South Bend Civil Rights Heritage collection

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: South Bend Civil Rights Heritage collection of the Civil Rights Heritage Center
Extent: Four (4) bankers boxes at 5 cubic feet, one (1) legal sized document box at 0.5 cubic feet, and one (1) flat box at 1.20 cubic feet totaling 6.7 cubic feet.


Formed in 2000, the Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center’s (CRHC) mission is, “to preserve the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and the history of racial struggles and extraordinary achievements of local citizens.” Since its founding, CRHC students, faculty, and volunteers conducted research into the African American civil rights experience in and around South Bend, Indiana. They began an extensive Oral History collection and identified and acquired important archival materials from such prominent people as Helen Pope (for whom a scholarship at IU South Bend is named after), Jesse Dickinson (African American Indiana state legislator), Dr. Bernard Streets (one of the first African American dentists), and others.

Perhaps their defining achievement was re-opening the former Engman Natatorium, a once segregated swimming pool on the west side of South Bend. Beginning in 2005, the CRHC led partners from IU South Bend, South Bend Heritage Foundation, and the City of South Bend to transform the dilapidated building into a new home for the Civil Rights Heritage Center. Opened in May 2010, the CRHC offers tours of local Civil Rights history, exhibitions (permanent and temporary), lecture series, and more active programming.

In addition to large donations from prominent people (such as those listed above), the CRHC has acquired materials of local significance. There are not enough materials in each of these donations to justify creation of its own sub-collection, therefore, they are included together here.

Scope and Content Note:
Material is arranged in order of donation, when that information is known. Donation forms (e.g. Deed of Gifts) are included when we have them. Some items are too large to fit in a standard bankers box. These are stored in a flat box stored in Archives Room #204A – in the lower shelving unit at the east end of the room.

Significant donations and donors include:

Ellyn Stecker

Dr. Stecker has been an activist in the South Bend community for decades, most notably as a leader in the St. Joseph Valley Chapter of the National Organization for Women.

This donation from Dr. Stecker includes an almost complete run of “Around the Bend,” a newsletter with information about and/or relevant to civil rights and social justice issues in and around South Bend, Indiana. The newsletter ran from 1986 through 1999.

Dr. Stecker’s donation includes materials from the local chapter of the National Organization for Women. The chapter also advocated for LGBTQ rights. Many of those documents were added to the LGBTQ Collection of the Civil Rights Hertage Center at the Indiana University South Bend Archives. See those finding aids for more information.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Advance notice is required.

Usage Restrictions:

For more information about the copyright status of materials in this collection, please contact the IU South Bend Archivist.

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], South Bend Civil Rights Heritage collection of the Civil Rights Heritage Center, Indiana University South Bend Archives.

Processing Information:
Processed by CRHC Tours and Collections Coordinator George Garner beginning in Spring of 2014. Materials are continually added.

  • Updated to new Excel spreadsheet format in November 2015.
  • Updated to reflect new naming structure, December 2015.
  • Included unique ID numbers beginning August 2016.