Pacifist, participant in World War I peace movement and later peace activities, member of Fellowship of Reconciliation, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and Women Strike for Peace. Papers include Correspondence, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, periodicals, reports, photographs, and other materials relating to the International Congress of Women, 1915, the Ford Peace Ship, the American Neutral Conference Committee, the Emergency Peace Federation, and the People's Council of America.
The papers of Rebecca Shelley (1887-1984) were donated by Shelley in several accessions between 1964 and 1984. The papers make up twenty-one linear feet of materials and cover the years 1890-1984, though only a few photographs and printed items predate 1910. Her anti-war activism, legal battles, writing career, and courtships with Franz Willman and Felix Rathmer are all well-represented. In addition to her personal papers, there are groups of material belonging to Emily Balch, Richard Olsen, Felix Rathmer, Paul Shelly, and William A. Shelly.
Many peace organizations are also documented in these papers through flyers, pamphlets, periodicals, newsletters, and correspondence. These include the American Neutral Conference Committee, Emergency Peace Federation, People's Council of America, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Women Strike for Peace, and many others. As Shelley served as an officer in the Michigan Fellowship of Reconciliation (F.O.R.) through the 1950s and 1960s, many of the organization's official papers came to be in her possession. Therefore, an effort was made to remove most of these official papers to the separate Michigan F.O.R. collection.
The collection is arranged in eleven series: Biographical; Newspaper Clippings; Correspondence; Topical Papers; Miscellaneous Papers; Papers Of Other Individuals; Printed; Periodicals; Diaries And Notebooks; Photographs; and Writings.