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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 5: Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Civil Rights, 1962-2009
This series documents the history of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Rev. Harris’ involvement as President. Included in the SCLC sub-series is material relating to Martin Luther King Jr. and information on cases pertaining to equal opportunity employment. The sub-series titled Civil Rights contain articles relating to injustices throughout the United Stated but did not have a specific link to or involvement of the SCLC.
Sub-Series 1: Civil Rights, 1962-2007
Box 21: 1962-2007
Folder 1: Booklets and Programs, 1962-2007
Folder 2: Newspaper Articles, 1968
Newspaper articles relating to local (Hopewell) voting.
Folder 3: News Articles, Part 1, 1970-1990
This folders contains articles relating to African American involvement in churches and government.
Folder 4: News Articles, Part 2, 1970-1990
This folders contains articles relating to African American involvement in churches and government.
Folder 5: Violence, 1997
Newspaper articles relating to civil rights violations and crimes against African Americans.
Sub-Series 2: Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), 1964-2009
Box 21: 1964-1999
Folder 6: SCLC History Books, Magazine, and Equal Opportunity, 1964-1999 and undated
Items include several books/booklets relating to the history of the SCLC, a tribute booklet for Curtis Harris, and documents pertaining to local government’s equal opportunity employment.
Folder 7: Virginia Units, 1964-1997
Letters, programs, pamphlets, and news articles relating to SCLC chapters in Virginia.
Box 22: 1966-2006
Folder 1: Booklets and Programs, 1966-2000
Martin Luther King Jr. book and other items relating to conferences and conventions of the SCLC.
Folder 2: Convention Booklets, 1968-1989
Booklets relating to conferences and conventions of the SCLC.
Folder 3: Conference, Letters, and Gas Protest, 1973-1991 and undated
News articles for SCLC’s boycott of high gas prices, photos of Rev. Harris at a march in Alabama, and letters of correspondence.
Folder 4: Correspondence, Unity Day, and News Articles, 1978-1997 and undated
Items include: Correspondence letters, information on Unity Day and news articles about Harris and the SCLC.
Folder 5: Martin Luther King, Harris, and Member Information, 1981-2008 and undated
Items include: Program for MLK birthday celebration and information on members of the
Folder 6: Memos, Voting, and Discrimination, 1983, 2003
Items include: Information on historic highway marker, SCLC memos, voting information, and articles on discrimination.
Folder 7: Conference and Bylaws, 1986-2006 and undated
Conference programs, resolution to support human rights of Smithfield workers, and bylaws of the SCLC.
Box 23: 1987-2009
Folder 1: News and Media, 1987-1990 and undated
News articles and media/press information releases on Rev. Harris and the SCLC.
Folder 2: Conference, Correspondence and Equal Opportunity, 1988-1996 and undated
Memos and correspondence from the SCLC, letter from the Housing authority, articles about the SCLC and hate crimes, and a case from the equal opportunity commission are included in this folder.
Folder 3: Conventions, Conferences, and News, 1989-2009 and undated
Folder 4: Chapter Development, Newsletters, and NAACP Conference, 1991-2007
Folder 5: Letters, Memos, and Conference Information, 1994-2009 and undated
Items in this folder are mainly comprised of letters/memos from the SCLC.
Folder 6: SCLC Women and Virginia Unit Meeting Minutes, 1994-2009
Items include programs and flyers for functions of the SCLC Women and documents relating to the meeting minutes of the Virginia unit.
Folder 7: Memos, 1996, 2009
Box 24: 1998-2009
Folder 1: Conference, Meeting Minutes, Membership, 1998-2006
Folder 2: Leadership Conference, 1999-2009
Items include: Program from Southeast Community Days, SCLC presentation and SCLC conference program.
Folder 3: Membership, 2002-2003
Folder 4: Letters and Board Meetings, 2005-2007
Folder 5: Africn American Community Concerns and Equal Opportunity, 2007-2008 and undated
Items in this folder primarily include letters of concern from the African American Community and information on equal opportunity cases.
Folder 6: Conference and Equal Opportunity, 2007-2009
Box 25: 2007-2009
Folder 1: Program, Meeting Minutes, and Equal Opportunity, 2007-2009
Items in this folder primarily include conference programs, meeting minutes and information on equal opportunity cases.
Folder 2: Suit/Audit Tax Documents, Part 1, 2007-2008
Folder 3: Suit/Audit Tax Documents, Part 2, 2007-2008
Folder 4: William Brown Case File, Part 1, 2008
Folder 5: William Brown Case FIle, Part 2, 2008
Box 26: 2008-2009
Folder 1: Juneteenth, Membership, and News Articles, 2008-2009
Folder 2: State and Local Meetings, 2008-2009
Folder 3: Development Plan, 2009
Booklet with information on the development plan for the Dillard area.

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.