Historical Publications of the United States Commission on Civil Rights

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library (TMLL) at the University of Maryland, School of Law has been hard at work since 2001 creating a digital repository of publications from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The project, which began as part of an effort to enhance the Library’s collection of civil rights material, has been a partnership with the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for almost six years.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, established in 1957, is tasked with examining allegations of discrimination based on race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, and disability. As a fact-finding agency, the Commission publishes studies, reports, and state advisory committee findings on a wide range of civil rights related issues.   

TMLL scanned and converted to PDF many Commission publications distributed to depository libraries in paper and microfiche as well as other titles in the library’s collection. With the consent of the Commission, TMLL has also been harvesting electronic publications from the Commission’s Web site and making them available with the older material.

Users are able to browse the TMLL collection to locate publications in several different ways:

  • Alphabetically by title
  • Year published
  • SuDoc Number
  • Subject

For those interested in civil rights issues in a particular part of the United States, TMLL has created a custom map that pin-points the geographic subject of reports available in the digital collection. The collection is also searchable from the Library’s site search.

Longer publications are made easier to navigate with bookmarks within the PDF file. Additionally, most publications over 50 pages have searchable text either embedded within the PDF or as link to an “OCR’ed PDF.”

Here is just a small sample of the great publications you can find in this collection:

LSCM is pleased to be a participant in this partnership and thanks the TMLL and its staff for all their work to increase access to this important collection of civil rights material.