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Partial Collections List: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Law
A few materials in the Manuscripts and Archives collection may be of interest to those researching the development of U.S. civil liberties and civil rights law; the collections below are a sample of these materials. The material below and other similar material includes legal documents of particular cases, documentation that sheds light on the political and social context of these cases and associated causes, and the personal papers of attorneys who dedicated their careers to civil liberties and civil rights issues both within and beyond Connecticut. Most of the collections in this area consist of documents from the 20th century.
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Jasper Alston Atkins graduated from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1919 and from the Yale Law School in 1922. The papers consist of legal documents, writings, clippings, correspondence, and photographs that document his career. The papers emphasize his civil rights cases, including the U.S. Supreme Court Grovey v. Townsend (1935).
The papers of Alan Barth deal in general with his profession as a writer and lecturer and with the liberal causes he espoused. The social and political issues of the 1940s through the 1970s are highlighted, in particular McCarthyism, civil liberties, intellectual freedom, and gun control. Among the more important correspondents are both political figures and editors, including Malcolm Cowley, John Fischer, Felix Frankfurter, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and Adlai Stevenson.
Interview notes, correspondence, clippings, copies of court transcripts and briefs assembled by Richard Kluger for his book, Simple Justice: Brown v. Board of Education. Kluger's interview notes, taken either in person or by mail, with over one hundred people make up the core of the collection.
These papers document the administrative and institutional history of the Center for Advocacy, Research and Planning (CARP), and offer a detailed view of the workings of a non-profit civil rights legal agency. CARP's work in the New Haven area with dozens of minority economic interests and neighborhood organizations is reflected in extensive correspondence, legal memoranda, proposals, and collected material.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) was founded in 1978 by a group of New England lawyers and activists. It was one of the first legal organizations in the United States dedicated to defending the rights of gay men and lesbians, and is best known for its litigation of the Massachusetts case Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, which established for the first time the right of same-sex couples to marry. The collection primarily consists of correspondence, topical files, reports, meeting minutes, legal research, litigation and amicus files, and publications documenting the history and activities of GLAD, anti-discrimination efforts, and the legal issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and people with HIV in the United States.
These papers consist of correspondence, writings, course material, legal documents, and printed material that document Thomas Emerson's career as a lawyer and law professor. They emphasize Emerson's teaching, writing, and organizational activities during his career at the Yale Law School from 1946 to 1976 but also reflect his activity in both the American Civil Liberties Union and the New Haven Civil Liberties Council (later called the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union).
Freedom to Marry (2003-2015) was an organization and campaign founded by Evan Wolfson, with the purpose of legalizing marriage for same-sex couples. Records include minutes, correspondence, memos, legal cases, briefs, amici curiae, and other files related to Freedom to Marry. The collection also includes material related to Wolfson’s previous legal work as director of Lambda Legal’s Legal Marriage Project in the 1990s, including materials related to his work on Baehr v. Miike and Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale.
Fowler V. Harper joined the faculty of the Yale Law School in 1947 and was named Simeon E. Baldwin Professor of Law in 1957. His association with Yale continued until his death in 1965. The Fowler V. Harper Papers consist of materials related to several legal cases in which Harper was involved as a party or attorney. The cases all concern controversies provoked through the widespread government prosecution and public condemnation of alleged Communists during the "McCarthy Era."
These papers consist of an oral history interview, newspaper clippings, correspondence, legal documents, and video recordings documenting the activism of David Knapp for gay and lesbian rights. The bulk of the papers concern Knapp’s involvement in efforts to change the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) position on homosexuality, including his efforts to sue the organization.
These papers document the career of Richard C. Lee, Mayor of New Haven (1954-1969). The papers contain correspondence and other materials on the practice of urban politics, urban renewal, New Haven's efforts in the war on poverty, civil rights and race relations, town-gown relations, and his interaction with local and state Democratic Party leaders.
These papers consist of personal materials, correspondence, clippings, subject and writing files, and audiovisual materials that document David Mixner's life as a gay male, leader in the gay rights movement, author, and political consultant and advisor. The papers are closed until January 1, 2031, unless researchers receive permission in writing from the donor.
These papers consist of legal papers, notes, and other materials from 116 cases handled by Harry Weinberger, a prominent civil liberties and copyright lawyer of the early 20th century. Weinberger's clients included Alexander Berkman, Grover Cleveland Bergdoll, Emma Goldman, and Eugene O'Neill. The papers also include his short stories and plays.