Freedom Summer Records

Summary Information


Indiana University South Bend Archives
1700 Mishawaka Ave. P.O. Box 7111
South Bend, Indiana 46634
Telephone: (574) 520-4392
Creator: Civil Rights Heritage Center
Title: Freedom Summer records of the Civil Rights Heritage Center
Extent: Two bankers boxes and two document boxes totaling 3.2 cubic feet.


Beginning in 2000, Indiana University South Bend History professors Dr. Les Lamon and Dr. Monica Tetzlaff offered students a unique and often life changing experience. Students would board a charter bus and, for two weeks, visit some of the people and places in the deep South that made an impact on the United States Civil Rights movement. The idea was to recreate the famous “Freedom Rides” of the 1960s, where Northerners would board busses and protest Civil Rights injustices (e.g. segregated lunch counters) to show solidarity with those Southerners most affected.

Freedom Summer continued every other year until 2008, then again in 2011. Students toured such places as the Lorraine Motel (where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated), the Edmund Pettus Bridge (where African American protestors were met with police dogs and sprayed with fire hoses), the Southern Poverty Law Center, 16th Street Baptist Church, and many others. The trip was considered a credited course, and students were required to read and submit papers detailing their experiences throughout the trip.

Scope and Content Note:

Materials were collected by Drs. Lamon and Tetzlaff when they each ran the event (Dr. Lamon in 2000 through 2004, and Dr. Tetzlaff beginning in 2006 and beyond). The collection contains paper materials detailing the planning, correspondence, acquired marketing materials (e.g. museum guides, maps, etc.), photographs, and notes from the 2000-2011 trips. Materials are organized by the years of each trip, with additional student works, oral histories, and non-paper items (i.e t-shirts and videos) following paper and photographic materials.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions:

This collection is open for research. Advance notice is required.

Usage Restrictions:

The donor(s) of this collection have transferred copyrights for their original materials to the Trustees of Indiana University.

The IU South Bend Archives respects the intellectual property rights of others and does not claim copyright for non-university records, materials in the public domain, or materials for which we do not hold a Deed of Gift. Responsibility for the determination of the copyright status of these materials rests with those persons wishing to reuse the materials. Researchers are responsible for securing permission from copyright owners and any other rights holders for any reuse of these materials that extends beyond fair use or other statutory limitations.

Digital reproductions of archival materials from the IU South Bend Archives are made available for noncommercial educational and research purposes only. If you are the copyright holder for any of the digitized material and have questions about its inclusion on our site, please contact the Indiana University South Bend Archivist.

Preferred Citation:

[Item], Freedom Summer records of the Civil Rights Heritage Center, Indiana University South Bend.

Processing Information:

  • Processed by Civil Rights Heritage Center Tours and Collection Coordinator George Garner, December 2013.
  • Added materials from previously processed collections, February - May 2014.
  • Added interviews previously stored in the Oral History collection, July 2014.
  • Additional materials previously cataloged by IU South Bend Archive Student Worker Kristi Dunn from Fall 2006 through Spring 2008, then updated by Archive Student Worker Susan Jacobs from 2008 through 2009, were added by CRHC Tours and Collection Coordinator George Garner in September 2014.
  • Added materials originally stored in the Wiekamp office by CRHC Tours and Collections Coordinator George Garner beginning in March 2015.
  • Added materials for Freedom Summer 2016 beginning in February 2016.
  • Added Unique IDs beginning in April 2017.


  • De-accessioned a boot legged thirteen disc set of compact discs containing an audio book, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," stories of the southern civil rights movement. Assumedly, students during one of the Freedom Summer tours listened to this on their trip.
  • Note: There were several different papers that attempted to ascertain the participant’s personalities, including the "Keirsey Temperament Sorter," including such questions as, "At a party do you..." etc. It appears that the organizers had an understanding that different people would react differently being cooped up on a bus for such a long amount of time, and they took steps to ease the potential for tension. If any of these were filled out by students, they were discarded rather than disclosing personal information.
  • A folder called "POSSIBLE STUDENT READINGS: FREEDOM SUMMER 2004" contained several copies of articles, presumably given to or at least considered for the FS 2004 group. While it seems unnecessary to preserve the copies, knowing what students may have read as inspiration could be worthy:
    • Owen J. Dwyer, "Interpreting the Civil Rights Movement: Place, Memory and Conflict," The Professional Geographer, 52 (2004): 660–671.
    • James C. Cobb, Redefining Southern Culture (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1999), 131-32.
    • David T. Beito, "Black Fraternal Hospitals in the Mississippi Delta, 1942–1967," The Journal of Southern History, 65 (1999): 109-140.
  • A later folder called "TEXT BOOKS and REQUIRED READINGS: FREEDOM SUMMER 2004" contained an IUSB check request form (dated April 2002). Again, the information seems worth saving:
    • "Weary Feet, Rested Souls: A Guided History Through the Civil Rights..."
    • "'My Mind Set on Freedom': [sic] A History of the Civil Rights Movement, ..."
  • Interviews and conversations with Southern civil rights leaders were previously stored in the Oral History Collection. Since these interviews are outside the scope of that collection, they were moved here in July 2014. Those interviews include: Bland, Joanne; Brooks, Catherine Burke; Dorsey, L.C. And Rutha Harris; Kyles, Billy; McLaurin, Charles; Stuck, Andy; Vivian, C.T. See Box 2.
  • In September 2014, when consolidating materials previous cataloged from 2006 through 2009, duplicate items were discovered. The best versions were kept and the others discarded.
  • In September 2014, when consolidating materials previous cataloged from 2006 through 2009, unnecessary items were discovered. The following folders were discarded:
    • "Tour Reservations, 2002." Contains addresses and phone numbers along with deposit information for participants. This folder was shredded.
    • "Lodging Information, 2000." Two folders containing information about and purchase requisitions from hotels. This folder was shredded.
    • "Potential Participants, 2002." Contains personal information (addresses and phone numbers) from students who expressed interest in (though did not necessarily participate in) the FS 2002 trip. This folder was shredded.
    • "Economy Coach Quotes, 2001-2002." Contains check requests, notes, and correspondence obtaining quotes from a motorcoach carrier. This folder was shredded.
    • "Participants Lists, 2002-2004". Also included a list from 2000. Information is duplicated in folder #3, "Class Participant Lists."