Civil Rights work Before Civil Rights Era: A search guide to the SCCHR Collection

Screenshot of SC division of SRC letterhead.
Screenshot of SC division of SRC letterhead.

 

 

 

 

By Laura Stillwagon

389 pages of the civil rights collection Records of South Carolina Council on Human Relations (SCCHR) are now accessible and searchable here on Digital Collections. The SCCHR was a local organization devoted to promoting civil rights and bettering the lives of African Americans in South Carolina and the rest of the South. In these select administrative papers, dated before the Civil Rights Movement during Post-War America, the SCCHR is yet to be formed, and members are still part of the larger Southern Regional Council (SRC) as a state division. As the South Carolina Division of the SRC, the organization’s goals were to foster civil rights by identifying the needs of the underrepresented and marginalized groups in South Carolina and find ways to address these needs through spreading awareness, programs, and other means (South Carolina, 2021). These extensive documents provide insight into how the organization grew and changed and the organization’s inner workings of organizing committees, promoting and performing outreach, and solidifying the foundational ideas what would eventually become the SCCHR.

These 389 pages amass only 8 folders of this collection, which consists of 1,700 folders and spans 1934-1976, so there is certainly more to come. At this time, there is no landing page for the collection, so this link (same as the link above) will take you to a results page with the searchable documents. Another way to search for this collection is to type in the organization name into the search bar in the Digital Collections homepage. To search within the collection, you can enter your search terms into the search bar above the list of items. You can also search for specific items by selecting linked terms within each item record.

Screenshot of search bar to search within a record in the SCCHR collection.
Screenshot of search bar to search within a record in the SCCHR collection.

The digitization work for this collection, funded by Council on Library and Information resources (CLIR) grant for Digitizing Hidden Collections, is rigorous, requiring large scanners and unique metadata. You can read more about the digitization process in the following blog posts made by two digital assistants working on this project.

 

References

South Carolina Council on Human Relations Records, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina. http://archives.library.sc.edu:8081//repositories/3/resources/56 Accessed June 11, 2021.