Freedom Summer Sourcebook (PDF) | Wisconsin Historical Society

Guide or Instruction

Freedom Summer Sourcebook (PDF)

Learn about the civil rights era with the Freedom Summer Sourcebook. This 353-page comprehensive guide brings together the most important primary sources for teachers, students and researchers wanting to study the events the Freedom Summer Project, the nonviolent effort by civil rights activists to integrate Mississippi's segregated political system during 1964.

The Sourcebook follows the timeline of Freedom Summer events, from volunteer recruitment through the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. There are 12 sections, each covering a single topic  accompanied by key original documents downloaded and embedded in the Sourcebook.

  • The sourcebook opens with a brief preface, a list of abbreviations, a timeline, and a map.
  • The first page of each section starts with the topic overview. Key documents related to the topic are listed with a brief description and a link to its record in the Freedom Summer Project Digital Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society. You can either click and go to the original source document online or view it in the pages following the section overview.
  • Documents range from single-page letters to substantial pamphlets.

Remember that copyright to these documents belongs to their creators. Using these materials for nonprofit educational purposes is generally permitted under the U.S. copyright law, but reproduction for commercial use could result in prosecution. You, as the end user, are responsible for obeying the copyright law. For more information, see the preface to the sourcebook.

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