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The University of Texas at Austin

Collections

Civil Rights and Social Justice

Among the Briscoe Center's major research strengths is the history of social justice movements in the United States. The center’s resources include a wide range of materials relating to civil rights, anti-war protest, prison reform, gay rights, the anti-smoking movement, and environmental activism.

Selections from the Briscoe Center's Civil Rights and Social Justice Collections


James and Lula P. Farmer Papers

James and Lula P. Farmer Papers
The Famer Papers recount James Farmer’s co-founding of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and document his role in the civil rights movement, including Brown v. Board of Education, bus boycotts, sit-ins, and the 1963 march on Washington. Featuring correspondence, financial records, and sound recordings, the papers reveal the methods and strategies used during the struggle for civil rights.

Flip Schulke's Martin Luther King Photographs

Flip Schulke's Martin Luther King Photographs
A significant portion of the Schulke Photographic Archive relates to Schulke's friendship with Martin Luther King. King granted Schulke access to both his personal life and major civil rights events in the South. The renowned photojournalist covered many civil rights stories in the 1950s and 60s.

Louis Filler Papers

Louis Fuller book
Louis Fuller Papers
Louis Filler (May 2, 1911–December 22, 1998) was a leading scholar in the study of American social reform movements, particularly the antebellum abolitionist movement.
 
A widely published author and editor, Filler's books include A Dictionary of American Social Reform (1963); Appointment at Armageddon: Muckraking and Progressivism in American Life (1976); and Voice of the Democracy: A Critical Biography of David Graham Phillips: Journalist, Novelist, Progressive (1978). Filler's most widely noted book, however, was The Crusade Against Slavery, 1830-1860, an influential and celebrated volume in The New American Nation Series edited by Henry Steele Commager and Richard B. Morris. Among the highlights of the Filler Papers are extensive files containing research materials and manuscript drafts for The Crusade Against Slavery, which was published in 1960.
 
Filler's papers feature his correspondence with important scholars and literary figures, including some of the most influential historians of the post-World War II era: Oscar Handlin, John Garraty, Samuel P. Hays, Russel Nye, Philip Foner, James MacGregor Burns, Bernard DeVoto, William Leuchtenburg, Arthur S. Link, Frank Freidel, Eric Goldman, Hans L. Trefousse, Richard Hofstadter, Henry Nash Smith, Ray A. Billington, Samuel Flagg Bemis, Edmund S. Morgan, and John Hope Franklin.

C. Wright Mills Papers

Photograph of a man walking by pillars in photo used on cover of C. Wright Mills book "White Collar."
C. Wright Mills Papers
Part of the center’s growing intellectual history holdings, the C. Wright Mills Papers (1934–65) document Mills’s work of on the role of social class and power in American life. Mills was a University of Texas alumnus, sociologist, author, and campaigner for social change. The Mills Papers include annotated drafts of his works, collated data regarding his theories, academic teaching materials, and clippings related to his work.

Field Foundation Archives

Field Foundation seal
Field Foundation Archives
The Field Foundation Archives (1940¬–90) help scholars understand how civil rights groups financed their work. Chicago banker and publisher Marshall Field III established the foundation in 1940 to support organizations that promoted civil rights, child welfare, and social change. In its fifty years of activity, the Field Foundation provided major assistance to the NAACP, the Children’s Defense Fund, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, and many others..

Photojournalism

Photojournalism
The archives of R. C. Hickman, Russell Lee, Calvin Littlejohn, and Bruce Roberts provide important documentation related to civil rights in Texas and the South. The Briscoe Center currently has on display an exhibit of photographs by Spider Martin related to the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March.

Lawrence Pope Papers

detail from di_07183 - Letter to Lawrence Pope from Luther Ellis
Lawrence Pope Papers
Lawrence Pope was a banker imprisoned for robbery. While serving in both state and federal penitentiaries he gathered documentation on the conditions he experienced and observed. The Pope Papers include correspondence, financial records, legal documents, and newspaper clippings related to public hearings, legislation, and the decisions made by state officials related to prison reform such as AIDS, mental health, parole, prisoner lawsuits, overcrowding, violence, and racism. The papers also include a comprehensive oral history that was conducted by the Briscoe Center.

Sarah Clark Social Justice Collection

image detail from brochure front cover listing the agenda and schedule for the Women For A Meaningful Summit meeting in Athens, Greece, Farenthold Papers, e_ef_0001_01
Sara Clark Social Justice Collection
Named in memory of Sara Clark, an archivist at the Briscoe Center and a social activist, the collection is dedicated to the various efforts of activists, critics, reformers, and intellectuals to change society. Part of the Clark Collection, the Lesbian Issues Collection focuses on the struggles that gays and lesbians have faced in gaining acceptance. It includes newsletters, correspondence, and magazines.

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