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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Polly Spiegel Cowan papers

Repository: Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS; National Archives for Black Women's History

Collection Description (CRHP): The oral history of and about Dorothy Height in this collection provides valuable information on numerous aspects of the civil rights movement and U.S. and world current events in the mid-20th century. Topics include feminism, black power, the March on Washington, the struggle for voting rights in Selma, Alabama, and the Wednesdays in Mississippi program. The latter consisted of a coalition of black and white northern women who traveled to Mississippi and engaged in civil rights efforts there. The document uploaded to this record provides extensive detail about the topics covered by this oral history.

Collection Description (Extant): The papers of Polly Cowan cover the period from 1942 to 1977 with the bulk of the collection documenting her activities in the 1960's and the early 1970's. The focus is on her work with the National Council of Negro Women's Wednesdays in Mississippi project (known as Workshops in Mississippi after 1967) and with the Urban Coalition's Call for Action Campaign. There are also audiotapes and transcripts from a series of oral history interviews of Dorothy Height conducted by Polly Cowan for the American Jewish Committee and the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library of Radcliffe College.

Access Copy Note: The oral history recordings have been digitized.

Date(s): 1942-1977

Digital Status: Partial

Existing IDs: Collection NABWH_006

Extent: 2.5 linear feet

Finding Aid: A finding aid is available at the repository and can be emailed to researchers.

Language: English

Related Archival Items: The Jewish Women's Archive also contains information on Polly Cowan; see the separate database record on it. Also, a keyword search for "Wednesdays in Mississippi" will reveal other records in this database about collections on it.

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African Americans--Politics and government
African Americans--Relations with Jews
Anti-communist movements
Bethune, Mary McLeod, 1875-1955
Black power
Civil rights movements--Mississippi
Civil rights--Religious aspects--Judaism
Height, Dorothy I. (Dorothy Irene), 1912-2010
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington, D.C., 1963
National Council of Negro Women
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
School integration
Selma (Ala.)
Wednesdays in Mississippi
Women civil rights workers
Women's rights
Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A.


Sound recordings


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   May 15, 2015
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