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Penn State University Libraries

The Jack Rabin Collection on Alabama Civil Rights and Southern Activists


Pennsylvania State University
University Libraries
Special Collections Library
104 Paterno Library
University Park, PA 16802

FAX 814/863-5318


Clifford and Virginia Durr

The bulk of material in the Southern Activists series pertains to the Montgomery civil liberties lawyer Clifford Judkins Durr (1899-1975) and his wife, the social activist Virginia Foster Durr (1903-1999). There are substantial oral histories of the Durrs, including reel-to-reel tapes of unknown origin. In a 26-minute interview, Virginia Durr discusses her teenage years and young adulthood, contemporary economic and political power, and Southern society with an unidentified interviewer (probably John Imhoff); the opening segment provides a brief but telling account of Virginia's upbringing in relation to expectations for Southern women in the early twentieth century. There are approximately nine hours of Clifford's discussion of his papers, of his reading from the beginning of an autobiographical manuscript, of his involvement in the Defense Plant Corporation in preparation for World War II, of civil liberties and public broadcasting issues stemming from his subsequent appointment to the Federal Communications Commission, and of civil rights and un-American activities legal battles in which he was deeply involved in the 1950s, including Rosa Parks's defense during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. All of these audiotapes have been converted to digital files, and transcripts accompany each file.


Oral Histories

Clifford and Virginia Durr