Contents and Arrangement

Series 6, Audio-Visual materials, circa 1920-1995

1 item

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 6 Finding Aid: American Civil Liberties Union Records: Audiovisual Materials Series, circa 1920-1995.

The Audio Visual Series contains VHS video cassette tapes, Beta video cassette tapes, 1" and 2" video tape, 16 mm film, 2-inch videotape, microfilm, audio cassettes, 33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm records, photographs, and reel-to-reel audio tapes. All of the audio-visual material is arranged by format, then chronologically, except for the photographs which are arranged alphabetically by subject or individual.

The VHS video tapes contain a few sessions from the 1989 Biennial Conference, but primarily consist of TV talk shows, press conferences, network news, and documentaries covering a wide range of civil liberties issues. Most shows feature one or more ACLU-affiliated guests. The VHS tapes span 1979 through 1992, and 1995.

The audio cassettes consist almost entirely of recordings of the sessions from the 1985, 1987, and 1989 Biennial Conferences. Also included are three tapes from Series 3, Subject Files: Deprogramming. For the 1985 Conference, a list of the presenter(s) of the various sessions is provided, however, this information was not available for the 1987 and 1989 Conferences.

The reel-to-reel audio tapes are divided into two sections: seven-inch reels and five-inch reels. The seven-inch reels contain debates involving Fulton Lewis III from the early 1960s, recordings from the 1970 Biennial Conference, and various ACLU board meetings from 1973-1976. The five-inch reels contain ACLU public service announcements. There are a few reels, both seven- inch and five-inch, that are presently unidentified.

The 16mm films include TV shows and films that the ACLU had significant interest in, including "Operation Abolition," a 1960 propaganda film prepared by the House Committee on Un-American Activities distorting the events of a student protest against the HUAC hearings in San Francisco. Also included is the response film "Operation Correction."

The photographs are primarily portraits and group photos of ACLU officials. Negatives for some of the photographs are also enclosed. There are also a few slides. The 2" video tapes consist of eight reels from the "Rights of Americans" series and "commercial spots" for the Amnesty Project.


Series 6 is arranged by form and alphabetically or chronologically therein.

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. Due to limitations in processing time, not every file is in exact chronological or alphabetical order.


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:

Series 6, Audio-Visual materials; American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, MC001-02, 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

Find More

Existence and Location of Copies

FOR DIGITIZED CONTENT: Please see the Guide to the American Civil Liberties Union Records.

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
National Civil Liberties Bureau (U.S.)
Marshall Civil Liberties Trust Fund
National Civil Liberties Bureau (U.S.)
New York Times company
Baldwin, Roger N. (Roger Nash), 1884-1981 (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.