By Susan Turkel
Lunch counter sit-ins, the Montgomery bus boycott, church and temple bombings, the murders of Emmett Till and Martin Luther King Jr., school integration, the March on Washington…. The events surrounding the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s forever changed American society.
Falvey Memorial Library offers 400 books on the Civil Rights Movement and hundreds more on race relations over the course of American history. Scholars continue to produce books, articles, and documentaries on this important era.
Research on history requires access to primary source materials. The Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) provides free access to a wide variety of primary source documents, photographic images, television news archives, and instructional materials held by hundreds of libraries, archives, and other organizations.
Funded by a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, CRDL began as a partnership between libraries, archives, and educational institutions. The list of organizations whose materials are accessible via CRDL is lengthy and impressive; it includes the Library of Congress, universities and law schools from all over the country, PBS, the FBI, city and state archives from all over the South, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. CRDL was unveiled to the public in 2008.
In addition to the primary source resources, CRDL offers a wide variety of teaching materials on the Civil Rights Movement, including learning modules, bibliographies, lesson plans, timelines, quizzes, and worksheets.
If you’d like to investigate additional library resources for studying the Civil Rights Movement, please visit the U.S. Black Freedom Movement course guide, developed by our history librarian Jutta Seibert.
Susan Turkel, MA, MLS, is a Social Sciences Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.