The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories
Allan Knight Chalmers collection
Repository: Boston University. Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center
Collection Description (CRHP): Allan Knight Chalmers was a social justice activist who mentored Martin Luther King Jr. during King's time at Boston University. Chalmers, who was a minister, engaged in numerous civil rights activities and played a major role in key civil rights organizations. This collection contains material on the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s as well as the crucial years of the black freedom movement that preceded it. It includes clippings, articles, and other printed material on the civil rights movement. For example, it has information on or correspondence from a number of civil rights organizations and leaders, including the American Civil Liberties Union, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Martin Luther King Jr., James Forman, A. Philip Randolph, Kivie Kaplan, Coretta Scott King, Ralph Bunche, James Farmer, Thurgood Marshall, Stokely Carmichael, and the Alabama Council on Human Relations. In particular, it contains information on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, of which Chalmers was president, and the Scottsboro Boys case of 1937. Chalmers was chairperson of the Scottsboro Defense Committee from 1935 to 1945. Concerning his role, there are letters from the NAACP, the 'boys,' and the NAACP as well as financial records of the committee, indirect correspondence of Eleanor Roosevelt's interest, information on the Communist Party, and other materials. This collection includes tape recordings of a few of Chalmers's sermons: 'Religion and Discrimination,' April 5, 1964 (Box 57, also see Box 82). In addition, it has a number of printed copies of his sermons, lectures, and speeches, including a memorial address he delivered for NAACP leader Walter White in 1955 and his address upon retiring form the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (Box 67).
Access Copy Note: At least some of the sound recordings in this collection are on reel-to-reel tape. Contact archival staff to see if it is possible to play these tapes at the archives before making a research visit.
Digital Status: No
Extent: 90 boxes
Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights
American Civil Liberties Union
Civil rights workers
Civil rights--Religious aspects--Christianity
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Scottsboro Defense Committee
Scottsboro Trial, Scottsboro, Ala., 1931