Contents and Arrangement

Subseries 1F: The Roger N. Baldwin and American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, 1965-1993

12 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Roger N. Baldwin Foundation was incorporated in 1967 in order to raise funds to expand the ACLU's litigation work, with the foundation's directors drawn from the ACLU's National Board. Original Foundation plans called for six areas of Foundation work but the majority of funds were used by the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee (LCDC) and Operation Southern Justice, with the protection of the rights of migrant workers in California also gaining some assistance from the Foundation. The Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee focused on defending Southern civil rights workers and had been operational since 1964.

Operation Southern Justice originated in the ACLU Southern Regional office under the direction of Charles Morgan, Jr. and attacked institutionalized Southern racism focusing on voting rights and the Southern justice system. In 1969, the Roger Baldwin Foundation was renamed the ACLU Foundation, bringing with it a renewed interest in expanding the ACLU's litigation work. The early 1970s saw the emergence of various litigation projects under the arm of the Foundation. The aim of the projects is to provide knowledge in particular fields of litigation at the national office and to aid and coordinate nationwide efforts in major areas of civil liberties concern. Most of the litigation took place with volunteer attorneys at the affiliate level. The projects have changed over the years with current litigation projects based in New York being the Children's Rights Project, Immigrants' Rights Project, Lesbian and Gay Rights/AIDS Project, Reproductive Freedom Project, and the Women's Rights Project. Legislative Projects based in Washington, D.C. include the Arts Censorship Project, Capital Punishment Project, Center for National Security Studies/Security Litigation Project, National Prison Project, Privacy and Technology Project, and the Reproductive Freedom Project. The Voting Rights Project is based in the Atlanta Regional Office.

This subseries (5.04 linear feet) is divided into three groups: administrative; project proposals; and dockets and reports. The administrative records, arranged alphabetically, include minutes of Foundation Board meetings, reports on financial matters, correspondence to and from Board members, documents from the 1978 National Convocation on Free Speech, and miscellaneous materials. Most information on projects in this period is contained in letters from members working on individual projects. The correspondence also reflects the relative uncertainty of the precise role of the Foundation.

The Project Proposal files, arranged by year and then alphabetically, contain proposals for those that received funding and those that were declined. Project Dockets and Reports, arranged by year and then alphabetically, discuss significant legal decisions relating to projects and their review impact. Project legal dockets contain individual brief summarization of all pertinent project litigation cases. Most of the project dockets accompany project reports starting in 1972. The longstanding Foundation projects (started in the mid 1970s) are the Juvenile Rights Project (later the Children's Rights Project), South Texas Project, Women's Rights Project, Reproductive Freedom Project, and the National Prison Project. In addition to giving the standard report information, the National Prison Project reports extend to include numerous newspaper articles relating to the project. Projects started in the late 1980s include the Lesbian and Gay Rights/AIDS Project, and Immigrants' Rights Project.


No arrangement action taken or arrangement information not recorded at the time of processing.

Collection History


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 photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.

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 1F: The Roger N. Baldwin and American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; 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 Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 379-390

Find More

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.

Related Materials

American Civil Liberties Union, Washington, D.C. Office Records

American United for the Separation of Church and State Records

Roger N. Baldwin Papers

Osmond K. Fraenkel Diaries

Fund for the Republic Records

Arthur Garfield Hays Papers

Peggy Lamson Collection on Roger N. Baldwin

Law Students Civil Rights Research Council Records

PEN American Center Records (at Firestone Library)

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
Dorsen, Norman
Dulles, John Foster, 1888-1959.
Ennis, Bruce J., 1941-
Epperson, Susan
Escobedo, Danny
Everson, Arch R.
Gault, Gerald Francis, 1949 or 50-
Gideon, Clarence Earl
Griswold, Estelle
Hays, Arthur Garfield, 1881-1954
Holtzman, Elizabeth.
Jacobellis, Nico
Levy, Herbert Monte, 1923-
Malin, Patrick Murphy, 1903-1964
Miranda, Ernesto
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)
Reitman, Alan
Schempp, Edward L.
Schwarzschild, Henry
Scopes, John Thomas, 1900-1970
Seeger, Daniel A.
Tinker, John Frederick
Wulf, Melvin A.