The CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) Cataloging Hidden and Special Collections Program recently awarded $900,000 to support “Working for Freedom: Documenting Civil Rights Organizations,” a collaborative project designed to bring to public notice more than a dozen “hidden” manuscript collections housed in Atlanta and New Orleans archives.
Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the grant will support the inventorying, cataloging and opening for research of civil rights-oriented collections at the Emory University Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (Atlanta); the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History (Atlanta); the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) and the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center (Atlanta). Emory and Auburn Avenue received a joint award of $400,000, while the Woodruff Library and Amistad Research Center were awarded $250,000 each to complete the following projects:
The Emory University Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) and Auburn Avenue Research Library (a special library of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System) will process materials relating to key civil rights organizations, leaders and activities in Atlanta, the Southeast and the nation between 1930 and 2000. The selected collections contain the records of two influential organizations – the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) [at Auburn Avenue] and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) [at MARBL] – as well as the personal papers of Andrew Young [at Auburn Avenue]. In addition, some of the most transformational moments and movements of the civil rights era, including the Citizenship Schools, voter education, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the fight against Jim Crow laws and desegregation are chronicled.
The Amistad Research Center at Tulane University will process and catalog nine collections documenting Civil Rights era organizational history. Emphasis will be given to unearthing branch and local chapter records hidden within the personal papers of participants or officers for civil rights groups, including the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), NAACP, National Association of Human Rights Workers, SCLC, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Urban League. Personal collections to be processed include: the James Egert Allen Papers, Lloyd Davis Papers, Arnold DeMille Papers, John Wesley Dobbs Family Papers, Rose Carver Fishman Papers, James H. Hargett Papers, Ronnie M. Moore Papers, Marr/McGee Family Papers and the A.P. Tureaud Papers Addendum.
The Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center will process, catalog and provide access to the Voter Education Project (VEP) Collection (1972-1992) documenting efforts to increase voter education and electoral participation of minorities. Founded in 1962 as a special program of the Southern Regional Council (SRC), the Atlanta-based Voter Education Project, Inc., sought to increase political participation of Blacks in the South and to develop a more informed electorate. VEP worked with other civil rights organizations, including SNCC, CORE, SCLC, NAACP and the National Urban League. Early VEP leaders included nationally known civil rights attorney Wiley A. Branton, Dekalb County CEO Vernon Jordan and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-5).
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- The Extraordinary World of MARBL: The McCord Latin Prize Medal
- Announcing the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship
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