Sunday, June 15, 2008

University of Virginia Library Acquires Papers of Civil Rights Leader Julian Bond

Civil Rights Leader Julian BondThe University of Virginia Library has acquired the personal papers of civil rights activist, former Georgia state senator and representative, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chairman, and university professor Julian Bond.
One of the first African Americans to reach national prominence in politics, Bond began his political career in as a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), known for its voter registration drives in the South.

The collection holds 47,000 items, including photographs, recordings, and drafts of more than three hundred speeches. It contains Bond’s correspondence with influential civil rights activists, and memorabilia from the many organizations, schools, and events that he supported. The collection also chronicles Bond’s service in the Georgia General Assembly, and documents his 1976 presidential run and leadership of the NAACP. The papers complement the Library’s existing collection of records of the Southern Elections Fund, an early political action committee that Bond founded to aid the election of rural Southern black candidates.

“The Bond Papers give us a fascinating picture of an extraordinary life,” said Karin Wittenborg, University Librarian. “The collection is a wonderful addition to the study of history and the civil rights movement here at U.Va., and I look forward to seeing them used by students and faculty.”

“I am overjoyed that my papers have found a home at the University of Virginia Library,” said Mr. Bond. “The University is where I’ve spent the bulk of my academic career and where scholarship of the civil rights era is valued. I hope scholars and students will find the Bond papers a useful resource in helping shape future thinking about the civil rights era.”

The holder of twenty-five honorary degrees, Bond is a Professor in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia and a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at American University in Washington, D.C. In 2002, he received the Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum. The Bond Papers are described in the Library’s online catalog and can be viewed in the Albert and Small Special Collections Library on U.Va.’s central Grounds. ###

RELATED: Press Contact: Charlotte Morford, Dir. of Communications, U.Va. Library 434) 924-7041,

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