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Carl Cohen Papers

Identifier: UP000663

Scope and Content

The papers of Mr. Cohen reflect his work with the Michigan ACLU, as well as the stance of the ACLU on various issues on both the Michigan and National levels.

Series 1: Issues Pile, 1966-1974 Correspondence, memos, press releases, clippings, dealing with various civil liberty issues, both Michigan and National.

Series 2: Organization Pile, 1968-1974 Correspondence, memos, agendas, minutes, notes and other materials relating to ACLU organizational matters. Subseries A: Michigan ACLU Subseries B: National ACLU

Series 3: Michigan ACLU Branches and Chapters Pile, 1971-1974 Correspondence, clippings, memos, dealing with Michigan ACLTU Branches and Chapters. Organizational matters, rather than issues, are emphasized.

Series 4: Correspondence, 1969-1974 Correspondence files dealing mainly with personal or non-official matters, mostly on the Michigan ACLU level.

Series 5: Miscellaneous Items, 1971-1973 Items of a non-substantative and non-organizational nature, which are peripherally related to the ACLU.


  • 1966 - 1974
  • Majority of material found within 1971 - 1974



Collection is open for research.


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 that might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Carl Cohen was born in 1931. He graduated summa cum laude in 1951 from the University of Miami. He later received his M.A. from the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D. from U.C.L.A. . In 1961 Mr. Cohen was a Fulbright Lecturer in Peru. Since 1955 he has taught courses in political and social philosophy at the University of Michigan, where he was Associate Professor of Philosophy and Associate Director of the Residential College. Mr. Cohen served as the Chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ann Arbor, Michigan, until the Spring of 1971, when he was elected Chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded in 1920 by Roger Baldwin, and, as of 1976, has a staff of 330, a membership of 275,000, with 50 state affiliates. The primary purpose of the ACLU is to champion the rights of man as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: freedom of inquiry and expression, speech, press, assembly, and religion for everybody; due process of law and fair trial for all; equality before the law for all, regardless of race, color, national origin, political opinion or religious belief. In pursuit of these ends, the ACLU is active in test court cases, opposition to repressive legislation, and protests on every inroad of human rights. The one Division of the ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Foundation, which was established as a tax deductible arm of the ACLU. Its main purposes are legal defense and research, and education on behalf of civil liberties.


5.5 Linear Feet (11 MB)




Carl Cohen was elected Chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan in 1971. His papers reflect his work the the Michigan ACLU, as well as the stance of the ACLU on various issues, both local and national.


Arranged in 5 series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), Series 2 (Boxes 4-8), Series 3 (Boxes 8-9), Series 4 (Boxes 9-10), and Series 5 (Box 11). Folders are arranged alphabetically by topic (Series 1, 2) or branch/chapter name (Series 3) and then chonolgically, unless otherwise noted.

Series 2: Organization Pile is further divided into two subseries. Series 4: Correspondence is arranged chronologically.


The papers of Carl Cohen were placed in the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs in August of 1974 by Mr. Carl Cohen.


Numerous publications, pamphlets, ACLU newspapers, newsletters, and annual reports which relate to many issues covered in the body of the collection. Most of these items have been placed in the Archives Library; those of special interest would include the following:

ACLU Reports: The Nixon Administration and the Press Public Television: A Question of Survival Corooral Punishment in Public Schools

Pamphlets: Prayer in Public Schools Sexual Equality Busing Conscientious Objectors

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.


Carl Cohen Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA