Learning Resources

Gale Releases Digital Archive from ACLU

Reference company Gale has released a digital archive of papers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The content in the archive covers the years between 1912 and 1990, with a focus on civil rights, race, children and women's rights, freedom of speech and due process.

The collection includes case files, meeting minutes, legal briefs, research files and files of all staff members, as well as correspondence and materials from organizations affiliated with the ACLU (including its adversaries) and newspaper clippings.

The ACLU is one of the preeminent civil liberties organizations in the United States. It uses litigation, lobbying and public education to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The union has been at the forefront of American legal battles tied to the "Red Scare,"
the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, events related to the Vietnam War, Civil Rights movement and gay rights, among many others.

"The Making of Modern Law" archive, as it's titled, contains 2 million pages held at the Seely G. Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University.

The archive is available on the Gale Primary Sources platform, making it cross-searchable with other collections in the same platform. Tools allow researchers and students to perform textual analysis and generate visual displays of information to help uncover new insights and find relationships between themes, events and individuals.

"The papers of the ACLU are among the most-visited and most-requested of library collections," said Phil Faust, vice president for academic products at Gale. "The launch of this archive highlights Gale's extensive effort to bring to the forefront material crucial for the study of civil liberties and identity. We're living in exceptional times and the study of these topics has never been more relevant."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.