934-1936); and Assistant Administrator of Federal Forum Program (1936-1941) under John W. Studebaker.

From 1941-1942, Williams was Director of Adult Civic Education for the U.S. Office of Education, in which he developed war information centers in all of the states. In 1942, he was sent to England to work for the Office of War Information in charge of distributing educational programs abroad. From 1943-1944, he was Chief of Educational Programs for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. He worked as Public Liaison Officer for the Department of State from 1946-1950. At this same time (1946-1952) he was Deputy Director in the Office of Public Information, U.S. Mission to the U.N. Williams then became President of World Information, Inc.

Between 1952-1963, he operated some private business and did public relations work for other businesses and non-profit agencies. Among these were Hill and Knowlton, Inc., Gaynor and Ducas, Inc., American Cancer Society, International Rescue Committee, Hudson Institute, and Freedom House.

He officially retired in 1968 to his home in Sarasota, Florida where he conducted a weekly radio hour, and a television talk show. He was very involved in community affairs. Williams wrote extensively on education. He was very active in the push towards global awareness and advocated an education focus emphasizing internationalism and pacifism. Williams was married to Elizabeth Kemp in 1931. They had one son--Jon Allen. After his wife Elizabeth passed away, he married Frances Smith on February 19, 1974.


7.3 linear feet (16 containers)

Language of Materials



Chester Sidney Williams (1907-1992) was an educator, lecturer, author, and politician, primarily in the United States. The collection includes correspondence, publications, photographs, subject files and memorabilia related to his work within the United States government and non-profit organizations.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Chronological subject files; Series II. Memorabilia; Series III. Photographs.

Other Finding Aids

See the Collective Name Index to the Research Collection of Conservative and Libertarian Studies for a cross-referenced index to names of correspondents in this collection, if any, and 37 related University of Oregon collections, including dates of correspondence. See index instructions on use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Chester S. Williams in 1980.

Separated Materials note

Photographs in this collection are stored separately under call number PH135.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Chester S. Williams Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by George Wagner, Manuscripts Processor
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA