Historic images on Freedom Summer.

HISTORICAL ESSAY

What Was the 1964 Freedom Summer Project?

Freedom Summer was an effort by civil rights activists to integrate Mississippi's segregated political system. Northern volunteers and black Mississippians risked their lives to overturn racist institutions.

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See the Freedom Summer Digital Collection

Access over 30,000 pages of official records of organizations, personal papers of movement leaders, letters, racist propaganda, diaries, images, newsletters and more.

Key Documents and Information

Brief descriptions and links to original documents created by CORE, SNCC, COFO, local residents, volunteers and opponents. Organized by topic

Guide or Instruction

Freedom Summer Sourcebook (PDF)

A comprehensive guide of the most important primary sources for teachers, students and researchers wanting to study Freedom Summer.

Follow the progression of key events before, during and after Freedom Summer. Contains links to original documents

Do you want to see if anyone from your state or community participated in the 1964 Freedom Summer Project? Search over 1,600 names.

Rights and Permissions

Users of Freedom Summer documents are responsible for obeying the U.S. Copyright Law. We share the documents strictly for nonprofit educational purposes and believe this conforms to fair use under the copyright law.

Copyright resides with the individuals who created the documents or the organizations for which they worked. The principal organizations have been defunct for many years and copyright to their unpublished records is uncertain.

We have attempted to contact individuals who created personal papers of significant length or importance. Nearly all have generously permitted us to include their work. If you believe that you possess copyright to material we have reproduced, please contact us at asklibrary@wisconsinhistory.org.

Teachers and students are free to reproduce any document for nonprofit classroom use. Individual researchers may download them for private consultation. Other reproduction, especially for commercial use, may violate the U.S. Copyright Law and requires prior permission.

Historical Images

Historic image of civil rights workers.
Teacher Resources

Introduce students to Freedom Summer with this overview of key events. Each slide contains images of original documents and notes to help guide discussion

Sourcebook, PowerPoint Presentation, Video

Help students learn about the civil rights era with resources designed for teaching about Freedom Summer. Access original source documents, images, video

Research Tools

  • Finding Aids for the Freedom Summer Collections
    Type in search terms such as Freedom Summer, SNCC, CORE, Mississippi, or voting rights to see finding aids about the manuscript collections featured in the Freedom Summer Digital Collection. Each offers a quick overview and a variety of ways to view its full contents.
  • ArCat, the Society's Archives Catalog
    Search by keyword to find materials in the Freedom Summer collections located in the Archives at the Society.

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