Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection Overview
Name of Creator:Freedom House, Inc.
Title:Freedom House, Inc. records
Date:1941-2004 (bulk 1949-1986)
Reference Code:M16
Location Code:72/1-4, FF1/D1, FF5/D2
Extent:62.00 cubic ft.
Scope and Content Abstract:The founders of Freedom House, Muriel S. And Otto P. Snowden had an acute sense of the historical value of their work and of the records that document it.  As a result, the records of Freedom House are thorough and comprehensive for the term of their co-directorship (1949-1986).  Materials created under the succeeding directors are less comprehensive and focus on the reorganization of Freedom House and on the educational program, Project REACH. 
Historical Abstract:Freedom House was founded in 1949 by African American social workers Otto P. and Muriel S. Snowden.  It grew out of their initial community organizing with the Council on Community Affairs of Upper Roxbury (1947-1949).  The initial goal of Freedom House was to centralize community activism in the fight for neighborhood improvement, good schools, and harmony among racial, ethnic, and religious groups in Roxbury, Massachusetts.  Otto Snowden was the Director of St. Mark Social Center when he married Muriel Sutherland Snowden.  They were determined to remain in Roxbury and work to ensure its stability as a middle-class, racially mixed neighborhood.  As directors of Freedom House, the Snowdens hoped to achieve their goals by linking the community to existing services and creating services where they were lacking. 
Language and Scripts:
Arrangement:Organized into 6 series: 1. Administration; 2. Fund Raising; 3. Programs; 4. Issues; 5. Outside Organizations; and 6. Photographs and Videos
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Snowden, Otto Phillip, 1914-1995
  • Snowden, Muriel S. (Muriel Sutherland), 1916-
  • Swachman, Irene, 1915-1988

  • Freedom House (Roxbury, Boston, Mass.)
  • Freedom House Coalition
  • Operation Exodus (Boston, Mass.)
  • Freedom House (Roxbury, Boston, Mass.) Institute on Schools and Education
  • Coordinated Social Services Council (Boston, Mass.)
  • Boston Redevelopment Authority
  • Action for Boston Community Development
  • Council on Community Affairs (Boston, Mass.)

  • Community development, Urban -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • African Americans -- Education
  • African Americans -- Political activity
  • African Americans -- Relations with Jews
  • African Americans women political activists -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Boston (Mass.) -- Race relations
  • Civil rights -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • School integration -- Massachusetts -- Boston

Restrictions:The collection is unrestricted. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.
Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.
Related Materials:

Additional material can be found in the Muriel S. and Otto P. Snowden papers (M17).

The Archives and Special Collections Department capture the website content of the Freedom House, which is accessible at:*/

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Nancy Richard, December 1997