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Major Collection Documenting the US Civil Rights movement annouced

July 21, 2015

Adam Matthew signs new agreement with the Amistad Research Center, New Orleans

(Marlborough, UK) Adam Matthew has today announced an agreement to digitally publish a wealth of documents from the ‘Race Relations Department of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, 1943-1970’ held by the Amistad Research Center.

Established within the Race Relations Department in 1966 to house the historical records of the American Missionary Association, the Amistad Research Center is now home to over 600 manuscript collections and a range of further primary and secondary source material relating to civil rights, racial intolerance, and the social and cultural contributions of underrepresented peoples in the United States.

The research possibilities for this judicious new project are significant. Documents produced by the department, originally set up by a formidable group of social scientists, will provide access to detailed research on segregation and discrimination, pioneering studies and annual institutes. According to some specialists, these documents exerted a greater effect upon the course of desegregation in the United States than any other single series of events.

Race Relations in America’ will contain various materials, including:

  • Papers and speeches presented at ‘Race Relations Institutes’ attended by such notable figures as Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and Rachel DuBois
  • Social surveys and resulting analysis, including interviews, reports and raw data from the department’s numerous studies conducted throughout cities and organisations within the United States
  • Correspondence, including plans to replicate the success of the Center with additional institutions and event participation, to or from prospective participants, applicants, consultants and lecturers
  • Images of scrapbooks, photographs and past exhibits

The collection, due for publication early in 2017, will be of interest to students and researchers studying and teaching in the fields of education and civil rights, both past and present.

Christopher Harter, Director of Library and Reference Services at the Amistad Research Center, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Adam Matthew on the digitisation of these documents which have been of extreme importance in the documentation of the Civil Rights Movement in America.”

This new collection will complement African American Communities, which will publish in 2015.


Adam Matthew, an imprint of SAGE, is an award winning publisher of digital primary source collections for the humanities and social sciences. Sourced from leading libraries and archives around the world, their unique research and teaching collections cover a wide range of subject areas from medieval family life to 20th century history, literature and culture.


Amistad Research Center

The Center is housed in Tulane University's Tilton Memorial Hall. From its beginnings as the first archive documenting the modern civil rights movement, the Amistad Research Center has experienced considerable expansion and its mission continues to evolve. The history of slavery, race relations, African American community development, and the civil rights movement have received new and thought-provoking interpretations as the result of scholarly research using Amistad's resources. The holdings include the papers of artists, educators, authors, business leaders, clergy, lawyers, factory workers, farmers and musicians. Their collections contain approximately 250,000 photographs dating from 1859. Literary manuscript holdings contain letters and original manuscripts from prominent Harlem Renaissance writers and poets. The Center holds more than 400 works of African and African American art, including works by several internationally renowned 19th and 20th century African American masters.

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