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American Civil Liberties Union Collected Records

Identifier: SCPC-CDG-A-American Civil Liberties Union

Scope and Contents

The collection of ACLU material at the Peace Collection consists of only sporadic records from the national office and several local offices, dating from 1917 to the present.


  • Creation: 1917


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use


Historical Note

The ACLU grew out of the American Union Against Militarism, which was founded in 1916 and dissolved in 1922. A subsection of the AUAM was called the National Civil Liberties Bureau; in 1920 it changed its name to the American Civil Liberties Union. Roger Baldwin was its director for 30 years (1920-1950), followed by Patrick Murphey Malin.

Today, the ACLU is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 275,000-member public interest organization, devoted to protecting the basic civil liberties of all Americans, and extending them to those people for whom they have traditionally been denied. Its national office is in New York City, with a legislative office in Washington, D.C. It has a 50-state network of staffed affiliate offices, 300 chapters, and regional offices in Dallas and Atlanta. The ACLU has more than 60 staff attorneys collaborating with 2,000 volunteer attorneys to handle close to 6,000 cases per year.


2.5 linear ft. ; 30 linear inches


The ACLU grew out of the American Union Against Militarism, which was founded in 1916 and dissolved in 1922.


The records from the national office are organized chronologically. The branch office records are organized separately, and alphabetically by state.

Other Finding Aids

For the catalog record for this collection, and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog.

Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is not the official repository for the records of this organization.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source is unknown and/or received in mailings.

Legal Status

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

Processed by SCPC staff; current finding aid created by Anne M. Yoder (Archivist).

American Civil Liberties Union Collected Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017: The file list was standardized in Summer 2017 by Mary Olesnavich in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace. Tessa Chambers added the notes in Fall 2017.

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

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Swarthmore 19081-1399 USA US
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