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The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Jackie Robinson papers

Repository: Library of Congress. Manuscript Division

Collection Description (CRHP): See the interviews in the series Baseball File and Speeches and Writings.

Collection Description (Extant): The papers of Jack Roosevelt Robinson (1919-1972) span the years 1934-2001, with the bulk of the material dating from his introduction as the first African American to play major league baseball in the twentieth century in 1947 to the fortieth anniversary in 1987 of this event. The main body of the Robinson Papers was transferred by his widow, Rachel, in 1985 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, a nonprofit organization she founded in 1973. Additional material from a variety of sources, including photocopies of selected items from other collections of papers in the Library of Congress, was added to the collection by the foundation prior to its donation to the Library. The papers contain correspondence, memoranda, telegrams, subject files, baseball contracts, fan mail, speeches and writings, financial and legal records, congressional testimony, military records, and a variety of printed material relating to Robinson's career as a baseball player and corporate executive and to his participation in political activities, religious and civic organizations, the civil rights movement, and media affairs. The collection also contains numerous items celebrating Robinson's legacy represented in a series of posthumous commemorations and events. The papers are organized in the following series: Baseball File, Civil Rights, Political File, Business and Corporate File, Religious and Civic Activities, Subject File, Speeches and Writings, and Miscellany.

Robinson joined King in the civil rights action known as the Albany Movement, and a file on the Mount Olive Baptist Church, Sasser, Georgia, in the Civil Rights series reveals the aftermath of that protest. The series further highlights Robinson's commitment on behalf of civil rights in his work with the NAACP, for which he was awarded the association's Spingarn Medal, the Congress of Racial Equality, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Student Emergency Fund. Material concerning tensions that arose between Robinson and other members of the civil rights community, including his criticism of Roy Wilkins's leadership of the NAACP and his open conflict with Malcolm X, is also contained in this series.

Access Copy Note: The papers of Jackie Robinson are open to research. Researchers are advised to contact the Manuscript Reading Room prior to visiting. Many collections are stored off-site and advance notice is needed to retrieve these items for research use.

Date(s): 1934-2001

Existing IDs: MSS84832

Extent: 7,000 items ; 17 containers ; 6.6 linear feet

Finding Aid URL: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/eadmss.ms003031

Related Archival Items: The National Baseball Library and Archive, Cooperstown, New York, also contains material documenting Robinson's baseball career, as do the Arthur Mann and Branch Rickey collections, both located in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The division's holdings further include material relating to Robinson's civil rights activities in the records of the NAACP and the National Urban League and the papers of Joseph L. Rauh and A. Philip Randolph.

Rights (Extant): Copyright in the unpublished writings of Jackie Robinson in these papers and in other collections in the custody of the Library of Congress is reserved. Consult a reference librarian in the Manuscript Division for further information.

Subjects:

African American athletes
Albany Movement (Albany, Ga.)
Baseball
Congress of Racial Equality
Discrimination in sports
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Negro leagues
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Wilkins, Roy, 1901-1981
X, Malcolm, 1925-1965

Genres:

Interviews
Manuscripts
Photographs
Speeches
Transcripts

 

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   March 5, 2012
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