Newsweek Atlanta Bureau Records available

By Laura Carroll, Manuscript Archivist. 

The Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL) is pleased to announce the Newsweek Atlanta Bureau records have been processed and are once again available to our researchers. 

The Atlanta Bureau of Newsweek, inc., was the hub of Newsweek magazine's Southern network.  It was established in 1953, with William (Bill) Emerson serving as its chief until 1961.  Joe Cumming, Jr. was the Bureau chief from 1961-1979.  Beginning with the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case in 1953, which called for the desegregation of public schools, the Atlanta Bureau mostly reported on civil rights issues in the South.  MARBL received the Newsweek Atlanta Bureau records in 1979.  The collection was accessible and served as a rich resource for scholars interested in a variety of subjects affecting the South in the late 20th century; however, the material was unorganized and at times difficult to use because of inconsistent naming conventions and misfiled material. 


Above:  Newsletter of the Hinds County Freedom Democratic Party, May 12, 1967; Jackson State College (Jackson, Mississippi): riots, collected materials, 1967-1971.

The collection consists entirely of subject files covering the years 1953-1979, created during the process of researching and writing stories for magazine, and is comprised of newspaper clippings, collected materials, correspondence, drafts of articles, photographs, and reporters' notes. Originally filed in a single folder, the material inside each subject file has now been separated and arranged by format to facilitate access.

Topics featured in the subject files include southern politics, education, business, media, crime, society, athletics, progress, expansion, and civil rights.  Southern perspectives on national, political, and social concerns are also featured.  Material covering school desegregation, integration, race-based violence, organized demonstrations/protests, and other civil rights issues form the bulk of this collection. Of the civil rights centered subject files, school desegregation makes up the largest section. These files include specific court cases (i.e. Brown vs. Board of Education), busing legislation, federal funding issues, fall “school opening” reports, and regional/national progress reports.


Above:  Statement from the Black People's Unity Movement, circa 1967; Jackson State College (Jackson, Mississippi): riots, collected materials, 1967-1971.


In addition to school desegregation, the collection also contains subject files focused specifically on integration of public places in the South (i.e. churches, hospitals, and interstate buses), and materials concerning important civil rights organizations, such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.  Also documented are well known sit-ins, demonstrations and other events, such as the Freedom Summer, the Freedom Rides, and race riots in Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama.  Subject files featuring white supremacists and other hate groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Citizen's Council are also found within this collection. 

The finding aid is available by accessing the MARBL finding aids database.  Browse under “N” for “Newsweek.”  Researchers interested in visiting MARBL should send an email to marbl [at] emory [dot] edu or visit the following web page:



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