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Mildred Adams Kenyon papers

Identifier: IHRC1201


Papers pertain mostly to work with Spanish Civil War refugees, and relief organizations. Included are correspondence to and from various persons and committees concerning relief work (1939-1942), organizational and special reports (1940-1942), publications, press releases, personal notes, and a memoir dated 1976 in which Adams recalls her work on Refugee Relief between 1936 and 1941.


  • 1939-1976

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Mildred Adams Kenyon is an American author and translator. After graduating from the University of California, with a major in economics, she went to New York. There she began writing articles for her aunt, who was then managing editor of Woman’s Journal. Shortly thereafter, Mildred became a feature writer for The New York Times, and a contributor to many other magazines.

Mildred Adams Kenyon spent much time in Europe, often on assignments. She was a witness to such historical events as the admittance of Russia into the League of Nations, and the making of Spain’s constitution in 1931. She also reported from Spain shortly before the Civil War began. One of Mildred’s more favorite forms of reporting is the interview, and she has interviewed such notables as Calvin Coolidge, Huey Long, and H.A. Wallace.

In 1935, Mildred Adams married William Houston Kenyon Jr., a prominent attorney and graduate of Harvard College and Law School. They are both members of the Cosmopolitan Club in New York.

Mildred Adams’ interest in American refugee immigrant work began with the Spanish Civil War, and continued into World War II, aiding German intellectuals, liberals and Jews leaving Germany.

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began. During the middle of the war, relief committees, of both a national and international scope, began to organize and focus their attention on aiding Spanish refugees and Republicans. These early relief programs centered around the feeding of children and general food distribution. As Franco’s armies advanced and Spain became progressively nationalized, hundreds of thousands of people fled. With the end of the civil war in 1939, the relief organization took on the care and feeding, relocation and protection of the Spanish refugees.

Both during and after the Spanish Civil War, Mildred Adams was very active in Refugee work. She sat on the board of an early committee, the American Friends of Spanish Democracy. She was an advisor for the New World Re-Settlement Fund for Spanish Relief, and in the spring of 1940, became a member of the executive board of the Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign.

In July, 1940, when the Emergency Rescue Committee was formed, the predecessor of the International Rescue Committee, Mildred Adams was named Secretary.

Although Kenyon is Mildred’s married name, she is still referred to as Mildred Adams.


2.5 linear inches

Language of Materials



The collection as acquired was in two folders. Since there was no apparent reason for this, it was reorganized by the processor into five folders. All of the material in this collection deals specifically with Spanish refugees and relief organizations, their programs and policies. The sections are as follows:

I. Personal and biographical (folder 1)

II. Correspondence (folder 2)

III. Organizational and Special Reports (folders 3 and 4)

IV. Miscellaneous (folder 5)

Processing Information

The papers of Mildred Adams were deposited in the Immigration History Research Center in January, 1977. They were presented as a gift by Mildred Adams, and secured through the efforts of Nicholas Montalto. The collection consists of 2.5 linear inches of papers and correspondence. It was processed during January and February, 1981.

Inventory of the Mildred Adams Kenyon Papers.
IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area