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Katherine Guins peace and social justice collection

Identifier: MSS 625

Scope and Contents

The Katherine Guins’ Peace and Social Justice collection (1941-2010; bulk 1970-1994) contains materials primarily related to peace and social justice organizations and activism in the East Lansing/Lansing, Michigan area. The majority of the records pertain to: the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Ingham County Branch; the Peace Education Center (PEC); Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND); and Urban Options. These records include newsletters, newspapers, newsclippings, meeting minutes, notes, correspondence, membership lists, conference materials, reports, leaflets, brochures, booklets, mailings, poems, stickers, button, and realia, such as an oversized fabric banner for the “Lansing Raging Grannies,” 3-D protest sign regarding the Syrian humanitarian crisis, and a paper maché bird-donation basket. Additional miscellaneous materials include mailings, brochures, newspapers and a few magazines and books pertaining mainly to women’s rights, civil rights, peace, social justice, the environment, Vietnam, Palestine, and Latin America.


  • Creation: 1941 - 2010
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970 - 1994


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored off site, except for Box 7. Please request 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

Katherine Rebecca (Lemmon) Guins (August 29, 1918-May 6, 2014) became a lifelong civil rights, and peace and social justice activist starting in the late 1950s. Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1918, she was raised in Oberlin, Ohio and graduated from Oberlin High School in 1936. Katherine Guins attended the University of Michigan for a semester and art school at Cleveland School of Art. She married Sergei George Guins in 1939. In Baltimore, she was active in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and became involved with the Black Panther movement. During the Vietnam War, she focused on the peace movement, while continuing her concern for socioeconomic justice. She moved from Baltimore to Okemos, Michigan when her husband started a teaching job in the School of Packaging at Michigan State University. She continued her work with WILPF and began working with the Lansing Area Peace Council (precursor to the Peace Education Center). The Guins moved to Brazil for a year, then to Pueblo, Colorado. In 1980, they returned to Okemos. Katherine received two lifetime peacemaker achievements through the Peace Education Center. Katherine Guins was also a master gardener and oversaw the gardens and greenhouse at the Urban Options Energy House (precursor to Michigan Energy Options). In addition, she supported local theatre as well as other local organizations.


approximately 6.5 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by family members of Katherine Guins in approximately 2014.

Processing Information

Cathy Gibson processed this collection in 2018. Sources consulted in creating the finding aid include: Lansing State Journal. (2014, June 1). Katherine Guins. College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, School of Packaging, Michigan State University. (2018, February 27). History and Mission. Oberlin High School, Class of 1936. Sara J. Chandler. (2018, February 27). Prabook, World Biographical Encyclopedia, Inc. Additional information: Schlief, S. (1983, October 19). Okemos woman battles for civil rights and peace. Towne Courier, p. 3A. Lansing, MI: Lansing State Journal.

Finding Aid for the Katherine Guins peace and social justice collection
4 Published And Cataloged
Cathy Gibson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA