National Institute on Aging

Huge Digital Archive of Civil Rights History Being Created in North Carolina

TRLN-2011Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library announced that it has completed digital scans of more than 66,000 documents for the Content, Context, and Capacity portion of the Digitizing the Long Civil Rights Movement Project. Duke is part of a consortium that includes libraries at North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is called the Triangle Research Libraries Network. The entire project includes 38 manuscript collections and archival record groups and when completed will encompass more than 400,000 digital scans.

The civil rights movement often refers to the period between the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. But the term “Long Civil Rights Movement” coined by historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall in a groundbreaking 2005 article published in Journal of American History, extends the period at both ends to include early efforts to combat Jim Crow and the continuing battle to ensure equal rights and opportunities for African Americans.

The program was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Comments (3)

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  1. Constance Curry says:

    I am going to digitize my SNCC papers, photos, etc., but an wondering what they will look like digitized and was wondering how one looks them up. Can you give me an example of how to get one of of your ditized files, so I can see what materials look like in that form. Thanks, Constance Curry. Atlanta.

  2. Betsy Miller says:

    Some material is already available online at the Civil Rights Digital Library, on the web (thanks to the University System of Georgia) at

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