- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- American civil liberties union
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 4
- Public Policy Papers
- Permanent URL:
- 1920-2015 (mostly 1970-2000)
- 1068 boxes and 4 items
- Storage Note:
- Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Boxes 4572-5083; 5121-5675
The ACLU is the preeminent civil liberties organization in the United States. These records document the work of their national office in the areas of civil rights, children and women's rights, freedom of speech (and all First Amendment questions), and due process, among many others, predominantly from 1970 to 2000.
Collection Description & Creator Information
These records document the work of the ACLU's national office in the areas of civil rights, children and women's rights, freedom of speech (and all First Amendment questions), due process, the right to privacy, and church-state separation issues, among others, predominantly from 1970 to 2000. A large portion of the records are related to the numerous cases that ACLU was involved in related to a wide range of civil rights issues. The records also document the works of ACLU projects, notably the Arts Censorship Project, Capital Punishment Project, Children's Rights Project, Reproductive Freedom Project, Voters' Rights Project and Women's Rights Project, and the work of their Mountain States Regional Office, Southern Regional Office, and Washington Regional Office.
Within individual boxes, the order in which files were placed by the ACLU has been maintained. Boxes in series one, two, five, six, seven, and eight are in no particular order; boxes in series four have been ordered by court case and by record type.
Folder lists may contain duplicate or missing folder numbers; these lists are provided by the ACLU and may reflect the removal of some materials before transfer to Princeton University.
- Collection Creator Biography:
The ACLU is the preeminent civil liberties organization in the United States. The ACLU describes itself as "our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country." Since its inception in 1920, the ACLU has played a part in nearly every significant American social or political issue in the 20th century. This includes important work in the areas of civil rights, children and women's rights, freedom of speech (and all First Amendment questions), and due process, among many others.
For a more detailed history of the ACLU, please see the history in the finding aid for the processed portion of the records.
Transferred periodically from the ACLU. This portion of the collection consists of several transfers: one in March 2011 (ML.2011.011); one in December 2011 (ML.2011.037); one, consisting entirely of Children's Rights Project records, in April 2012 (ML.2012.012); one in March 2015 (ML.2015.009); one in September 2015 (ML.2015.034); one in August 2016 (ML-2016-022); and one in December 2017 (ML-2017-032).
- Archival Appraisal Information:
Some confidential records have been removed from the collection by the ACLU prior to being transferred to Princeton University. Additionally, as confidential records are discovered by Mudd Library staff during legal restriction reviews, these records are removed and periodically returned to the ACLU.
Approximately 1.5 linear feet of materials pertaining to the case Weaver v. Nebo School District were removed from the collection and returned to the ACLU in August 2015.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Maureen Callahan during the course of several transfers in 2011 and 2012 and by Rachel Van Unen in 2015-2017. Descriptive metadata was created by staff at the American Civil Liberties Union archives before transfer to the Mudd Library. Finding aid written by Adriane Hanson and Maureen Callahan in April 2011 and updated upon further accruals by Rachel Van Unen .
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
All material in ACLU Subgroup 4 must be reviewed for legal restrictions prior to research use. Please submit requests for material at least 10 business days before visiting the library to allow time for this review. An archivist will respond within 10 business days to let you know whether it is available for research use. Individuals may make up to 15 requests per month.
- Conditions for Reproduction and 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.
- 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 .
- Credit this material:
American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 4; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345
- Subject Terms:
- Abortion -- Law and legislation -- United States -- 20th century.
African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century.
Capital Punishment -- United States.
Censorship -- United States -- 20th century.
Children's rights -- United States.
Civil rights -- United States -- 20th century.
Discrimination -- United States -- 20th century.
Indians of North America -- Civil rights -- 20th century.
Law -- United States -- Cases -- 20th century.
Suffrage -- United States.
Women's rights -- United States -- 20th century.
- Genre Terms:
- American civil liberties union
American Civil Liberties Union. Washington Office