Local, state, and national archives, provide a variety of collections related to the segregation, desegregation, and re-segregation of schools in the United States. What follows is a description of relevant archives for school desegregation in the Midwest with substantive collections:
National Archives at Chicago (Chicago, Illinois): Houses information from United States District Courts throughout the Midwest from the 1930s and includes lawsuits involving alleged violations of civil rights.
Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection (Chicago, Illinois): Housed at the Woodson Regional Library and part of the Chicago Public Library system, the collection includes the largest African American history and literature collection in the Midwest and contains a wealth of information on the Black experience, particularly as it pertains to the State of Illinois.
The Black Archives of Mid-America (Kansas City, Missouri): Collects and preserve the history of African Americans in the Midwest, including video footage from the local television program “Black Archives Presents” airing from the 1970s to the 1990s. Additionally, the Black Archives is home to a robust collection of manuscripts and artifacts regarding the educational experiences of African Americans, including photographs, personal correspondence, oral histories, and rare books.
Missouri Valley Special Collections (Kansas City, Missouri): A part of the Kansas City Public Library System, the MVSP chronicles African American history in the Midwest and Kansas City. Included within the MVSC is the Ramos collection, which includes books, pamphlets, and clippings on African American history and culture. Additionally, the MVSC includes a robust collection of materials regarding the Kansas City, Missouri School District and other surrounding school districts.
National Archives at Kansas City (Kansas City, Missouri): Contains 35,000 cubic feet of archival holdings, including documents, photographs, maps, and architectural drawings from 1821-1980s. Within this collection is information regarding Oliver Brown and Brown v. Board of Topeka.
Nebraska State Historical Society (Lincoln, Nebraska): Numerous collections regarding both the history of schooling in Nebraska and the African American experience, including the Black Nebraska Oral History Project and the, as well as collections around the Nebraska chapters of the NAACP and the Urban League.
Douglas County Historical Society (Omaha, Nebraska): Home to collections pertaining to the greater Omaha area, including a collection regarding Omaha race relations since the 1919 Court House Riot.
State Historical Society of Iowa (Des Moines, Iowa): Located in Des Moines and Iowa City, the State Historical Society includes a variety of special collections regarding Iowa’s development and the citizens’ experience, including manuscripts around the history of schooling.