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National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Records in the Manuscript Division

This guide is designed to assist researchers in navigating one of the Manuscript Division's largest and most frequently used collections, the NAACP Records. The collection traces the history of the nation's oldest civil rights organization.


Warren K. Leffler, photographer. Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP.1963. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

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 3 million items dating from 1842 to 1999. 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. 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 records of the National Urban League, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. These resources are enhanced by the personal papers of such prominent activists as Faith Berry, Robert L. Carter, Kenneth Bancroft Clark, Herbert Hill, John Haynes Holmes, Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, A. Philip Randolph, Arthur B. Spingarn, Moorfield Storey, and Roy Wilkins.