Mission.  The purpose of the Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement website is to share information, resources, and research on the long civil rights movement.

By featuring the long civil rights movement, we seek to broaden and deepen the traditional understanding of the civil rights movement as a 1960s-era phenomenon.  In this longer view, the movement’s timeline encompasses its origins and its aftermath, including contemporary controversies such as school resegregation, environmental and economic justice, related efforts for social justice such as the women’s and gay rights movements, and even the forces arrayed against these movements.

The Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement website is hosted by the Special Collections Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and managed by the staff of the Carolina Digital Library and Archive (CDLA).

BackgroundGenerously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and UNC for five years (2008-2012), the Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement project (LCRM Project) was a collaboration of the UNC Special Collections Library, the University of North Carolina Press, and the Southern Oral History Program in UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South.  A fourth partner during the project’s first three years was the Center for Civil Rights in UNC’s School of Law.

The original Principal Investigators were Kate Douglas Torrey, then director of UNC Press; Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, then professor of history and director of the Southern Oral History Program; Richard Szary, director of UNC ‘s Special Collections Library; and Julius Chambers, director of the Center for Civil Rights.  Torrey, Hall, and Chambers have since retired.  Sylvia K. Miller directed the project from June 2008 through its close in December 2012.

The mission of the LCRM Project was to encourage scholarly research on the long civil rights movement and experiment with new ways of publishing such research.  To encourage interested scholars to build a scholarly community around the study of the long civil rights movement, the LCRM Project held a major conference in 2009 (see the “LCRM Common Room” for more info).  The project’s major experiments in publishing were twofold:  (1) creation of an online collection of books, articles, papers, and reports with a commenting feature enabling registered users to annotate the content and add links (click the “Works” tab in this site for more information) and (2) publication of e-books enhanced with multimedia examples and outbound links to archives and related scholarship (see the posts on Freedom’s Teacher and Blowout!).

This website began as a means for the project partners to report on project activities and to share information and resources with each other and with the public.  During the course of the project, the site matured and gained audience steadily as the amount of useful information that it contained grew.  Contributions by Sylvia K. Miller, Project Director, on e-publishing; by Seth Kotch, SOHP’s Coordinator of Digital Oral History Initiatives, on civil rights issues in the news; by UNC archivists on documents that they were uncovering; and especially by Alison Shay, Project Assistant, on civil rights anniversaries—all were popular according to Google Analytics.

Following the close of the original LCRM Project in December 2012, the site transitioned to the staff of the UNC Library, where the LCRM banner was already being carried forward via a major inter-institutional digitization project on the long civil rights movement funded by the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) (see the posts on the “Content, Context, and Capacity” project).