About the BCRI Archives

 The Archives of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute collects, houses and makes accessible records and documents relating to events that occurred during the civil rights struggle of the 1950’s and 1960’s in the city of Birmingham and the United States.  

The Institute has built a collection of documents that accurately reflects the continuing historical context in which those events have evolved to the present level of successful interracial cooperation.  In addition, records and documents on the global scope of the movement for human rights are collected.  The Institute’s collection is especially useful as a resource for scholars and other professionals working in the area of global civil and human rights developments.  The Archives of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is responsible for selecting materials needed for inclusion in the collection, appraisal of potential value of that material to the collection, processing materials collected and providing general public accessibility to all collections.   

Reading Room Hours

In-person research can be accommodated by appointment. Please use the Ask an Archivist reference form below or contact us at

On May 14, 1961, this Greyhound bus arrived in Anniston, Alabama. A mob followed the bus in automobiles, and when the tires on the bus blew out, someone threw a incendiary device into the bus. The Freedom Riders escaped as it burst into flames, only to be brutally beaten by members of the surrounding mob.


BCRI Responds to Race Terrorism

BCRI Removes ‘Interim’ Tag for President/CEO Institute Raised $2.4M

BCRI Welcomes New Leadership

Poetry in the Park presented by Magic City Poetry Festival

The Drive and Determination of Isaac Cooper, BCRI Board Chair

Download the 57th Annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee Social Media Toolkit 

During Alabama Visit, Secretary Haaland Highlights Efforts to Advance Equity and Justice

Threads to the Past – BCRI Feature in Woven Magazine 

Leaders at Black Colleges Alert, Undeterred by Bomb Threats

BCRI Receives $25K Donation from ServiceNow

Realizing King’s Dream at BCRI

President DeJuana Thompson visits Birmingham Rotary Club

Bishop Calvin Woods Receives BCRI Legacy Award

PBS Host Darley Newman Explores Alabama Civil Rights Trail

BCRI Celebrates a Joyous Kwanzaa

Protecting Truth in Education


A Joyous Kwanzaa

A Courageous Conversation of Healing for Birmingham’s Black and Jewish Communities

Happy Birthday BCRI

BCRI Responds to Damage to Civil Rights Historical Marker

BCRI Mourns the Passing of Robert Parris Moses

BCRI Responds to Tarrant City Councilor’s Use of Racial Slur

BCRI Responds to Mountain Brooks Criticism of Diversity Education

Legion FC’s Second-Annual Commemorative Jersey Auction a Success for BCRI

BCRI Receives $500K Donation to Advance Efforts for Change

BCRI Announces Special Features for Juneteenth Celebration

Stand Up for Justice – 2021 MLK Day at BCRI

BCRI Responds to Violence at US Capitol

Black History Month at BCRI

Announcing DeJuana Thompson as BCRI Interim President & CEO


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute COVID-19 Update

Global Human Rights Activist Dr. Angela Y. Davis To Receive
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award

BCRI President and CEO Andrea L. Taylor Resigns

BCRI Launches “When Resilience Speaks: A Community Response to COVID-19”

BCRI Shuttlesworth Award Update

Thank you to the Birmingham Committee for Truth & Reconciliation

BCRI Issues Call for Board Nominations


BCRI Annnounces Events for MLK Weekend

BCRI Announces Events for Black History Month

Birmingham Civil Rights Will Open at 9 am during Black History Month

BCRI Partners with Red Mountain Theatre to Address Violence

BCRI Closed on March 2

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to be Closed On Easter

Fedex Sponsors Free Admission

Press Conference to Announce 25th Anniversary Events


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s April Walking Tour



Laura Anderson and Ahmad Ward Promoted

Alabama Symphony Orchestra presents “Reflect and Rejoice: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Accepting Applications to LYLP Starting January 18, 2016

BCRI to Host Series of Four Career and College Readiness Workshops for High School Students & Parents

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Announces Schedule of Events to Commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

BCRI To Honor Black History Month

Media Alert: Community of Readers on Saturday, Feb. 13

BCRI Black History Month Program to Feature Marita Rivero, Chair of the Board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Executive Director, Museum of African American History, Boston & Nantucket


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Participate is Smithsonian magazine’s Annual Museum Day Live!

Courage Under Fire Exhibit to Return to the BCRI

Birmingham Civil Rights Celebrate’s Women’s History Month

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Showcases Its Recent Donations

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Literacy Program Plants Herb Garden

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Partner With Hand in Paw to Present: Reconciling the Civil Rights History of Man’s Best Friend.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Boosts Development Department with New Hires

FBI Director, James Comey, to Speak at 2016 BCRI Law Enforcement Conference

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Close In Honor of Memorial Day

FBI Director, James Comey, Visits Birmingham to Speak on Race and Law Enforcement

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Will Remain Open During Restoration

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Stay Open to Visitors

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Presents Youth Today Inspired by the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Commemorate Juneteenth with “Celebration of Freedom”

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Presents Exhibition to Highlight Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Celebrates Music During Community Reader’s Event

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Conclude Access & Activism Summer Series With a Program on Public Transportation

Rare Photos from the “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & the Chicago Freedom Movement” to be Displayed in the BCRI’s Vann Gallery

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Host Conversation on the Role of Faith Leaders in Today’s Issues


Email for more information about our archives and collections.


The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute holds property rights to all its collections but holds copyright to a select few, with some being in the public domain.  The collections are made available for the specific educational purposes of research, personal study, and teaching.  It is the responsibility of the user to identify and secure permission from the copyright holder to make reproductions of copyrighted materials.  Requestors of materials agree to hold the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute harmless from any and all liability and agree to indemnify it, its officers, employees, and agents from any and all damages, costs, and other expenses arising out of the requestor’s use of the above described materials, including expenses resulting from suits for infringement of copyright and any judgments against the Institute.  The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute reserves the right to refuse to provide a reproduction for a user if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would involve violation of copyright law.

United States Copyright Law 
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17. U.S.C.) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. As of April 1999, the law was amended from its 1976 status with the inclusion of the Digital Millennium Copyright Law and the Sonny Bono Term Extension Act.
Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be used for “any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses a reproduction for purposes in excess of Fair Use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. 

Fair Use (17 U.S.C. § 107)
According to United States copyright law, the determination of Fair Use is subject to the following factors:

  • Purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit education purposes;
  • The nature of the copyrighted work;
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Educational Use Exemptions (17 USC. § 110)
Section 1 10 (1) exempts from infringement liability the performance or display of a copyrighted work in the course of face-to-face teaching activities by a nonprofit educational institution in a classroom or similar setting. Section 1 10 (2) exempts from liability the transmission of a performance or display of a copyrighted work if (1) the performance or display is a regular part of the systematic instructional activities of the nonprofit educational institution; (2) the performance of display is directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content of the transmission; and (3) the transmission is made primarily for reception in classrooms or similar places or by persons to whom the transmission is directed because of their disabilities.

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