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| by Arabella Holzapfel

MiddPoints

Montage of images including LBJ and MLK; flag outside NAACP New York office that reads, "A man was lynched yesterday"; Malcolm X; George Wallace at the door of a school; James Meredith at Ole Miss; March on Washington

Middlebury (Vermont) users now have access to about 20 resources documenting the history and evolution of civil rights in the United States.

General civil rights

  • Anatomy of protest in America,
    • part 1 (Newspapers, 1729-1922) : This collection provides in-real-time reporting of an event, place, or person. These articles take the reader from the Boston Tea Party to Turner’s Rebellion to the New York City Draft Riots to Haymarket Strike to the anti-Communist demonstrations of the early 1920s.
    • part 2 (Books, 1701-1928 : This collection offers both a historical overview and a framework for understanding protest and its movements in American history. Woven into the fabric of local and regional history, Part II provides an engaging narrative history on social, political, and economic movements and their
      actions.
  • Fight For Racial Justice And The Civil Rights Congress : Founded in Detroit in 1946, the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) arose out of the merger of three groups with ties to the Communist Party USA: the International Labor Defense (ILD), the National Negro Congress, and the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties to, among other things, “combat all forms of discrimination against…labor, the Negro people and the Jewish people, and racial, political, religious, and national minorities.” The records in this collection represent the files of the national office of the Congress, based in New York City, including several hundred case files and much more.
  • Grassroots Civil Rights and Social Action: Council for Social Action : The General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches voted to create the Council for Social Action in 1934. The records in this collection trace the Council’s active participation in social action, its engagement in race relations, Indian relations, opposition to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, and the protection of the civil rights of war victims and Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. The collection is sourced from the Congregational Library in Boston, Massachusetts, and goes through 1956.
  • Bush (George H. W.) Presidency And Development And Debate Over Civil Rights Policy And Legislation : This collection contains materials on civil rights, the development of civil rights policy, and the debate over civil rights legislation during the administration of President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993) and during his tenure as vice president (1981-1989). Contents of this collection include memoranda, talking points, correspondence, legal briefs, transcripts, news summaries, draft legislation, statements of administration policy (SAP’s), case histories, legislative histories and news-clippings covering a broad range of civil rights issues.
  • U.S. Military Activities and Civil Rights: Military Response to March on Washington, 1963 : This collection reveals details of the Federal Government’s plans to militarily intervene in the 1963 March on Washington (codenamed Operation “Steep Hill”) in the event the march became disorderly. These records give an insight into the personalities and events at the March on Washington. In addition, there is small quantity of records relating to the plans to intervene in Alabama in 1963 over the issue of school integration.

Women’s suffrage collection : Middlebury’s access to important primary sources documenting the Women’s Suffrage movement has expanded. In addition to The Lily, articles from the following periodicals have been added: National citizen and ballot box, National standard, The new citizen (votes for women), The remonstrance, The revolution, and The western woman voter. Also included is “The 19th amendment victory” which comprises a newspaper history from 1762-1922 and books published between 1812 through 1823.

Race relations

  • American race relations: global perspectives 1941-1996 : Reports, publications, and news broadcasts covering America’s fight for racial justice, with firsthand analysis of race relations in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt & Race Relations 1933-1945 : This series contains essential materials for the study of the early development of the Civil Rights Movement — concerned with the issues of Lynching, Segregation, Race riots, and Employment discrimination. FDR’s record on civil rights has been the subject of much controversy. This new collection from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, NY, provides insight into his political style and presents an instructive example of how he balanced moral preference with political realities.

Integration

  • Alabama
    • U.S. Military Activities and Civil Rights: The Little Rock Integration Crisis, 1957-1958  : This collection covers President Eisenhower’s use of Federal troops and the Arkansas National Guard in the Little Rock integration crisis of 1957 -1958. Records include a journal of events, an Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations & Plans summary of the operation, a historical report prepared by the Office of the Chief of Military History, papers on Governor Faubus’ actions with regard to integration, press reports and observations by Army officers on the reaction of the community, and congressional correspondence.
    • Integration of Alabama Schools and the U.S. Military, 1963 : The dramatic confrontation between the governor of Alabama and the president of the United States in June 1963 resulted in the federalization of the entire Alabama National Guard. This archive details Operation Oak Tree, the codename for the Army’s plans to intervene in Alabama in the event of civil disturbances related to school integration in May 1963.
  • Mississippi
    • U.S. Military Activities and Civil Rights: Integration of the University of Mississippi and the Use of Military Force, 1961-1963 : This collection is from the Records of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations (ODCSOPS) relating to the use of Federal marshals, U.S. Troops, and the federalized National Guard in Oxford, Mississippi, 1962-1963, on the occasion of James Meredith’s enrollment at the University of Mississippi.
    • James Meredith, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Integration of the University of Mississippi : In the fall of 1962 the college town of Oxford, Mississippi, erupted in violence. At the center of the controversy stood James Meredith, an African American who was attempting to register at the all-white University of Mississippi, known as “Ole Miss.” This collection contains extensive FBI documentation on Meredith’s battle to enroll at The University of Mississippi in 1962 and white political and social backlash, including his correspondence with the NAACP and positive and negative letters he received from around the world during his ordeal.

Impactful individuals

  • Ralph J. Bunche Oral Histories Collection on the Civil Rights Movement : The Ralph J. Bunche Oral History Collection from the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center is a unique resource for the study of the era of the American civil rights movement. Included here are transcriptions of close to 700 interviews with those who made history in the struggles for voting rights, against discrimination in housing, for the desegregation of the schools, to expose racism in hiring, in defiance of police brutality, and to address poverty in the African American communities.
  • Papers of Amiri Baraka, Poet Laureate of the Black Power Movement : This collection of Amiri Baraka materials was made available by Dr. Komozi Woodard. Dr. Woodard collected these documents during his career as an activist in Newark, New Jersey.The collection consists of rare works of poetry, organizational records, print publications, over one hundred articles, poems, plays, and speeches by Baraka, a small amount of personal correspondence, and oral histories.
  • Civil Rights and Social Activism in Alabama: The Papers of John LeFlore, 1926-1976 and Records of the Non-Partisan Voters League, 1956-1987 : John L. LeFlore (1903–1976) was the most significant figure in the struggle for black equality in Mobile, Alabama, throughout southern Alabama and Mississippi, and along the Florida Gulf Coast. Materials in the collection document LeFlore’s prolific work in both public and private life.
  • The Legal Battle for Civil Rights in Alabama: Vernon Z. Crawford Records, 1958-1978 Civil Rights Cases and Selections from the Blacksher, Menefee & Stein Records :  This collection consists of selected portions of the records of attorney Vernon Z. Crawford (1919–1986) and the Blacksher, Menefee and Stein law firm whose work represents a significant contribution to the shape of the civil rights movement in 20th century Alabama. Documents include legal documentation, complaints, petitions, requests, depositions, handwritten notes, correspondence, exhibits (maps, plans of school buildings, population diagrams), and surveys.
  • Transcripts of the Malcolm X Assassination Trial : Reproduced here are records of the New York State Supreme Court, which include a full testimony of all witnesses, including the two who spoke in secrecy to hide their identities; preliminary motions, summations, the court’s charge, the verdicts, and the sentences; and a confession made years after the trial by one of the men convicted.

Media Contact

Arabella is the Electronic Resources Manager and Library Systems Specialist.