Skip to Main Content

History of the Civil Rights Movement

Library resources for research

Primary source books

Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965
Reporting Civil Rights
Milestone documents in African American history : exploring the essential primary sources
Jim Crow America: a documentary history
Rhetoric, Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

Collections in the Central Texas area

Special Collections is housed on the library's second floor, and students are encouraged to visit and utilize the resources. Senator John Tower’s personal and Senate papers (served from 1961-1985) are particularly useful primary sources for the history of civil rights.

LBJ Presidential Library  Located on the UT Austin campus, the Library houses 45 million pages of historical documents, 650,000 photos and 5,000 hours of recordings from President Johnson's political career. Some material available online.

Briscoe Center for American History Collects and makes available documentary and material culture evidence encompassing key themes in Texas and U.S. history. Selections from their Civil Rights and Social Justice Collections are online.

Austin History Center  Provides the public with information about the history, current events, and activities of Austin and Travis County. 

Primary sources on the web

Civil Rights Digital Library Includes a digital video archive of historical news film of key events of the Civil Rights Movement, and a civil rights portal providing a virtual library on the Movement by connecting related digital collections on a national scale.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Center Digital Archive More than 1 million documents digitized and make publicly available from the extensive holdings of The King Center Archive collection. 

SNCC Digital Gateway Provides access to documents, photographs, and audiovisual material chronicling the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s historic struggle for voting rights.

FBI Records: The Vault  Contains documents and other media from FBI files. Includes a category for Civil Rights, and can also be searched by keyword, and for individuals, e.g. Malcolm X.

Library of Congress Digital Collections: African American History and NAACP; A Century in the Fight for Freedom.

The Portal to Texas History A gateway to rare, historical, and primary source materials from or about Texas.

DPLA Digital Public Library of America Provides access to more than 15,000,000 items from libraries, archives, and museums across the country.

Google Books Find books and magazine articles. To search specifically for full-text articles use this Advanced Book Search link and select Full view only and Magazines. It includes a complete run of Ebony from November 1959 to December 2008.

Chronicling America From the Library of Congress allows you to search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924.

HathiTrust Digital Library Offers a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.