HIGHLANDER FOLK SCHOOL MANUSCRIPT COLLECTION, 1932-1966

The Highlander Folk School Collection, ca. 4,800 items, contains addresses and speeches; clippings; folksongs; financial reports; executive council minutes and reports; a motion picture dealing with Highlander and southern mountains narrated by Erskine Caldwell; news releases and radio scripts to publicize the school; staff and student publications; published and unpublished writings dealing with the school, the labor movement, or the civil rights movement; workshops and conference reports on industrial unionism, farmers’ unions, registration and world affairs; also, material dealing with attacks on school, including the investigation by the Tennessee State Legislature which eventually revoked the school’s charter in 1961. The Highlander Folk School, located in Grundy County, Tennessee, at the southern tip of the Cumberland Mountains, was a meeting place of liberals from all over the South and the leading training center for southern labor and civil rights leaders for nearly three decades (1932-1961). In 1961, the school’s charter was revoked by the State of Tennessee fro irregularities in its operation as a non-profit organization. Within a few weeks, the school reopened in Knoxville, Tennessee, under another charter granted tot the Highlander Research and Education Center. The material in this collection was copied from the originals kept at Highlander during its twenty-nine years as a “Folk School.”