Table of Contents

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Descriptive summary

Biographical Note

Source

Arrangement

Restrictions

Controlled Access Terms

Administrative Information

Series Descriptions and Container list

Correspondence

Printed Material

Photographs

Artifacts



Some items from this collection have been digitized and are available through the Civil Rights Movement Archives

Descriptive summary

Repository: Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Department of Special Collections and Archives
Creator: Masters, Robert
Title: Robert Masters Collection
Dates: Bulk, 1964
Dates: 1963-1967
Extent: 3.0 Linear feet, 2 boxes
Abstract: Robert Masters graduated from Queens College in 1966; at age 20 he spent seven weeks in Greenwood, Mississippi as a volunteer in the Freedom Summer of 1964. The collection includes newspaper and magazine articles, color snapshots, letters in which Masters describes his work in Greenwood, and artifacts.
Identification: CR.2010.003
Languages: English

Biographical Note

Robert Masters was born in 1944 and grew up in Long Island. He enrolled at Queens College in 1963, and graduated with a degree in psychology in 1966. At age 20 he spent seven weeks in Greenwood, Mississippi as a volunteer in the Freedom Summer of 1964. As a volunteer he canvassed door-to-door on behalf of the new Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), enlisting support among the African American community for the party’s challenge to the established, all white-delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. During his time in Greenwood, Masters was arrested twice and spent time in jail for his organizing activities. After graduation, Masters joined the Peace Corps, working in West Africa from 1966-1970. He went on to study law and obtained his JD from NYU Law School in 1973. Currently Masters serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Acadia Realty Trust in White Plains, NY

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Source

Donated by Robert Masters, 2010

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Scope and Content Note

The Robert Masters collection is comprised of letters, printed material, photographs, and artifacts that document his experiences as a volunteer working for racial equality in Mississippi in the mid-1960s. As a volunteer during the Mississippi Summer Project (Freedom Summer) in 1964, he canvassed door-to-door in Greenwood, Mississippi, soliciting support for the nascent Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. In 1965, as president of Queens College’s Mississippi Freedom Project, he returned to the state for a 12-day church rebuilding project in Tougaloo. The collection includes letters in which Masters discusses the importance of the Freedom Summer; printed material including newspaper interviews with Masters and news stories relating to the civil rights struggle in Mississippi; color photographs; an automobile license plate; and a “Freedom Now” sweatshirt that was used for fundraising.

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Arrangement

Note: Printed materials and photographs in this collection were originally preserved on adhesive photo album pages. For preservation purposes some items have been removed from the adhesive pages and housed in acid-free folders. Where removal of the items could not be safely achieved, the album pages have been scanned and printed for access.

Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Printed Material
Series III: Photographs
Series IV: Artifacts

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Restrictions

Access

Collection is open for research. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.

Copyright

The Robert Masters Collection is the property of the Queens College Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.

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Controlled Access Terms

Civil Rights Movement-Mississippi-20th century
Masters, Robert
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Mississippi Freedom Project
Queens College (New York, N.Y.)
Voter registration--United States

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

item, date (if known), box number, folder number, Robert Masters Collection, Department of Special Collections and Archives, Queens College, City University of New York.

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Series Descriptions and Container list

Series I: Correspondence
This series is comprised of three letters and a postcard. Masters discusses his work canvassing for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and analyzes the possible political future of the state’s African-American population.
Correspondence ( 1964 ) Box-folder 1-1
Series II: Printed Material
This series includes newspaper and magazine clippings that highlight Masters’ experiences in Mississippi, as well as articles about the civil rights struggles in the state. Due to their delicate condition, some of the original clippings have been restricted with preservation copies provided for access.
Printed Material ( 1963-1967 ) Box-folder 1-2
Series III: Photographs
This series includes color photographs taken in Greenwood in 1964.
Photographs ( 1964 ) Box-folder 1-3
Series IV: Artifacts
This series is comprised of two items. The first is a 1964 Mississippi automobile license plate from Leflore County, likely from the car of a SNCC organizer. The second is a sweatshirt circa 1970 which says FREEDOM NOW. Masters helped sell such sweatshirts to raise money for civil rights activities
License Plate ( 1964 ) Box-folder 1-4
Masters, Robert Sweatshirt ( circa 1970 ) Box-folder 2