Civil Rights in America
From Reconstruction to the Great Society

Quick Facts

  • The definitive collection of U.S. congressional publications related to American civil rights
  • Coverage spanning the challenges of newly freed slaves, women’s suffrage and the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement
  • A fully searchable digital archive offering vast research potential for a breadth of disciplines


From segregation to women’s suffrage to discrimination of all kinds, civil rights have shaped the course of American history. Civil Rights in America: From Reconstruction to the Great Society is a premier archive of official publications and primary source material related to civil rights in the United States. Fully searchable, with unique browsing capabilities and comprehensive metadata, this collection is indispensable for teaching and researching American history, political science, social justice, and related fields.

An untapped wealth of primary source documents
Focusing primarily on the century beginning shortly after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the federal documents in Civil Rights in America: From Reconstruction to the Great Society were published by the United States Congress. They include publications and reports about civil rights from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, executive branch, congressional committees, special investigations and non-governmental organizations, all digitized from the originals and combined in a fully searchable database. Through both firsthand testimony and government-level analysis, this trove of largely untapped material covers the arc of American civil rights—from the myriad rights issues surrounding African Americans to the issues related to other ethnic groups, immigrants, laborers, children and undocumented workers—as seen through the eyes of those who experienced them.

One hundred years of civil rights research opportunities
Civil Rights in America covers a large number of topical categories, including the Reconstruction Era, voting rights, race and education, impact of Supreme Court decisions, civil rights legislation, worker’s rights, civil rights and free speech, gender and sexual discrimination and others. It includes varied perspectives and firsthand accounts of freedom and segregation, origin and history of the Ku Klux Klan, challenges of the Freedman’s Bureau, history of child labor regulations, founding and growth of Black colleges, literacy tests and women’s suffrage, establishment of the property rights of women, educational equality for minority children, integration and fair housing, labor unions and the regulations for limiting working hours, immigration studies tracking 20th-century racial minorities, maternity rights of women, national and regional attitudes towards race and gender, school integration and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the evolving debate about unauthorized border crossings and much more. No other resource offers such a range of civil rights material spanning a full century of essential American history.

Multi-disciplinary potential for students and scholars
In addition to providing comprehensive coverage of important events and people in American civil rights, this robust collection will help researchers track the evolution of gender and sexual discrimination, analyze national and regional attitudes toward race, gender and ethnicity, and trace patterns in immigration policy. Gender researchers, African American, Hispanic American and Asian American historians, and scholars in sociology, political science and labor history will also find incomparable material that covers a broad range of civil rights issues in their full complexity.


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