The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1963 to protect civil liberties in the state of Georgia, particularly the rights of free speech, free press, free assembly, freedom of religion, and due process of law. The organization accomplishes its goals primarily through litigation, lobbying, and public education. The ACLU of Georgia is also home to two projects, the National Security/Immigrants' Rights Project and the Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline (STPP) Project.
The ACLU of Georgia is one of 52 affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which was founded in 1920 to "defend the principles and freedoms embodied in the Bill of Rights." The ACLU is coordinated by a national office and each affiliate addresses the same civil liberties issues in its state.
Some of the areas that the ACLU of Georgia is active in include defending the rights of women, minorities, immigrants and the LGBT community, defending the right to privacy particularly related to access to abortions, opposing the unequal treatment at school for minority children, disability rights including the treatment of individuals with mental disabilities, protecting free speech, opposing racial profiling by law enforcement and society in general, supporting religious freedom and the separation of church and state including opposing school prayer, and more recently preventing employers from impinging on the civil rights of their employees.
For further information, see the ACLU of Georgia's website.
Scope and Content
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia Records document their work with civil liberties through litigation, lobbying, and public education programs. The records include case files, correspondence, reports, ACLU publications, and research files. The records cover a wide range of civil liberties issues, including access to abortion, children's rights, the criminal justice system, freedom of speech and assembly, racial discrimination, the separation of church and state, and voting rights.
Organization and Arrangement
This collection is organized into four series: I. Administrative, II. Issues, III. Legal, and IV. Legislation.
Administrative Information and Restrictions
This collection is open for research use with the following exceptions. See the ACLU Access Agreement for further information about each restriction. Researchers must sign an agreement agreeing to abide by these restrictions in order to obtain access to the records. Boxes with an "R" before the box number include restricted materials and there is an access note with each restricted folder indicating when it will be open. Researchers may still request these boxes to access the open folders within these boxes.
Administrative records: Records maintained by the ACLU of Georgia administrators.
Personnel records: Files related to employment of individuals by the ACLU of Georgia.
Development records: Files with the names of individual donors, even if they do not include the amount donated.
Legal records - Work product privileged: Records created by a lawyer while working on the case, including research and developing argument strategies.
Legal Records - Attorney-client privileged: Records that contain information exchanged between an attorney and client in confidence, including correspondence between the client and the attorney's staff or by the attorney on behalf of the client.
Legal Records - Other: Records sealed by the court or that would violate the privacy of an individual.
All series contain audiovisual records. Reference copies of the audiovisual recordings are available upon request. Research requests will be filled as soon as possible and will be dependent upon the condition of the recordings.
Series III. Legal includes some boxes that must be reviewed for sensitive information prior to research use. These boxes are identified with an R before the box number and there is an access note with each restricted folder indicating that it requires review. Please request these boxes 3 business days prior to your research visit to allow time for this review.
Series III. Legal contains digital files. To access these files, please request the folders you would like through the finding aid using your research account. An archivist will be in contact with you to explain how to access the files. Please note that not all file formats are currently supported by the library for research use.
American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia Records, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.
Library acts as "fair use" reproduction agent.
Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.
Finding Aid Publication
Finding aid prepared by Adriane Hanson, 2016.
American Civil Liberties Union of Georiga Records - Guide to Selected Case Files contains a description of the issues under consideration for the best documented cases in these records.