Scope and Contents
The Board of Directors subseries (14.8 linear feet) contains mailings from the National Office to the Board, minutes of Board meetings, and correspondence with individual Board members arranged chronologically. From 1975 to 1983, ACLU Associate Director Alan Reitman's pre-Board meeting letter to the president of the Board can be found occasionally. These letters explain the agenda in greater detail to assist the president in facilitating the meeting.
The minutes of the ACLU Board of Directors record in great detail the organizational debates and decisions relating to policies, procedures, and operations of the national office and the state affiliates. Board and National Committee nominations and election results are recorded also. In general, the Board met monthly between 1947 and 1964; starting in 1965, the Board met biweekly except in July and August; in 1967, the Board approved a schedule for monthly Board meetings with two all-day plenary meetings annually. The schedule changed again in 1969 to a bimonthly basis. In the 1970 to 1990 period, the Board meetings were usually held in February, April, June, and October. The rationale for fewer Board meetings was that with fewer meetings annually, there could be more representation on the Board from the membership in diverse geographical regions and more Board members from the state affiliates. The minutes are fairly complete for the 1948 to 1990 period, with the exception of 1964.
The mailings include a variety of materials sent by the National office in New York to the Board of Directors. Included in the mailings are ACLU activity reports, agendas, reports of the standing committees, policy and position statements, memoranda, circular letters and other correspondence, and magazine and newspaper articles. Also included are lists, rosters, ballots, press releases, legal briefs, outlines, biennial conference programs, board resolutions, charts, and printed remarks. The mailings contain proposed revisions to the constitution and by-laws, membership statistics, and budget and financial records as well. The mailings are extensive for the period covered with the exception of the years 1955, 1959-1960, 1965, and 1980, where there are very few or no mailings.
The Board members files include correspondence between members of the Board of Directors with the national office staff and/or Roger Baldwin. The material covers substantive issues such as constitutional revisions, policy statements, and amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs. Resignations from the Board, requests for leaves of absence, and board resolutions passed upon the death of Board members are also included. The Board members files are complete for the 1947 to 1975 period, except for the years 1969-1971. There is no material included for the period 1975-1990.
Much of this material is available on microfilm through UMI, and printed guides to the film are available. (See Microfilm section above.)
- Creation: 1949
Conditions Governing Access
Subgroup 2 is open for research use.
Language of Materials
From the Series: English