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Curtis West Harris and Ruth Jones Harris Papers, 1950-2012

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Collection Overview

Title
Curtis West Harris and Ruth Jones Harris Papers, 1950-2012
ID
Mss. Acc. 2014.006
Extent
11.0 Cubic Feet
Primary Creator
Harris, Curtis West
Arrangement

The collection is divided into six (6) series. Due to keeping as close to original order as possible, materials in each folder vary in form and may have a wide range of years. Folders in each series are arranged chronologically by the first date stated and then alphabetically if pertaining the same start date. Items in the folders have been left in the original arrangement, which means items may or may not be in chronological order.

Series 1 contains biographic materials. Series 2 contains documents relating church and ministry materials. It is composed of three (3) sub-series: Bethany Baptist, Ministry, and Union Baptist. Series 3 is for material relating to the town of Hopewell and contains two (2) sub-series for City Council and Hopewell Community. Series 4 contains digital photographs but also a collection from photo albums. It is important to note that his series contains newspaper articles that Reverend Harris placed in his photo album collection. Series 5 is titled SCLC/Civil Rights and is divided into the sub-series Civil Right and SCLC. Series 6 includes artifacts, which are housed with the Manuscripts Artifact Collection.

Date Acquired
01/02/2014
Forms of Material
Letters (correspondence), Minutes, Publications
Languages
English

Restrictions

Access
Collection is open to all researchers.
Use
Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains biographical information relating to Reverend Curtis W. Harris, Ruth Jones Harris, Hopewell community members and calendars for the Harris family. Included in the collection are documents relating to Reverend Harris’ time spent serving on Hopewell’s City Council, materials from the churches Rev. Harris served, as well as his involvement with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In addition to this material are photo albums, pertaining to church related programs/activities and events at the Union Day Care Center, and artifacts.

Collection Historical Note

Reverend Curtis W. Harris was born in Dendron, Virginia on July 1, 1924 to Mr. Sandy Harris and Mrs. Thelma Harris. He attended Hopewell public schools, Virginia Union University, and received his pastoral training through the Medical College of Virginia. Harris’ list of positions held include but are not limited to: serving as pastor at Union Baptist and Little Gilford Baptist churches, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and mayor of Hopewell, Virginia. Harris has also been the recipient to numerous awards and proclamations for his involvement with the Civil Rights movement and the overall advancement of the Hopewell community.

By Rev. Harris’ side for over fifty years was Ruth Jones, whom he wedded in 1946. Ruth founded Hopewell’s Union Day Care Center in the early 1970’s as well as a program for senior citizens. She served on Hopewell’s Senior Citizen Commission in the early to mid-1980 and as an avid supporter of racial equality she cared for the home, six children and business while Rev. Harris was on the front lines for the cause.

Additional information pertaining to the biography of Curtis and Ruth Harris can be found at http://www.curtiswharris.com/.

Subject/Index Terms

Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biography, 1971-2012 and undated],
[Series 2: Church and Ministry, 1957-2010 and undated],
[Series 3: Hopewell, 1959-2009 and undated],
[Series 4: Photographs, 1950-2008],
[Series 5: Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Civil Rights, 1962-2009],
[Series 6: Artifacts],
[All]

Series 1: Biography, 1971-2012 and undated
Series includes biographical information relating to Reverend Curtis W. Harris, Ruth Jones Harris, Hopewell community members and calendars for the Harris family.
Box 1: 1971-2012 and undated
Folder 1: Rev. Curtis Harris Biographical Information, Undated
Contains several copies of different biographical information for Rev. Harris from various events.
Folder 2: Correspondence to Curtis Harris and Biographic Material, 1971-2008 and undated
Contains biographies that include life events and places of work. Correspondence that includes telegrams and letters from community members, family, and state and local representatives.
Folder 3: Curtis and Ruth Recognition, 1988-2011
Items include city proclamations, awards program, certificates of appreciation, and booklets commemorating years of service.
Folder 4: Family Snapshot Calender, 1993-1998
Contains several family made calendars but the family is not specifically stated, possibly the Harris or Washington family.
Folder 5: Harris Family Calendar, Part 1, 1995-2002
Folder 6: Harris Family Calendar, Part 2, 2003-2007
Box 2: 1998-2012 and undated
Folder 1: Harris Family Calendar, Part 3, 2008-2012
Folder 2: Community Biographies and Funeral Information, 1998 and Undated
Items consist of undated biographical sketches of community members and announcement for funeral proceedings.
Folder 3: Washington Family, 1998-2006 and undated
Contains information for Washington family reunions, marriage license, and family calendar.
Folder 4: Banquets and Inauguration, 2006-2009 and undated
Photographs from an awards banquets, Presidential Inauguration Invitation, and other information pertaining to the Inauguration.
Box 3: Box 3

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biography, 1971-2012 and undated],
[Series 2: Church and Ministry, 1957-2010 and undated],
[Series 3: Hopewell, 1959-2009 and undated],
[Series 4: Photographs, 1950-2008],
[Series 5: Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Civil Rights, 1962-2009],
[Series 6: Artifacts],
[All]

Administrative Information

Repository
Special Collections Research Center
Acquisition Source
Gift of Joanne Lucas, Daughter of Rev. Harris
Acquisition Method
Acc. 2014.006 was picked up from the donor by SCRC staff on 1/2/2014.
Preferred Citation
Curtis West Harris and Ruth Jones Harris Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
Processing Information
Accessioned and minimally processed by Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist, in January 2014. Processing and finding aid completed by Derek Sower, SCRC intern, in July 2014.
Finding Aid Revision History
Box and Folder List compiled by Derek Sower, SCRC intern, in July 2014. Box and Folder List added to database by Stephanie Krauss, SCRC staff, on 10/2/2014.