Civil Rights

A Guide to Civil Rights Archival Material at Othmer Library
Prepared by Suzanne Lipkin, May 2014

View Civil Rights Subject Guide (with images) as a PDF

This guide is intended as an aid to researchers interested in materials at Brooklyn Historical Society. For the purposes of this guide, “civil rights” refers to efforts to achieve equality for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. The term became commonly used following the first U.S. Congressional Civil Rights Act in 1866, which stated that all citizens should be protected equally under the law. The materials below focus on people, organizations, and events in Brooklyn. The bulk of the library’s civil rights materials relate to African-American civil rights and women’s rights from the late 1890’s to the mid 1980’s, with smaller collections relating to groups such as Puerto Rican Americans. The collections include scrapbooks, manuscripts, pamphlets, programs, newspaper clippings, organizational records, personal and institutional correspondence, photographs, reel-to-reel audio tapes, and ephemera.

The origins of these movements—in the period between the American Revolution and Reconstruction—are covered thoroughly in our African-American History subject guide, which was produced as part of the In Pursuit of Freedom public history project. Please refer to these resources for African-American history pre-1890.

Although this guide is extensive and is expected to satisfy many research needs in this subject, researchers should be aware that this guide is not necessarily comprehensive. The guide includes only those archival materials that were identified as relevant and were documented over time by archivists. Furthermore, this guide includes only those materials that hold an explicit reference to civil rights. Materials that do not have such a reference, even if they are associated with individuals or organizations mentioned here, are not included on this guide; for example, collections of Brooklyn civic organization publications that do not explicitly refer to civil rights are not included here. Accordingly, researchers may wish to search our catalog to identify other materials potentially useful to their research. Access to the catalog for such searches is available from this page: http://www.bobcat.nyu.edu/brooklynhistory.

If you are just starting your research into this topic, some of the following terms might be useful when searching our catalog. The principal keywords to search are civil rights and women’s rights. You can also search by personal or corporate name; for example: CORE and NAACP. Other terms to search may include segregation, discrimination, radical, protest, suffrage, feminism, and women, plus the names of religious and ethnic groups.

Useful library resources at BHS include city directorieshistorical newspapers, and online access to U.S. Census and New York State Census Records; maps and atlases; and almanacs. These resources can help chart demographic shifts in New York City neighborhoods and the impact of racially biased policies like redlining (the discriminatory practice of banks, insurance companies, etc., refusing or limiting loans, mortgages, or insurance, within specific geographic areas), as well as provide information on individuals, institutions, neighborhoods, businesses, etc. involved in civil rights efforts.

Search the library’s PastPerfect database for visual material, including photographs, postcards, and posters. An appointment is not necessary to access the image database. Assistance with searching, as well as printing, citation, and reproduction information, is available at the library.

Many materials found in Bobcat, the microfiched scrapbooks, maps, and the image database are available for users in the library without an appointment. The following archival collections, however, are available only by appointment for viewing in the library. To schedule an appointment or for further information about these collections, please contact the library via email at library@brooklynhistory.org.

Collections are presented in this guide in rough chronological order according to the earliest date of the relevant documents within the collection. Each entry follows the format:

Collection name, date range of the collection
Call number
Extent of collection in linear feet and boxes and/or folders.

Link to more information about collection (if available).
Brief description of content in the collection relevant to civil rights.

Archival Collections

Patterson family papers and photographs, circa 1847-1956.
Call number: ARC.078
4.43 linear feet, in two manuscript boxes, one oversize box, and four custom boxes.
Link to more information about the collection.
This collection contains materials about the Patterson family that lived in Brooklyn Heights. May Patterson (1879-1925) was active in the Democratic Party and a devout suffragist. She is notable for being the first female Assistant District Attorney to argue a case in a United States court. Of particular interest is box 3, which contains May’s scrapbook of newspaper clippings about incidents and issues concerning women and women’s rights.

Seidl Society Records, 1889-1899
Call number: 1977.175
1.75 linear feet, in four document boxes.
Link to more information about the collection.
Laura C. Holloway was a suffragist who founded the Seidl Society in 1889. Devoted to music and charity work, the society of over 300 women brought music to underprivileged women and children in Brooklyn through free outdoor concerts at Brighton Beach and Coney Island. These concerts were all day events including meals and time to enjoy the beaches. The society also presented lectures by prominent feminists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Of note in the collection are the scrap books in box 3, which contain clippings documenting the women’s rights concerns of the Society and details about the concerts and lectures.

National Council of Women of the United States leaflet, 1895.
Call number: 1977.156
0.01 linear feet, in one folder.
Link to more information about the collection.
The leaflet announces the holding of an event called “Reunion of Friends and Pioneers of Woman’s Progress” at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, held in honor of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 80th birthday.

John Howard Melish, William Howard Melish and Protestant Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity collection, 1904-1985
Call number: ARC.050
8.0 linear feet, in 16 manuscript boxes.
Link to more information about the collection.
The Melishes served Holy Trinity in total for over 50 years, but their removal from the church was sought due to William Howard Melish’s association with Communist organizations. The collection principally includes material related to the “Melish Controversy”: newspaper clippings maintained by William Howard Melish focusing on Communism, United States-Soviet Union relations, and court cases related to the controversy. Of note in regard to civil rights are reel-to-reel audio tapes of a memorial service held in Ghana in 1963 for W. E. B. Du Bois at which William Howard Melish spoke (Series 3) and Melish’s 1960 remarks concerning civil rights activism in the South (Series 8). A digital version of the tapes can be listened to in the library.

Brooklyn Armstrong Association and Brooklyn Hampton Association records, 1906-1943
Call number: 1981.001
0.33 linear feet, in five folders.
Link to more information about the collection.
The Brooklyn Armstrong Association was formed in 1906, renamed the Brooklyn Hampton Association in 1920, and disbanded in 1943. The Association was formed principally as a vehicle for Brooklynites to support the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute and to engage with matters of African-American “uplift.” The collection includes material from throughout the life of the organization, including: a scrapbook of clippings about events and meetings, solicitations, meeting invitations, announcements, reports, membership lists, Hampton Institute publications, and the like; some annual reports; minute books for the Executive Committee and Annual meetings; and correspondence, mostly from 1943 concerning the final days of the organization.

Richetta Randolph Wallace papers, 1906-1971
Call number: 1978.137
3.0 linear feet, in five manuscript boxes and one flat box.
Link to more information about the collection.
The collection consists of the personal and business papers of Richetta Randolph Wallace, an African-American woman who had a longstanding engagement with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Harlem (New York City), African-American literary and arts culture, and matters of race relations, racial justice and civil rights. Documents include correspondence, pamphlets and other published print matter, event programs and other ephemera, photographs, receipts, manuscripts, and newspaper clippings.

Gates Avenue Association records, 1922-1944
Call number: 1977.177
0.05 linear feet, in two folders and one bound volume.
Link to more information about the collection.
This collection includes a minute book, correspondence, a list of residents and property owners for 1936, and various announcements and notes of the Association. The materials illuminate the Association’s regular activities and operations, as well as its opposition to the arrival of African Americans in the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Clinton Hill.

Women’s Alliance of the First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn records, 1922-2004 (bulk 1980-2003)
Call number: 2005.031
3.5 linear feet, in three record cartons and one oversize flat box.
Link to more information about the collection.
The Women’s Alliance began as the Female Samaritan Society in 1838, several years after the Church’s founding. Members of the group took responsibility for all the physical housekeeping of the church, ran the church’s annual fundraising fair, and helped with parish duties such as visiting the sick and cooking for the congregation. After periods of inactivity in the twentieth century, the group was resurrected in 1973 as the Women’s Alliance, a primarily issue-oriented group concerned with social action and women’s rights matters. Series 5 contains materials related to the group’s abortion rights (folder 3) and social justice (folder 11) work; also of note are the issues of Women’s Work, the group’s newsletter, in Series 6. Other materials in the collection include administrative and financial records, meeting minutes, correspondence, and photographs.

Arnold Goldwag / Brooklyn Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) collection, 1943-2007
Call number: ARC.002
13.75 linear feet, in 13 manuscript boxes, five record cartons, and two artifact boxes.
Link to more information about the collection.
The collection consists principally of the subject files concerning 1960s civil rights activism maintained by Arnie Goldwag, an officer of Brooklyn CORE during the first half of the 1960s. These files include correspondence, newsletters, event announcements (e.g., fliers), directions for demonstrators, photographs, press releases, clippings, and other documents related to many of the actions conducted by Brooklyn CORE, particularly for the period 1961-1965. Actions represented in the collection include those protesting discrimination in employment, housing, schools, and the like, including the controversial initiative to block traffic in connection with the opening of the 1964 World’s Fair. The collection also includes reminiscences by Goldwag and other CORE members looking back from the 1990s and 2000s.

Amote Sias papers, 1945-1993
Call number: 2008.017
3.0 linear feet, in one manuscript box, one record carton and two oversize flat boxes.
Link to more information about the collection.
Sias, currently the principal at Brooklyn Collegiate High School, was involved in activist movements and ran for city office in the 1970s and 1980s. The collection consists of materials documenting her participation in groups such as the Committee to Elect Jesse Jackson for President and her campaign for City Council in 1989. Materials include financial and administrative documents, programs, notes, and clippings that highlight local and national efforts for social justice and equality.

Mary DeSaussure Sobers collection, 1945-2002
Call number: 2005.053
0.42 linear feet, in one manuscript box.
Link to more information about the collection.
Bedford-Stuyvesant native Sobers became the first African-American woman to participate in a sanctioned track meet, sponsored by the New York City Parks Department in 1945. The collection contains materials concerning Sobers’s track career including correspondence, programs, publications, newspaper clippings, photographs, and medals.

Antonia Denis collection, 1948-1983
Call number: 1992.021
1.0 linear feet, in one oversize box.
Link to more information about the collection.
Antonia Denis, a social and political activist, arrived in Brooklyn, N.Y. from Baja Vega, Puerto Rico during World War I. She soon became a major figure in several Brooklyn-based organizations, including La Casa de Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Pioneers Parade, and the Betances Democratic Club. These organizations advocated for political and social equality, celebrated Puerto Rican history and culture, and administered anti-poverty, cultural, and educational programs for Brooklyn’s Puerto Rican community. The collection consists of correspondence, administrative documents, financial records, photocopied newspaper articles, calling cards, certificates, newsletters, pamphlets, and other ephemera relating to Denis’s work; over half of the materials are in Spanish and are not translated.

Robert Vadheim Brooklyn neighborhood renewal and development collection, 1962-1987
Call number: 1987.002
2.33 linear feet (in one manuscript box, one record carton, and one oversize box.)
Link to more information about the collection.
The collection consists of records compiled by Robert Vadheim during his involvement with the Brooklyn Heights Association. The Brooklyn Heights Association was formed in 1910, and remains the oldest neighborhood association in New York City. The records include bulletins, reports, announcements and notices to membership. Of note is Series 2, which contains materials about redlining.

Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation publication and photograph collection, 1968-2007 (bulk 1970-1980)
Call number: ARC.124
0.1 linear feet, in one manuscript box.
Link to more information about the collection.
Founded in 1967, the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation provides services to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in four major areas: affordable housing; employment; business and economic development; and arts & culture. This collection focuses on the activities of the organization in its efforts to improve the social and economic situation of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s residents. Materials primarily consist of newsletters documenting the organization’s work.

Other Formats

Periodicals
Afro-Americans in New York Life and History. 1977-present.
Call number: E185.93.N56 A25
BHS collection contains volumes 1-19, through the years 1994-1995. Articles include original research on the life and history of Afro-Americans in New York State as well as book reviews. The journal’s official website is at http://home.aanylh.com. An index of volumes 1996-2010 can be found at http://www.aahanf.org/aanylh.journal.htm.

Photographs
Bob Adelman photographs of Brooklyn Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) demonstrations, circa 1962
Call Number: V1989.022
0.03 linear feet, in 17 items housed in on film slides binder.
Link to more information about the collection.
The collection is comprised of 17 black-and-white slides made in the late 1980s from original photographic prints dating from circa 1962. The photographs pertain to several civil rights demonstrations organized by the Brooklyn chapter of the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) including “Operation Clean Sweep,” a demonstration addressing discriminatory sanitation policies in New York City; a demonstration in front of Ebinger’s Bakery in Brooklyn in regards to its discriminatory hiring practices; a sit-in at the Board of Education calling for the end of de facto segregated schools and equal access to quality education; and a sleep-in at a “model home” for newly constructed housing located in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn in regards to discriminatory rental and buying practices. These images can be viewed on-site in the library using our visual database, PastPerfect.

Oral History Collections
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Oral History Collection, 2007-2008
Call number: 2008.030
Extent: 60 WAV files.
Link to more information about the collection.
The Brooklyn Historical Society and Restoration partnered on the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Oral History project in 2007-2008 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Restoration’s founding as the first community development corporation (CDC) in the United States. 56 interviews were conducted with founding Board members, supporters, activists, artists, tenants, and other community members. Recordings may be listened to in the library.

Brooklyn History Makers Oral History, 2006 – present
Call number: 2008.031
Extent: 87 wav files (and growing).
Link to more information about the collection.
This ongoing oral history collection features a broad range of narrators: jazz musicians, business leaders, civil rights activists, authors, artists, sports players, and longtime neighborhood residents who describe the changes they have observed in their neighborhoods over decades. One of the noted civil rights activists included is Esther Cooper Robinson, who was managing editor and a founder of the magazine Freedomways and the Executive Secretary of the Southern Negro Youth Congress). Recordings of these interviews are available for listening by appointment only.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Oral History, 1987-1989
Call number: 1995.005
Extent: 12 digital audio WAV files (6hr, 23min).
Link to more information about the collection.
In 1987-1989, Brooklyn Historical Society interviewed 10 people who worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard during WWII.  Interviews were conducted by Benjamin Filene and Diane Esses and focus on working conditions and the experiences of women doing nontraditional labor such as welding and shipfitting. Recordings may be listened to in the library.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Oral History Collection, 2006-2011
Call number: 2010.003
Extent: 47 digital audio WAV files (80hrs).
Link to more information about the collection.
In partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Brooklyn Historical Society collected interviews with men and women who worked in or around the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  The majority of the interviews are with people who worked in the Yard during WWII.  The narrators discuss growing up in New York, their work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, their relationships with others in the Yard, gender relations and transportation to and from work.  Many narrators bring up issues of ethnicity, race, and religion at the Yard or in their neighborhoods. Recordings may be listened to in the library.

Crown Heights Oral History – Bridging Eastern Parkway, 1993-1994
Call number: ArMs 1994.006
Extent: 40 cassettes (90 minutes each).
Link to more information about the collection.
In 1993-1994, the Brooklyn Historical Society collected interviews with residents of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights. Thirty-three interviews were conducted by Craig Wilder, Jill Vexler, and Aviva Segall. The subtitle, Bridging Eastern Parkway, refers to racial tensions expressed during the 1991 Crown Heights riots. Narrators are of African American, Caribbean, Jewish, Polish, and Russian descent and include members of the Lubavitch community. Transcripts of 24 interviews from this collection may be read in the library (PDFs available). Recordings are not currently available to researchers.

Hispanic Communities Documentation Project Records and Oral Histories, 1924-1992
Call Number: ARC.032
Extent: 2.0 linear feet, in 5 manuscript boxes.
Link to more information about the collection.
The Hispanic Communities Documentation Project was an archival initiative based at the Brooklyn Historical Society in the late 1980s. The project sought to capture the cultural ethos of the Hispanic community in Brooklyn. The collection contains thirty-five oral history interview transcripts, photographs, a VHS videotape, and a variety of printed ephemera, including newspaper clippings, fliers, handouts, programs, business cards, brochures, booklets and restaurant menus. It is arranged thematically into four series: 1) Transcripts, 1988-1989, 2) Puerto Rican Community, 1973-1991, 3) Other Hispanic Communities, 1950-1992, and 4) Photographs. Recordings may be listened to in the library.

Puerto Rican Oral History Project Records, 1960-1984, bulk 1973-1975
Call number: 1976.001
Extent: 1.75 linear feet, in four manuscript boxes and three audio cassette tape boxes, and 75 digital audio WAV files
Link to more information about the collection.
The Long Island Historical Society initiated the Puerto Rican Oral History Project in 1973 at the suggestion of political leader and writer Jesús Colón. Using funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, and under the direction of John D. Vasquez, over seventy-five interviews were conducted documenting the experiences of Brooklyn residents who migrated from Puerto Rico to Brooklyn between 1917 and 1940. This collection includes recordings and transcripts of interviews conducted in English and Spanish primarily between 1973 and 1975. Also included are newspaper clippings, brochures, booklets about Brooklyn’s Puerto Rican community, and administrative information on how the project was developed, carried out, and evaluated. This was the first large-scale Puerto Rican studies project to be undertaken in the U.S. Recordings may be listened to in the library

See also the Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations website at http://cbbg.brooklynhistory.org. Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations is an oral history project and public programming series that examines the history and experiences of mixed-heritage people and families, cultural hybridity, race, ethnicity, and identity in the historically diverse borough of Brooklyn.

Maps
The Brooklyn Historical Society possesses a collection of historical maps spanning the years ca. 1562-2012. The geographic coverage of the collection includes the five boroughs, New York City, Long Island, New York State, New Jersey, New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Eastern United States. Additionally, the collection contains some items covering the United States, North America, and the Western Hemisphere. The collection contains a variety of different types of maps, including: physical maps, political maps, transportation maps, property maps, survey maps, pictorial maps, manuscript maps, topographic maps, cultural maps, and nautical charts. It is an excellent resource for all types of research. Click here to learn more about the maps collection.

Currently, library staff is working to catalog all of the maps into our catalog, and so a very limited number of maps is listed below. Suggested search terms to look up civil rights related maps include ethnology, population, urban renewal, and redlining.

Map of the borough of Brooklyn: showing location and extent of racial colonies
A. R. Ohman Map Co., 1920
Call number: Flat Maps B B-[1920].Fl
This map shows areas of Brooklyn highlighted in different colors with populations of Germans, Irish, Jews, Negroes, etc.

Population survey no. 3-A Brooklyn
Mortgage Conference of New York, 1941.
Call number: HD7288.72 .B725p 1941
This book contains a collection of maps documenting the “location of residential concentrations of Negros,” used to enact racist mortgage lending practices.

Select Bibliography
The following list highlights a few of the books pertaining to civil rights in Brooklyn at the Othmer Library. The online catalog of the complete collection is available at http://www.bobcat.nyu.edu/brooklynhistory.

Connolly, Harold X. Blacks in Brooklyn from 1900 to 1960. (PhD diss., New York University, 1972)
Main collection: F129.B79 A24 1972
A historical study that focuses primarily on the emerging black community in Bedford-Stuyvesant between 1930 and 1960 and the social issues and political structures within it.

Connolly, Harold X. The Economics of Blacks in Brooklyn. (Brooklyn College Symposium, 1976)
Main collection: F128.9.N3 C66p 1976
A talk given by Connolly at Brooklyn College’s 1976 Social Science Symposium focusing on post-1960 economics, ghettoization, and protest.

Connolly, Harold X. A Ghetto Grows in Brooklyn. (New York: New York University Press, 1977)
Main collection: F129.B7 G75 1977
A historical study of blacks in Brooklyn from 1640 to the 1970s, focusing on poverty and invisibility as a population residing in a “secondary borough” of New York City.

Matos-Rodríguez, Félix V. and Hernández, Pedro Juan. Pioneros: Puerto Ricans in New York City 1896-1948. (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2001)
Main collection: F128.9.P85 M37 2001
A bilingual history documenting Puerto Rican migration to New York since the 19th century. Chapter 4 focuses on social and political organizing in the New York Puerto Rican community.

Odessky, Marjory H. The First Seventy-Two Years: A Collection of Three Talks on Women’s Suffrage in the United States Covering the Years from 1842-1920. (Brooklyn: The Women’s Alliance of the First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn, 1992)
Main collection: JF848 .O34 1992
These three talks, given in 1987, 1988, and 1989, cover the history of three influential women in the struggle for women’s suffrage: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Alice Paul.

Podair, Jerald E. The Strike That Changed New York : Blacks, Whites, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002)
Main collection: LB2844.47.U62 N4867 2002
A historical study of the controversy over control of the Ocean Hill-Brownsville schools at the intersection of labor rights, civil rights, education, racism, and community activism.

Saltzman, Harold. Race War in High School : The Ten-Year Destruction of Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn. (New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1972)
Main collection: LD7501.B8 F688 1972
A case study of a Brooklyn public high school where integration via forced busing did not succeed.

Sánchez Korrol, Virginia E. From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994)
Main collection: F128.9.P8 S26 1994
A historical study focusing on community development, organizational activities, and politics within the New York Puerto Rican community through the early 1990s.

Scheiner, Seth M. Negro Mecca: a History of the Negro in New York City, 1865-1920. (New York: New York University Press, 1965)
Main collection: F128.9.N3 S3 1965
Described by the author as “an exhaustive examination of the social, political, and economic life of the Negro of New York City,” in response to a dearth of literature on the population on topics other than race relations.

Sleeper, Jim. The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1990)
Main collection: F128.9.N3 S54 1990
A historical and anthropological survey of racial politics in New York City, from black nationalism to Jewish liberalism, and how the city can move forward in the 1990s.

Van Derzee, Charlene C. and Drummonds, Mario. An Introduction to the Black Contribution to the Development of Brooklyn. (Brooklyn: New Muse Community Museum of Brooklyn, 1977)
Main collection: F129.B7 I54 1977
A compilation of essays and information from a permanent exhibit at the New Muse Community Museum of Brooklyn highlighting Black achievements in Brooklyn history, religion, education, community life, culture, and politics.

 

Additional NYC Civil Rights Resources and Organizations

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration
http://www.restorationplaza.org/
This organization, for which an archival collection is included above, continues its work as the first community development organization in the United States, focusing on Central Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
http://www.bklynpubliclibrary.org/brooklyncollection/finding-aid
Two related collections are housed here, the Civil Rights in Brooklyn Collection and the Civil Rights in Brooklyn Oral History Collection. The materials in these collections primarily relate to the activities of the CORE, FOCUS and other Brooklyn groups during the 1960s, and include a run of the newsletter Black News.

City University of New York, La Guardia and Wagner Archives
http://www.laguardiawagnerarchive.lagcc.cuny.edu
This archive contains many collections related to LGBT, gender, and racial civil rights.

Fighting for Justice – New York Voices of the Civil Rights Movement
http://www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/justice/html/home/home.shtml
This site uses short films, photos, and other materials to showcase New York’s role in the national Civil Rights Movement. It currently features three subjects – Esther Cooper Jackson, Clifford Alexander, Jr. and Elsie Richardson – and will be updated continually to remain a repository on this topic.

In Pursuit of Freedom
http://pursuitoffreedom.org
Through this initiative, Brooklyn Historical Society explores Brooklyn’s 19th century civil rights movement, the anti-slavery movement, from the end of the American Revolution to the early days of Reconstruction through photographs, census records, anti-slavery and local newspapers, maps and more.

Modernist Journals Project
http://www.modjourn.org/render.php?view=mjp_object&id=crisiscollection
Includes digitized issues of The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races edited by W. E. B. Du Bois and published by the NAACP in New York between 1910 and 1922. The journal reflected all aspects of life for African Americans in the U.S. and is searchable to find specific items in Brooklyn, for instance.

New York University, Tamiment Library
http://www.nyu.edu/library/bobst/research/tam
The library contains a number of collections related to civil rights in Brooklyn and the New York City area, including those about black trade unionists, Communism, and women’s rights.

Queens College, Civil Rights Movement Archive
http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/civilrights
This collection focuses primarily on the contributions of Queens College students to the Civil Rights Movement, and includes the library and pamphlet collection of SNCC Executive Secretary James Forman.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
http://www.nypl.org/locations/schomburg
This is the New York Public Library’s research library dedicated to documenting black life in New York City and the United States.

Timeline: America’s Long Civil Rights March
http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/vra
This site contains a timeline of civil rights history and legislation in the United States from the Civil War to the present.