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Subject Guide: Civil Rights

Archival and library highlights found at the Center that illuminate the Jewish contributions and collaborations in ensuring equal rights for all.

Rally for Soviet Jewry in Washington (D.C.)., 1977. I-495. AJHS

About This Guide

Civil rights and liberties protect individuals' freedoms from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals. Civil rights are often grouped with civil liberties, which are freedoms secured by restraining government. These include freedom of the press, freedom to practice religion, and freedom of speech. Civil rights are secured by positive government action to try to guarantee full and equal citizenship for groups of people who have been discriminated against. Examples include the right to vote, the right to a fair trial, the right to government services, the right to a public education, and the right to use public facilities.

This guide highlights archival collections and library materials found at the Center for Jewish History that illuminate the Jewish contributions and collaborations in ensuring equal rights for all. In this guide you will find materials including records of philanthropic organizations, papers of Jewish community members who fought alongside Civil Rights activists, and collections of student collectives involved in the counterculture movement. Additionally, there are links to materials relating to the Soviet Jewry movement, an international human rights campaign that advocated for the rights of Jews in the Soviet Union.

Please email if you have any additional questions about the thousands of books, archival collections, and museum objects available to use for research at the Center. 

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