- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
Subseries 1B: Board of Directors, 1941-1990
Collection Description & Creator Information
- Scope and Contents
The Board of Directors subseries (14.8 linear feet) contains mailings from the National Office to the Board, minutes of Board meetings, and correspondence with individual Board members arranged chronologically. From 1975 to 1983, ACLU Associate Director Alan Reitman's pre-Board meeting letter to the president of the Board can be found occasionally. These letters explain the agenda in greater detail to assist the president in facilitating the meeting.
The minutes of the ACLU Board of Directors record in great detail the organizational debates and decisions relating to policies, procedures, and operations of the national office and the state affiliates. Board and National Committee nominations and election results are recorded also. In general, the Board met monthly between 1947 and 1964; starting in 1965, the Board met biweekly except in July and August; in 1967, the Board approved a schedule for monthly Board meetings with two all-day plenary meetings annually. The schedule changed again in 1969 to a bimonthly basis. In the 1970 to 1990 period, the Board meetings were usually held in February, April, June, and October. The rationale for fewer Board meetings was that with fewer meetings annually, there could be more representation on the Board from the membership in diverse geographical regions and more Board members from the state affiliates. The minutes are fairly complete for the 1948 to 1990 period, with the exception of 1964.
The mailings include a variety of materials sent by the National office in New York to the Board of Directors. Included in the mailings are ACLU activity reports, agendas, reports of the standing committees, policy and position statements, memoranda, circular letters and other correspondence, and magazine and newspaper articles. Also included are lists, rosters, ballots, press releases, legal briefs, outlines, biennial conference programs, board resolutions, charts, and printed remarks. The mailings contain proposed revisions to the constitution and by-laws, membership statistics, and budget and financial records as well. The mailings are extensive for the period covered with the exception of the years 1955, 1959-1960, 1965, and 1980, where there are very few or no mailings.
The Board members files include correspondence between members of the Board of Directors with the national office staff and/or Roger Baldwin. The material covers substantive issues such as constitutional revisions, policy statements, and amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs. Resignations from the Board, requests for leaves of absence, and board resolutions passed upon the death of Board members are also included. The Board members files are complete for the 1947 to 1975 period, except for the years 1969-1971. There is no material included for the period 1975-1990.
Much of this material is available on microfilm through UMI, and printed guides to the film are available. (See Microfilm section above.)
No arrangement action taken or arrangement information not recorded at the time of processing.
During the processing of this collection, many items were discarded, including newspaper clippings from the New York Times and other major newspapers, government publications, well- known serial publications, and publications and large distribution memoranda from well-known and well-documented organizations such as the American Jewish Committee or Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
These papers were processed with the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.
- Processing Information
This collection was processed by Paula Jabloner in 1994-1996 with the assistance of Assistant Archivist for Technical Services Daniel Linke, Special Collections Assistants Amy Escott, Claire Johnston, Alison McCuaig, and Tom Rosko, and students Laurie Alexander, Christina Aragon, Laura Burt, Jue Chen, Clement Doyle, Joe Faber, Said Farah, Boyd Goodson, Naomi Harlin, Janet Hine, Matthew Honahan, Katherine Johnson, Damian Long, Theresa Marchitto, Laura Myones, Olivia Kew, Grace Koo, Dan Sack, Bijan Salehizadeh, Tina Wang, Kyle Weston, and Elizabeth Williamson.
Access & Use
- Conditions Governing Access
Subgroup 2 is open for research use.
- Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.
- Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.
- Credit this material:
Subseries 1B: Board of Directors; American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Organizational Matters Series, MC001-02-01, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA
- Storage Note:
- Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 13-46
- Existence and Location of Copies
Public records of the ACLU from 1917 to 1989, have been microfilmed by the Microfilming Corporation of America (MCA) and University Microfilms International (UMI). These records include minutes of the board of directors, mailings to the board of directors, biennial conference papers, policy guides, the national legal docket, organization manuals, constitution and bylaws, legal briefs, and publications. The American Civil Liberties Union Records and Publications 1917-1975: A Guide to the Microfilm Edition and succeeding guides to these materials are available in the reference room, and the microfilm itself is located in the microforms reading room.
The bound volumes of ACLU records covering 1917 through 1946 (volumes 1-2762) have been microfilmed and researchers must use the microfilm in order to prevent further deterioration of the these fragile volumes. Researchers should consult the finding aid to the earlier ACLU records (1917-1946) for their description and arrangement.
- Other Finding Aids
This finding aid describes a portion of the American Civil Liberties Union Records held at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. For an overview of the entire collection, instructions on searching the collection and requesting materials, and other information, please see the Guide to the American Civil Liberties Union Records.
Historical sketch based on In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU by Samuel Walker. See also Samuel Walker's The American Civil Liberties Union: An Annotated Bibliography.
- American Union Against Militarism
United States. | Constitution. 1st-10th Amendments
Marshall Civil Liberties Trust Fund
National Civil Liberties Bureau (U.S.)
New York Times company
Baldwin, Roger N. (Roger Nash), 1884-1981
Dulles, John Foster, 1888-1959.
Ennis, Bruce J., 1941-
Everson, Arch R.
Gault, Gerald Francis, 1949 or 50-
Gideon, Clarence Earl
Hays, Arthur Garfield, 1881-1954
Levy, Herbert Monte, 1923-
Malin, Patrick Murphy, 1903-1964
Neier, Aryeh, 1937-
Neuborne, Burt, 1941-
Nixon, Richard M. Richard Milhous 1913-1994
Pemberton, John de J., Jr., 1919-2009
Perry, Richard L.
Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972.
Powell, John A. (John Anthony)
Schempp, Edward L.
Scopes, John Thomas, 1900-1970
Seeger, Daniel A.
Tinker, John Frederick
Wulf, Melvin A.