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Southern Regional Council- Series 1. Clippings

Identifier: aarl2012-001.series1

Scope and Contents note

The following description was transcribed nearly verbatim from a description written by the previous hitSouthern Regional next hit Council:

The Southern Regional Council maintained a collection of materials that provided daily, detailed coverage of more than thirty years of social and economic change in the South, with concentration on the major social change experienced in the United States in the twentieth century: the dismantling of the Southern system of racial segregation and the beginning of an end to White Supremacy. The collection consists of hundreds of thousands of news clippings and is unique; no other collection of news clippings on the subject matches or even begins to match its scope; no collection of newspapers matches its ease of accessibility to news coverage from a spectrum of sources filed according to subject and date.

From 1944 through 1976, Council research staff on a continuing and regular daily basis clipped and filed news articles on issues related to race, poverty, and social change – and their political and economic ramifications. Taken from a broad range of Southern and national newspapers and magazines, these clippings were processed and filed by subject category as well as by year. The collection was used regularly by the public and by previous hitSouthern Regional next hit Council staff until 1976; it was then retired to storage but the original sequence was maintained. It also includes a news clippings collection donated to previous hitSouthern Regional next hit Council by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

The subjects covered by the news clippings collection span all aspects of previous hitSouthern Regional next hit Council's concern with problems rising from the South's bitter heritage of race, poverty, and anti-democratic practice. Subjects include: the fight to eliminate the White primary; the pre-Brown scramble of Southern states to equalize their dual black and white school systems; Southern politics in the style of Bilbo, Talmadge, Earl Long, Thurmond, Faubus, Wallace, Russell, and others; the fight to equalize inequitable freight rates which discouraged Southern industrial development; peonage in the South; the lynchings of Emmett Till, the Monroe, GA Four, Caleb Hill; Southern reaction to and resistance to Sweatt, McLaurin, Brown and other court decisions ending school segregation; bus boycotts not only in Montgomery but in Tallahassee and Rock Hill; the Fifties' revival of the Ku Klux Klan and the activities of the White Citizens Councils, the Knights of the White Camelia, the States Rights Party, the Columbians, and other resistance groups; the sit-ins and the direct action movement of the early Sixties; the activities of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and other Movement organizations; budding interracial activity in the South in the Forties and Fifties. These examples are a fraction among thousands of major events and developments in contemporary Southern history that are traced in sequential news coverage.

Sources of the news clippings vary somewhat with time: from 1970-1976 at least two major daily newspapers from each state in an 11-state South were clipped, along with at least three major non-Southern dailies; also clipped were a group of about 50 national magazines published monthly and weekly. From 1958-1970, at least one major daily from each Southern state, two or three non-Southern dailies, and at least 25 magazines were clipped; about 12-18 special newspapers were filed intact. During 1950-1957 about six daily papers were clipped regularly, along with a wide range of magazines; during that period all major Black-owned newspapers were clipped. During the Forties somewhat fewer papers were clipped; no attempt was made to represent every Southern state, but a system was maintained whereby clips were sent in by persons in the field and most major events are covered; national magazines also were clipped. From time to time previous hitSouthern Regional next hit Council subscribed to commercial clipping services; these clippings represent non-Southern as well as Southern papers.

Subject Categories: Newspapers are filed initially by year and, within each year, by subject category. Major subjects are broken down and filed by state, sometimes by city.

However, the scheme of subject categories is only generally consistent from year to year, with subjects reflecting changes in staff. In an example of filing inconsistency, the kind of news story filed in 1950 under "Segregation, Incidents and Statements" would have been filed in 1965 under "Public Accommodations," or perhaps "Employment," or perhaps "Opinion," or elsewhere. Some standard subjects generally found each year from the mid-Fifties to 1976 include: Agriculture, Economics, Education, Employment, Housing, Intergroup Organizations, Labor, Law Enforcement, Politics, Public Accommodations, Resistance Groups, Violence and Intimidation.

News Sources: Sources of the news clippings collection include daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, special civil rights-related publications of newspaper style; national news magazines and other magazines on subjects of interest (such as The Nation, The Progressive, Reporter, Phylon). Daily newspaper sources were apt to vary from time to time. There were about three major expansions and changes in the approach to news clipping collecting over the years.

1. From 1944 through about 1957, newspapers which were clipped included these dailies: New York Times, Chattanooga Times, Atlanta Daily World, Atlanta Journal or Atlanta Constitution; weeklies included the Norfolk Journal and Guide, the Chicago Defender, and all other major Black weeklies. Some local Southern Black weeklies were also clipped; often news clippings were sent in by state councils on human relations and other sources in the field, reflecting local happenings. In 1957 previous hitSouthern Regional Council began to clip newspapers for "crisis" areas – among them Little Rock, Nashville, and cities undergoing school desegregation – for the duration of the crisis. Black weeklies were deemphasized at about this time.

2. From about 1958 through about 1970 at least one major daily from each of the 11 Southern states was clipped, in addition to the three Atlanta dailies, the Chattanooga Times, the New York Times, and, for some of this period, the Washington Post and the L.A. Times.

3. From about 1970 through 1976 two major dailies from each Southern state were clipped, in addition to the three Atlanta papers and the three non-Southern papers named above.

In the period in which one paper was clipped from each state, it was published in the state capitol.

Among white-owned Southern dailies which were clipped were the Arkansas Gazette, the Birmingham News, the Montgomery Advertiser, the Atlanta Constitution, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Jackson Daily News, Charlotte Observer, Raleigh, Columbia State, Chattanooga Times, Nashville Banner, Houston Chronicle, and Richmond News-Leader.

In addition to news clippings, files may contain copies of laws, printed and mimeographed reports, handouts, newsletters, and other material.


  • 1944-1976


451.0 boxes



Arrangement note

This series, clippings, remains in the order in which received; some topics and/or years may appear in multiple boxes. Dates are noted for each box. There may be multiple folders for subjects listed in each box.

The collection as a whole is arranged in 2 series which are each listed and described separately. The entire collection is organized as follows:

(451 boxes) and (161 boxes).
Inventory of Southern Regional Council- Series 1. Clippings aarl2012-001.series1 aarl2012-001.series1 aarl2012-001.series1
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303