Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Since 1964, the Library of Congress has served as its official repository, and the NAACP records now consist of approximately 5 million items dating from 1909 to 2003. The records encompass a wide variety of materials, including manuscripts, photographs, prints, pamphlets, broadsides, audiotapes, phonograph records, films, and video recordings. Every phase of the NAACP’s many activities can be found in this rich and diverse collection.
The NAACP Records are the largest single collection ever acquired by the Library and the most heavily used annually. A finding aid for these materials is available on the Library’s website at www.loc.gov/rr/mss/text/naacp-front.html.
These records are the cornerstone of the Library’s unparalleled resources for the study of the 20th-century Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. that also include the original records of the National Urban League, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, as well as the microfilmed records of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). These resources are enhanced by the personal papers of such prominent activists as Thurgood Marshall, Roy Wilkins, Robert L. Carter, Arthur B. Spingarn, Moorfield Storey, Herbert Hill, A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, James Forman, Joseph Rauh, Edward W. Brooke, and Patricia Roberts Harris. Many of these civil rights activists were NAACP officials.