The Commission’s Library

The Commission’s Library – Brief Article

The Robert S. Rankin Civil Rights Memorial Library, an important part of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, contains more than 50,000 reference works, including a comprehensive collection of reports, transcripts, and texts. Also included are copies of some 200 periodicals (notably journals about civil rights and minority issues and the law) and various newspapers. Information on microfilm and microfiche amounts to thousands of reels and files. The library, open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, is situated in the Commission’s headquarters, 624 Ninth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20425.

The library is the largest collection of materials in the country focused on civil rights. The facilities are used extensively by members of Congress, government agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens.

The library grew out of the Technical Information Center, which was established within the Commission in the late 1960s to support research, fact-finding, and reporting on civil rights matters. In 1974, under authorization of Congress, the facility was converted into the National Clearinghouse Library, serving as a repository for civil rights information and related topics.

It has all publications that derived from the Commission’s activities since the Federal agency was first established in 1957. These include statutory reports, clearing-house materials, briefing papers, transcripts of hearings, and State Advisory Committee reports.

A staff is available to assist library visitors as well as Commission personnel. They are Librarian Barbara Fontana and Library Technician Vanessa Williamson.

Most books and other material can be borrowed, for periods of two or three weeks, depending on the item.

For further information, the library may be telephoned at (202) 376-8110.

Copies of Commission publications may also be obtained free and retained. The voice mail number for requesting a publication or the Catalog of Publications is (202) 376-8128.

The library was named in honor of a Commissioner who served for 16 years beginning in 1960. Dr. Rankin was a faculty member at Duke University from 1927 and chairperson of the Department of Political Science from 1948 until 1964 and afterward professor emeritus.

COPYRIGHT 1998 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group