The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
Historical Manuscripts Home
Alphabetical List of All Collections | Collections Listed By Subject


Collection Title: Ellin (Joseph and Nancy) Freedom Summer Collection

Collection Number: M323

Dates: 1963 - 1988

Volume: 1.7 cu.ft.

Provenance: Materials in this collection were donated by Joseph and Nancy Ellin in 1999, 2000, and 2001.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:
Dr. Joseph Ellin was born in October 1936, in Brooklyn, New York, the only child of Dr. Martin, D.D.S., and Lillian Ellin. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 1957 and a Doctorate from Yale University in 1962. He is a professor of philosophy at Western Michigan University. Nancy B. Ellin was born in Bronxville, New York, in May 1936, the eldest of two daughters born to Drs. Arthur and Norma Bowles. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College in 1958. Joseph and Nancy Ellin met at Yale University, and were later married. They have a son, David, and a daughter, Jane. They currently live in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

During the summer of 1964, Joseph and Nancy Ellin served as Freedom School teachers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Joseph worked at Priest Creek Baptist Church in Palmers Crossing. Nancy worked at True Light Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, and spent much of the summer setting up the Freedom Library on Mobile Street. The Ellins first attended the SNCC orientation session held June 21 - 27 at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, where they learned of the disappearance of Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman. After orientation they drove with another volunteer in their car to Hattiesburg, arriving on June 29 and returning to Kalamazoo the end of August. While the Ellins were in Hattiesburg, two WMU students Susan Pfeiffer and Diane Woods stayed in their Kalamazoo home and cared for their cats.

The Ellins' host and hostess in Hattiesburg were Mr. and Mrs. King David Patton, who lived at 1022 Dewey Street, across from True Light Baptist Church, where Nancy taught in the Freedom School. Mr. Patton owned a barbershop nearby at 403 Mobile Street, the main street of the black community. Mrs. Vassie Patton was the midwife of both black and white Hattiesburg. Both were Civil Rights activists. Mrs. Patton had successfully registered to vote after many attempts, but Mr. Patton had not yet succeeded.

While in Hattiesburg, Joe and Nancy wrote letters containting their observations and concerns to Susan and Diane in Kalamazoo for transmittal to a wider Michigan audience, to Joe's parents in Brooklyn, and to the Editor of the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Contents of the Collection
Dr. Joseph Ellin

July 4, 1964.  Vernon Dahmer's picnic on his property at the Kelly Settlement located about 5 miles north of downtown Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  (Joe Ellin is seated in the center of the picture; Nancy Ellin is standing beside him.  Photo copyright:  Herbert Randall.)

Scope and Content:

The bulk of this collection consists of materials that document the Civil Rights Movement and Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. When folder titles were assigned, efforts were made to retain the donors' notations.

Box One consists of personal correspondence; official correspondence from organizations; and materials from the Freedom Summer training session held at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio.

Box Two is comprised of items that document Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg, including personal notes and examples of the work of Freedom School students; post-Freedom Summer items; materials from different organizations and institutions, such as The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the Highlander Center, the National Sharecroppers Fund, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the Council of Federated Organizations, the Congress of Racial Equality, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and assorted news clippings and magazine articles related to the Civil Rights Movement.

Box Three contains magazines and pamphlets pertaining to the Civil Rights Movement; and various miscellaneous items, including a data profile of Mississippi, a 1964 Mississippi license plate, a list of historically black colleges, and materials regarding former Mississippi Governor J. P. Coleman.

Box Four holds magazine articles, newspapers, newsletters, and scrapbooks compiled by the Ellins in 1963 and 1964.

Box Five contains scrapbooks compiled by the Ellins in 1964 and 1965.

The collection also contains the following oversized items: three posters produced by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee; two copies of a newspaper titled The Afro American; and a 1964 road map of Arkansas and Mississippi.

Box and Folder List:

Box 1


Folder 1

Correspondence: Letters From Joseph and Nancy Ellin (June - September 1964)

Folder 2

Correspondence: General (June 18 - July 15, 1964)

Folder 3

Correspondence: General (July 16 - 30, 1964)

Folder 4

Correspondence: General (August 3 - 28, 1964)

Digitized materials from this folder include the following: Letter, Arthur [Falk] to Nancy and Joe Ellin; August 15, 1964

Folder 5

Correspondence: General (September 4 - December 24, 1964)

Folder 6

Correspondence: General (January 14 - December 23, 1965)

Folder 7

Correspondence: General (January 24, 1966 - December 27, 1969)

Folder 8

Correspondence: General (September 1971 - May 1989; undated)

Folder 9

Correspondence: From Organizations (July 15,1964 - February 24, 1970)

Folder 10

Oxford, Ohio: General Materials (ca. June 1964)

Folder 11

Oxford, Ohio: Curriculum Materials (ca. June 1964)

Folder 12

Oxford, Ohio: Curriculum Materials (ca. June 1964)

Folder 13

Oxford, Ohio: Personal Notes (June 1964)


Box 2


Folder 1

Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg: List of Volunteers (Summer 1964)

Folder 2

Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg: Freedom School Student Work (Summer 1964)

Folder 3

Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg: Freedom School Student Newspapers (Summer 1964)

Folder 4

Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg: Freedom Library (July - August 1964)

Folder 5

Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg: Personal Notes (May - October 1964)

Folder 6

Freedom Summer in Hattiesburg: Hattiesburg (ca. Summer 1964 - February 1965)

Folder 7

Freedom Summer Offices in Mississippi (ca. 1964)

Folder 8

Post-Freedom Summer (August - December 1964; undated)

Folder 9

Organizations: Council of Federated Organizations (ca. 1964)

Folder 10

Organizations: Council of Federated Organizations (ca. 1964-65)

Folder 11

Organizations: Congress of Racial Equality (ca. 1964)

Folder 12

Organizations: Congress of Racial Equality (1963 - 1965)

Folder 13

Organizations: Highlander Center (Fall 1963 - April 1965)

Folder 14

Organizations: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (Summer 1964)

Folder 15

Organizations: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (Fall 1964 - July 1965)

Folder 16

Organizations: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (August 1965 - June 1966)

Folder 17

Organizations: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] (Summer 1964)

Folder 18

Organizations: National Sharecroppers Fund (ca. 1963)

Folder 19

Organizations: Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee(1964)

Folder 20

Organizations: Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (ca. January 2, 1964 - May 3, 1965; undated)

Folder 21

Materials Re: Civil Rights Movement: The Student Voice (May 1964 - December 1965)

Folder 22

Materials Re: Civil Rights Movement: News Clippings (May 1964 - July 1988; undated)

Folder 23

Materials Re: Civil Rights Movement: Magazine Articles (October 1963 - October 1965)


Box 3


Folder 1

Materials Re: Civil Rights Movement: Magazine, Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs (1964)

Folder 2

Materials Re: Civil Rights Movement: Magazine, Jet (August 27, 1964)

Folder 3

Materials Re: Civil Rights Movement: Magazine, Mississippi Eyewitness (1964)

Folder 4

Materials Re: Civil Rights Movement: Magazine, The Nation (May 18 - December 28, 1964)

Folder 5

Materials Re: Civil Rights Movement: Pamphlets (July - August 1964)

Folder 6

Materials Re: Civil Rights Movement: "Women's Day 1966" (March 13, 1966)

Folder 7

Program: Methodist Men's Retreat (September 19-20, 1964)

Folder 8

Data Profile of Mississippi (ca. 1964)

Folder 9

Mississippi License Plate (1964)

Folder 10

List of Historically Black Colleges (ca. 1964)

Folder 11

Gov. J. P. Coleman (1965)

Committee to defeat Governor Coleman
Bills signed into law by Governor Coleman

Folder 12

Pamphlets on Gender Equity (ca. 1974; 1984)


Box 4


Folder 1

Oversize Magazine Articles , Newspapers & Newsletters (December 7, 1963 - July 13, 1965)

Folder 2

Scrapbook (ca. March 1963 - September 1964)

Folder 3

Scrapbook (October - November 1964)


Box 5


Folder 1

Scrapbook (December 1964)

Folder 2

Scrapbook (January 1965)

Folder 3

Scrapbook (January - February 1965)

Folder 4

Scrapbook (February - June 1965)


Oversized Materials

Item 1

SNCC Poster: "Come Let Us Build a New World Together" (ca. 1964)

Item 2

SNCC Poster: "NOW" (ca. 1964)

Item 3

SNCC Poster: "One Man, One Vote" (ca. 1964)

Item 4

Newspaper: The Afro American (February 13, 1965)

Item 5

Newspaper: The Afro American (February 20, 1965)

Item 6

Arkansas/Mississippi Road Map (1964)

Related Collections:

M326 Shaw (Terri) Freedom Summer Collection

M366 Kwanguvu (Umoja) Freedom Summer Collection

M351 Randall (Herbert) Freedom Summer Photographs


Prepared and maintained by
The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Special Collections
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148