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.
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.
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
Bethune, Mary McLeod, 1875-1955
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
Wednesdays in Mississippi
Women civil rights workers
Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A.