The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories
Highlander Research and Education Center collection
Repository: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Wilson Library
Collection Description (Extant): Myles Horton founded the Highlander Folk School in 1932 as an adult education institution based on the principle of empowerment. Horton and other School members worked towards mobilizing labor unions in the 1930s and Citizenship Schools during the civil rights movement beginning in the late 1950s. They worked with Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Guy and Candie Carawan, Septima Clark, and Rosa Parks, among others. In 1959, the School was investigated for Communist activities and confiscation by the state of Tennessee. Soon after, its buildings mysteriously burned to the ground. The Highlander Folk School was re-chartered in 1971 as the Highlander Research and Education Center near Knoxville, Tenn. The collection includes acetate and transcription discs documenting the struggle for justice through political and social activism. Recordings of folk music, protest songs, labor songs, and African American religious songs were a large part of this movement and appear here. Acetate discs contain radio programs, recorded songs, and voices of leaders from the civil rights movement, including Esau Jenkins, Septima Clark, Rosa Parks, Miles Horton, and Zilphia Horton. Electrical transcription discs contain a variety of radio programs on issues related to the work at the Highlander Folk School.
Access Copy Note: Use of audio recordings may require production of listening copies.
Date(s): 1937-1948 and undated
Existing IDs: #20361
Finding Aid URL: http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Highlander_Research_and_Education_Center.html
Related Archival Items: See the Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project Collection (#20004) and the Guy and Candie Carawan Collection (#20008) at the University of North Carolina. The Highlander Research and Education Center records are held at the Wisconsin Historical Society, and other related collections are at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
Interviewees: Esau Jenkins, Septima Clark, Rosa Parks, Miles Horton, Zilphia Horton
Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights
Civil rights movements--United States--Songs and music
Highlander Folk School (Monteagle, Tenn.)
Highlander Research and Education Center (Knoxville, Tenn.)