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ACLU of Michigan: Metropolitan Detroit Branch Records

 Collection
Identifier: UR000231
The papers of the ACLU of Michigan/Metropolitan Detroit Branch consist of minutes, correspondence, reports, clippings, case files, press releases, newsletters and other material relating primarily to the activities of the Detroit branch and to a lesser extent the activities of the state organization and regional branches.

Important subjects in the collection are: Academic freedom-Michigan Censorship--Michigan Church and state--United States Civil rights-Michigan Legal assistance to prisoners-Michigan Police--Complaints against--Michigan Police brutality United States-Congress-House-Committee on Un-American Activities

Important correspondents in the collection are: G. Leslie Field; Patrick Malin; Jeff Fuller; Ernest Mazey; Leanne Golden; Harold Norris; Josephine Gomon; Rolland O'Hare; Charles Lockwood; John J. Pemberton; Alan Reitman

Series Description: Series 1: Regional Unit Files Subseries A. Michigan Chapters Subseries B. Interstate Correspondence Series 2: General files

Dates

  • 1952 - 1966

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Series III is restricted. Requires written approval of donor and a signed restricted use form.

Specifically: A list of files, closed because they contain sensitive information involving investigations, legal and other private matters, appears at the end of this finding aid. To use these files, the researcher must obtain permission in writing from the executive director of the ACLU of Michigan or his/her designee and sign a restricted use statement, which prohibits the citing of names or other information that might identify an individual.
Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

23.5 Linear Feet (47 MB)

Abstract

The Metropolitan Detroit Branch of the ACLU was chartered in 1952 and joined the Lansing and Ann Arbor area chapters in 1961 to form the ACLU of Michigan, coordinating civil liberties activities for these and several other chapters that formed over the next decades. Their records related primarily to the Detroit Branch and include subjects such as: academic freedom; censorship; church and state; civil liberties; police brutality; HUAC; and legal assistance to prisoners.

History

The Metropolitan Detroit Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union was chartered in 1952 as an affiliate of the national ACLU, founded in 1920 to protect the civil liberties of citizens expressing unpopular views during World War I. In the 1930s, a group of Detroit civil libertarians -- Walter Nelson, G. Leslie Field, James Ellmann and others — joined under the leadership of Reverend Henry Hitt Crane to establish an ACLU committee in Detroit, but it disbanded with the national's adoption of an anti-Communist internal security program in 1940.

In 1961, the Lansing, Ann Arbor and Detroit area chapters joined together to form the ACLU of Michigan, which coordinates civil liberties activities for these and several other chapters that formed over the next decades. Ernest Mazey, a metro Detroit branch executive board member since 1954, became its first executive director, succeeded in 1974 by Howard L. Simon. Both the Metropolitan Detroit and Michigan ACLU are headquartered in the same Detroit office.

Arrangement

Arranged in 3 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-5), Series 2 (Boxes 6-43), and Series 3 (Closed Boxes 1-3). Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition

The papers of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan/Metropolitan Detroit Branch were deposited in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in May of 1967 by Ernest Mazey.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Title
Guide to the ACLU of Michigan: Metropolitan Detroit Branch Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA