Gale Digitizes Archive of the American Civil Liberties Union

New archive in the Making of Modern Law series explores the intersection of law and society

Farmington Hills, Mich., January 3, 2017 Gale, a Cengage company, has launched Making of Modern Law: American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990. The timely archive includes records from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and focuses on civil rights, race, gender, and issues relating to the U.S. Supreme Court. Topics covered are intensely relevant to today’s curriculum and current debates at both national and local levels.

Part of the growing Gale Primary Sources program, the archive represents Gale’s focus on publishing material that supports diversity studies and provides historical context around current topics.

“The papers of the ACLU are among the most-visited and most-requested of library collections,” said Phil Faust, vice president for academic products at Gale. “The launch of this archive highlights Gale’s extensive effort to bring to the forefront material crucial for the study of civil liberties and identity. We’re living in exceptional times and the study of these topics has never been more relevant.”

Sourced from Princeton University and the ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990 contains more than 2 million pages of material. Included in the collection are internal documents such as memoranda and committee reports; correspondence from clients, members of the board of directors, government bureaucrats, attorneys, and other sources; materials relating to local organizations affiliated with the ACLU, as well as records of hundreds of organizations with which the ACLU had supportive or adversarial relations; and legal briefs and newspaper clippings.

Some of the key events covered include the first and second “Red Scare,” the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and the ACLU’s involvement around important events including the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. Events related to free speech, censorship and gay rights are also covered.

American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990 is available on the Gale Primary Sources platform, meaning it is cross-searchable with other Gale Primary Source collections. Students, faculty and researchers will benefit from the platform’s textual analysis features such as “term cluster” and “term frequency” tools. These tools sort through the text and index terms from the content, generating visual displays of information to help researchers discover new insights and identify relationships between themes, events, individuals and more. In addition, content from within the archive can be purchased in multiple formats to aid customers in their own digital humanities projects.

For more information on Making of Modern Law: American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990, please visit For more information on all of the Gale Primary Source collections supporting the study of race, gender, identity and civil liberties and political science, please visit


About Cengage and Gale

Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. The company serves the higher education, K-12, professional, library and workforce training markets worldwide. Gale, a Cengage company, provides libraries with original and curated content, as well as the modern research tools and technology that are crucial in connecting libraries to learning, and learners to libraries. For more than 60 years, Gale has partnered with libraries around the world to empower the discovery of knowledge and insights – where, when, and how people need it. Gale has 500 employees globally with its main operations in Farmington Hills, Michigan. For more information, please visit