Our Archives department preserves LDF’s legacy and provides research assistance to TMI and LDF staff. TMI’s Archives staff manages an archival repository of LDF’s historic records, provides library services, and oversees information management.

Over the course of nearly 80 years, LDF has accumulated a rich archival record of its activities. The core of our collection is pleadings, research, and correspondence related to thousands of cases LDF has litigated. Our holdings also include photographs, videos, policy files, publications, fundraising materials, administrative records, and documentation of LDF’s sustained efforts in community organizing and social science research. For TMI fellows and researchers, the Archives will be essential to unraveling the complexity of civil rights history.

The archives team is in the exciting preliminary stages of processing our records and building a secure, sustainable repository. Our in-house collections are only open to TMI and LDF staff, but as we continue to uncover archival treasures we will digitize select materials and share them here.

We also encourage researchers to use the LDF collection at the Library of Congress, a selection of LDF records through 1968, which is now open for public research. The collection serves as an invaluable resource for studying LDF’s coordinated attack on legal segregation and racial discrimination waged in state and federal supreme courts. Researchers at the library can explore 276 boxes of LDF administrative records, correspondence, printed material, legal case files, and more. Click below to browse the finding aid to search for your topics of interest, then plan your visit to the Manuscript Reading Room in the Library of Congress James Madison Building at 101 Independence Avenue in Washington, D.C.

“LDF’s archives illuminate the use of the Constitution and civil rights laws to effect social change.”

Donna Gloeckner, Director of Archives & Information Management

LDF attorney Constance Baker Motely reading through case files in the LDF office.