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Exploring New Resources: History Vault: Civil Rights and the Black Freedom Struggle


The Library has added a number of cool new electronic resources in the past few months. This weekly series will provide some ideas on how you can get the most out of them. Questions? Contact Paula Hammett hammett@sonoma.edu.

What is it?

The collection includes primary source materials featuring the records of key civil rights organizations such as the NAACP, SCLC, SNCC, and CORE, as well as federal records on the 20th-century black freedom struggle. These are accompanied by wonderful descriptive information of the organizations whose collections are included. You’ll find FBI files, personal letters, original reports, court documents, publications, and more.

When should I use it?

When researching topics on the 1960s, the civil rights movement, political organizations, government surveillance, elections and politics, women’s roles in the civil rights movement, 20th century history, and race in America. These digital archives provide a crucial glimpse into a fraught period in American history. They can add insight to research papers on civil rights and provide context for racial issues in today’s society.

An example:

Read the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s documents about their challenge to be seated as delegates at the Democratic Convention of 1964, which was delivered by Fannie Lou Hamer. 

Access this collection and the rest of our e-resources from the Library's A-Z list of article databases.