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Descriptive inventory for the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights records,

Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights records

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Open Finding Aid

Descriptive inventory for the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights records, 1947-1998

Prepared by Matthew Norgard, 2017.
  
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Web-site: http://libguides.chicagohistory.org/research
Catalog: http://chsmedia.org
E-mail: research@chicagohistory.org
Instructions for accessing this collection
  

Collection Overview +/-

Title: Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights records, 1947-1998 (inclusive)
Creators: Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights
Criley, Richard L.
Rosen, Rachel
Alliance to End Repression
Chicago Committee for Protection of Foreign Born
Civil Rights Congress of Illinois
Lightfoot Defense Committee
Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born
National Committee against Repressive Legislation
Smith Act Families Committee
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation
Dates: 1947-1998 (inclusive)
Accession numbers: M1973.0073
M1973.0073
M1974.0069
M1978.0039
M1984.0023
M1996.0234
Bib number: 00064899
Call numbers: MSS Lot C
OMM 135
Size:72.5 linear feet (169 boxes)
15 cassettes
16 reels
1 45 RPM
Language of material:Collection is written in English.

Provenance statement:

Gift of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights (M1973.0073, M1973.0073, M1974.0069, M1978.0039, M1984.0023, M1996.0234).

Terms governing use:

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Restriction(s):

This collection is open for research use. The FBI files are open at the request of Richard Criley.

For listening purposes, it is necessary to use a copy, not the original (and to have a listening copy made if one is not available).

Please cite this collection as:

Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights records (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Additional Materials +/-

Related material:

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born records, the Claude M. Lightfoot papers, the "Red Squad Chicago court case collection of open files"; and publications cataloged separately.

As a result of the Red Squad lawsuit, a collection known as the "Chicago Police Department Red Squad and related records" was deposited at Chicago History Museum according to a court order issued by Judge Susan Getzendanner in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The court order imposes restrictions on access and use of the Red Squad files. Ask staff for details.

Separated material:

The Alliance to End Repression collection was separated from the original donation of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights records.

Collection Summary +/-

The Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Collection consists of correspondence, newsletters, meeting minutes, newspapers, court records, petitions, pamphlets, FBI files and handwritten notes. The collection mainly comprises correspondence and promotional literature such as pamphlets and newsletters from precursor organizations to the CCDBR, organizations affiliated with the CCDBR, as well as the CCDBR and its two executive directors. The materials mainly focus on the CCDBR and affiliate organizations’ opposition to the House Un-American Activities Committee, Smith Act, McCarran Act, death penalty, government and police spying, Chicago policing issues, and federal criminal code reform.

Biographical/Historical Note +/-

The Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights (CCDBR) was founded in 1960. The CCDBR was formed to replace the Chicago Committee to Defend Democratic Rights (CCDDR), the latter which had replaced the Chicago Joint Committee to Defeat the Smith Act (CJDSA). The CJDSA had evolved out of the Lightfoot Defense Committee to aid in the defense of other Chicago “Smith Act Families” facing prosecution under the Smith Act. The Lightfoot Defense Committee was a product of the work done by the Illinois branch of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC). The CCDBR was born out of the work of these organizations prior to its founding in 1960. From 1960 until 1977, Richard Criley served as the executive director of the CCDBR when Racheal Rosen DeGolia assumed the title after serving as his associate director since 1975.

The CCDBR worked closely with the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee (NCAHUAC) to oppose the House Un-American Activities Committee as well as the Smith and McCarran Acts. The NCAHUAC would later become the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation (NCARL) following the dissolution of HUAC with the CCDBR serving as its Midwest Regional office. Once HUAC was abolished the focus of NCARL and the CCDBR shifted to criminal code reform which led to the formation of the Citizens Committee for a Just Criminal Code, spearheaded by the CCDBR.

While the chief priority of the CCDBR was to abolish HUAC, it actively promoted several other issues at the direction of its executive directors. The CCDBR produced literature and was active in a number of student movements, the Lawndale neighborhood, anti-Vietnam war efforts, labor union organizing, opposition to spying by police and government agencies and opposition to the death penalty. Due to their activities HUAC, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Chicago Police “Red Squad” conducted campaigns targeting the CCDBR and Richard Criley, its executive director from 1960-1977, documented in the FBI files included in the collection. The CCDBR also subsumed the responsibilities of the Midwest branch of the American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born in 1966 and in the 1970s Criley was instrumental in the development of the Alliance to End Repression (AER). The AER was a coalition of Chicago area organizations that were vital in the lawsuit against the Chicago Police “Red Squad”.

Catalog Subject Headings +/-

Subjects:
Capital punishment -- Illinois -- Chicago -- 20th century
Civil rights -- Illinois -- Chicago -- 20th century
Communism -- United States -- 20th century
Law reform
Police -- Illinois -- Chicago -- 20th century
Police patrol -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Surveillance operations -- 20th century
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements
Persons:
Criley, Richard L.
Lightfoot, Claude M.
Rosen, Rachel
Organizations:
Alliance to End Repression
Chicago Committee for Protection of Foreign Born
Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights -- Archives
Civil Rights Congress of Illinois
Lightfoot Defense Committee
Midwest Committee for Protection of Foreign Born (Chicago, Ill.)
National Committee against Repressive Legislation (U.S.)
Smith Act Families Committee (Chicago, Ill.)
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities
United States. Constitution. 1st-10th Amendments
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States. Freedom of Information Act
United States. Subversive Activities Control Board
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes
Correspondence
Minutes
Newsletters
Newspapers
Reports
Geographic:
Chicago (Ill.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century
North Lawndale (Chicago, Ill.)
United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century

Organization and Arrangement of Collection +/-

The collection is arranged into 12 series with 35 subseries. The series are arranged by subject and materials are arranged chronologically within each subseries.

Click on heading to view series description.

Series 1: Civil Rights Congress, 1947-1976 (Boxes 1-11, 108)
Subseries 1. Civil Rights Congress Operating Files, 1947-1970 (Boxes 1-3, 108)
Subseries 2. Individual Defense Cases, 1951-1963 (Boxes 3-9)
Subseries 3. Smith Act Cases, 1949-1959 (Boxes 9-10, 108)
Subseries 4. Reference on Civil Rights Congress Affiliated Organizations, 1947-1976 (Boxes 10-11)
Series 2: Other Forerunner Organizations, 1954-1978 (Boxes 12-15)
Subseries 1. Lightfoot Defense Committee, 1954-1958 (Boxes 12-13)
Subseries 2. Committees to Aid Taft-Hartley Victims, 1969-1978 (Boxes 13-14)
Subseries 3. Chicago Joint Committee for Defeat of the Smith Act, 1955-1960 (Box 14)
Subseries 4. Smith Act Families, 1956-1960 (Box 15)
Subseries 5. Chicago Committee to Defend Democratic Rights, 1957-1960 (Box 15)
Series 3: Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Administration Files, 1960-1987 (Boxes 16-20, 107, 164-165)
Subseries 1. Board of Director Files, 1960-1987 (Boxes 16-19, 107, 164-165)
Subseries 2. Financial Files, 1962-1987 (Boxes 19-20)
Series 4: Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Executive Director’s Files, 1955-1990 (Boxes 20-40, 103-104, 108)
Subseries 1. Richard Criley Correspondence, 1958-1976 (Boxes 20-26)
Subseries 2. Richard Criley Speaking Engagements, 1962-1975 (Boxes 26-27)
Subseries 3. Richard Criley Petition Campaigns, 1955-1970 (Boxes 27-28, 108)
Subseries 4. Richard Criley Lawndale Neighborhood Files, 1962-1976 (Boxes 28-29)
Subseries 5. Richard Criley Student Movements, 1959-1968 (Boxes 29-30)
Subseries 6. Rachel Rosen DeGolia Correspondence, 1978-1990 (Boxes 31-34)
Subseries 7. Rachel Rosen DeGolia Activity Files, 1971-1985 (Boxes 34-40, 103-104, 108-109)
Subseries 8. Rachel Rosen DeGolia Notebooks, 1977-1988 (Box 40)
Series 5: Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Operating Files, 1949-1998 (Boxes 41-62, 105, 109-110, 133-163, 169)
Subseries 1. Activity Files, 1949-1998 (Boxes 41-49, 59-62, 105, 109-110, 133-155)
Subseries 2. Topical Files, 1953-1983 (Boxes 50-54, 110, 169)
Subseries 3. Tributes and Events, 1956-1986 (Boxes 54-56, 110, 156-163)
Subseries 4. Correspondence, 1961-1987 (Boxes 56-59)
Series 6: Reference Files on House Un-American Activities Committee, 1949-1974 (Boxes 63-65, 110-111)
Series 7: Federal Criminal Code Reform, 1973-1982 (Boxes 66-72, 107, 111, 129-132)
Subseries 1. Senate Bill 1, 1973-1982 (Boxes 66-67, 111)
Subseries 2. Senate Bill 1437, 1976-1979 (Boxes 68-69, 111)
Subseries 3. Senate Bill 1722, 1979-1982 (Boxes 69-70, 111)
Subseries 4. Criminal Code Reform, 1973-1982 (Box 70, 111, 129-132)
Subseries 5. Citizens for a Just Criminal Code, 1975-1979 (Boxes 71-72, 107)
Series 8: Reference Files on Other Organizations, 1961-1981 (Boxes 72-73, 107, 166-168)
Series 9: Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Administered Organizations, 1960-1984 (Box 73-75, 111)
Subseries 1. Committee for the Fund for Milton Cohen, 1965-1968 (Box 73, 111)
Subseries 2. National Committee to Repeal the McCarran Act, 1962-1967 (Box 74)
Subseries 3. No More Witch Hunts Network, 1981-1984 (Box 74-75)
Series 10: Federal Bureau of Investigation Files, 1960-1976 (Box 75-84)
Series 11: National Committee Against Repressive Legislation, 1952-1985 (Boxes 85-102, 105-106, 111, 114-128)
Subseries 1. Frank Wilkinson Files, 1960-1984 (Boxes 85-86)
Subseries 2. Midwest Office Files, 1959-1983 (Boxes 86-89, 114-128)
Subseries 3. National Office Files, 1960-1985 (Boxes 90-100, 105-106, 111)
Subseries 4. Affiliate Organizations, 1952-1983 (Boxes 101-102)
Series 12: Sound Recordings, 1955-1991 (Boxes 112-113)

About This Finding Aid +/-

Creation: Finding aid encoded by Matthew Norgard using Oxygen XML editor, 2017; edited by Julie Wroblewski, 2017.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Other Finding Aids: Finding aid also submitted to the Explore Chicago Collections portal.
Processing Note:This collection was partially processed prior to 2017; the current arrangement follows the arrangment set during the initial work.
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