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A. S. Williams III Civil Rights Photograph Collection

Identifier: WP-016

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of approximately 475 press photographs and 10 manuscripts depicting people and events from the United States Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968). A significant portion of these images relate to the movement in Alabama. These materials are divided into five series:

Series I: Events, 1933-1988, consists of approximately 250 images depicting well-known events in the Civil Rights Movement. Of particular interest are images related to Selma Voting Rights Campaign (1965), March from Selma to Montgomery (1965), and the desegregation of The University of Alabama (1956-1963). Other photos in this series show how civilians and historical leaders interacted together during specific marches, political rallies, and riots.

Series II: Key Figures includes approximately 100 images depicting significant Civil Rights era individuals. These figures include Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), George C. Wallace (1919-1998), and Autherine Lucy Foster (1929-2022), amongst others. The photographs in this series are primarily portraits related to these key figures and are not connected to any significant event.

Series III: Opposition from Hate Groups contains approximately thirty images depicting groups such as the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK photos include gatherings, initiations, cross burnings, and opposition marches; whereas the photographs of the Nazi Party and Polish Freedom Fighters primarily include marches and gatherings.

Series IV: Other Images by Location contains approximately eighty photographs depicting peaceful interracial interactions, unnamed demonstrations, and police involvement during everyday life. These photographs are tied to a location rather than events or figures.

Series V: Manuscripts contain ten items Pertaining to race relations durring the civil rights movement. The manuscripts include Martin luther king jr.'s funural service papmlet, and relief fund planning for church bombings.


  • 1920 - 1985

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

The United States Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968) was a political and social endeavor that aimed to establish equal rights for African Americans after decades of slavery and discrimination. Activists such as Rosa Parks (1913-2005) and Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) inspired people to participate in acts of civil disobedience such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955) and the March of Washington (1963). These events brought African American voices to the forefront of the nation, leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. While these bills led to the formal conclusion of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, African Americans continue the fight for equality into the modern era.


1.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection consists of photographs and manuscripts related to the United States Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968). The images depict major events, key figures, and opposition from hate groups. While the collection focuses heavily on Alabama, there are additional events and locations represented.


The archivists organized the collection into five series, which include events, key figures, opposition from hate groups, other images by location, and manuscripts. In the events and opposition from hate groups series, the materials are in chronological order, whereas key figures and other images by location are organized alphabetically. The contents of each folder are ordered chronologically. The last series, manuscripts, is arranged in no particular order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010.

Processing Information

Processed by Lloyd Arp and Shandi Burrows, with assistance from Jessica Rayman, May 2022.


Guide to the A. S. Williams III Civil Rights Photograph Collection
Lloyd Arp, Shandi Burrows, and Jessica Rayman
May 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266