West Chester Branch of the NAACP

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Collection Title: West Chester Branch of the NAACP

Collection Number: Ms. Coll. 145

Dates of Collection: 1981-1987

Box Numbers: 2 boxes

Repositiory: Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA

Language: English

Project Archivist: Margaret Miles Baillie


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The West Chester Branch of the NAACP was initially established in 1919 and reestablished in 1942.  The scope of this collection is the 1980s during which time the organization worked with the United Political Action Committee of Chester County on the West Chester Ward case.  This successful 1986 legal challenge to West Chester's use of at-large elections in determining voter representation on West Chester Borough Council resulted in the implementation of a ward system to replace at-large elections.

Also represented in the collection are materials related to the 1982 censure of the West Chester School District by the PA State Conference of the NAACP related to the “wrongful dismissal" case of three top black administrators.

The collection also includes the February 1987 program for the West Chester Area School District and Community meeting entitled “Civil Rights: Past, Present and Future.”  Guest speakers included Rosa L. Parks, Fred D. Gray, and Martin Luther King III.  Mr. Gray autographed his biographical sketch.

Records include minutes, correspondence, publications, legal documents, programs, etc

Related Collections: For records of the United Political Action Committee of Chester County, see Ms. Collection 143.

Collection Contents:

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Collection Contents: 

Box 1

Folder 1:    History of the NAACP, handwritten drafts, no date

-notes on the history of the national NAACP written by Elaine Bartley


Folder 2:   West Chester NAACP 1981 Minutes of Regular Meetings

-Minutes of the November 21, 1981 meeting.


Folder 3:   West Chester NAACP 1982 Minutes of Regular Meetings

-Minutes of the February 18 and March 18 meetings


Folder 4:   West Chester NAACP 1983 Minutes of Regular Meetings

-Minutes of the March, November and December meetings


Folder 5:   West Chester NAACP 1984 Minutes of Regular Meetings

-Minutes of the January, February, March, April, May, June, July, September, October, and December meetings.  Report by E.Closson on the 38th Annual Leadership Conference held March 1984.


Folder 6:   West Chester NAACP 1985 Minutes of Regular Meetings

-January, February, July, and December meetings. 


Folder 7:   West Chester NAACP 1985-1986 Minutes of Meetings

-Handwritten notes from various meetings April 1985 to June 1986


Folder 8:   West Chester NAACP 1986 Minutes of Regular Meetings

-February, March, April, May, June, and December meetings


Folder 9:   West Chester NAACP 1987 Minutes of Regular Meetings

-January meeting (includes preparation for the February Civil Rights program)


Folder 10:  West Chester NAACP Minutes of Board Meetings, 1986-1987

-December 1986, September and October 1987 meetings


Folder 11:  West Chester NAACP Minutes of Executive Board Meetings, 1986-1987

-March, May and June 1986 meetings, February, June, September and October 1987 meetings


Folder 12:  West Chester NAACP Mailings

-photocopy of typed mailing labels


Folder 13:  Membership, 1985, 1987

-NAACP membership report forms, July 1985 copy of memberships paid, and attendance list for the December 18, 1987 meeting.


Folder 14:  Nominating Committee, 1986-1987

-Memorandum June 23, 1986 from the Pennsylvania NAACP Nominating Committee to all Pennsylvania branches re: nominations for election during the 1986 State Convention;  West Chester NAACP correspondence and approval for its 1987 executive committee nominations


Folder 15:  Treasurer’s Report, 1984-1986

-Instructions and forms for Financial Report 1983; various Treasurer’s Reports from 1984-1986


Folder 16:  Secretary’s Items

-1986 receipt for NAACP membership card for E. Bartley, Manual for the Branch Secretary, Manual on Branch Election Procedure, Notes, Outline for Workshop on Branch Administration and Report “UN Decade for Women NGO Forum ‘85” written by Shirley M. Dennis, Secretary, PA Department of Community Affairs with her card attached.


Folder 17:  Certificates of Registration Under Solicitation Law, 1984-1985

-Certificates for 1984 and 1985


Folder 18:  West Chester Community Center, 1987

-Letter and membership card confirming payment for yearly membership


Folder 19:  Forms, Surveys, Questionnaires, 1983   

-Annual Report of Branch Activities 1983 form, NAACP “quiz”, Request for Payment form, and two sheets of letterhead


Folder 20:  Handbook for Addressing Discrimination Complaints, no date

-to be used by NAACP Labor and Industry Committees

-Labor and Industry Committee guidelines

-Evaluation form

-Additional flyers explaining steps in handling a complaint


Folder 21:  Correspondence, 1981, 1983-1987

-USPS form Statement of Mailing with Permit Imprints

-West Chester NAACP correspondence from 1983 to 1987


Folder 22:  NAACP Correspondence, 1983-1987

-State and National NAACP correspondence from 1983 to 1987


Folder 23:  Civil Rights Program “Past, Present and Future,” 1987

-Program booklet for the program February 26, 1987.  Includes photos and brief biographical sketches of Fred D. Gray and Rosa L. Parks along with information on the MLK, Jr. Library and Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc.


Folder 24:  Banquets, 1986

-Program booklet for the West Chester NAACP Awards Banquet October 4, 1986. Includes brief biographical sketches of Wilma Ford, Ann Aerie, Dr. John Hewlett, Alonzo DeBerry, Jr., and Dr. Charles Butler.

-Freedom Fund Banquet information and other banquet notes


Box 2

Folder 1:  Human Relations Commission, 1984

-Correspondence, survey form and flyer to post


Folder 2:  West Chester Ward System, 1987

-Letter to Dr. Johnson of UPAC, and 2 copies of the Decision in the Matter of the Petition to Establish Wards in the Borough of West Chester


Folder 3:  West Chester Area School District Censure, 1982 1984, 1987

-Correspondence and report


Folder 4:  News Articles, 1983-1985

-Photocopies of articles and news clippings


Folder 5:  NAACP News, Newsletter, 1985-1987

-Local and National Newsletters and one Labor Department Report


Folder 6:  Pennsylvania State Conference, 1985-1987

-Booklets, Brochures and notes on the conferences


Folder 7:  NAACP Convention, 1984, 1986

-Notes and forms for the conventions


Folder 8:  Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission, 1987-1988

-Folder with informational handouts and brochures


Folder 9:  Pennsylvania Government Handbook, 1976


Folder 10:  Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site Brochure (2)


Folder 11:  Workshop, no date

-Agenda and supplemental information, including songs, for a Sunday workshop


Folder 12:  Miscellaneous

-2 items. 1. Employment “Information Alert” notice re: new appointments for borough offices. 2. Sales flyer for hand decorated ceramic tiles offered for sale by Annette Grant

Made Possible By: 
This project made possible by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission 2005