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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Title:Freedom House, Inc. records
Dates:1941-2004 (bulk 1949-1986)
Call Number:M16

Scope and Content Note

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 (the Road to Educational Achievement). The records of Freedom House and the Snowden's personal papers were transferred in four separate accessions that were largely unarranged. 

 Due to the Snowden's devotion to Freedom House and the Upper Roxbury community, their activities as Freedom House co-directors and as members of the community often overlapped.  As a result, personal papers were intermixed with Freedom House records.  Materials concerning the Snowden and Sutherland families, their representation on boards of outside organizations, personal awards, speeches, educational accomplishments, and previous jobs were removed from the Freedom House organizational records. Speeches, membership materials, and correspondence with friends generally bear a direct relationship with their work with Freedom House. Researchers should consult both collections for a complete picture of the Snowdens' activities and friendship networks. (See Muriel S. and Otto P. Snowden, Papers 1911-1990 M17)

The records of Freedom House span 1941-2004 (bulk 1949-1986).  The collection consists of 62 cubic feet of records and .5 cubic feet of video tapes.  The bulk of the collection documents the organization's administration and programs.  The collection also contains subject files concerning the issues of race relations, urban renewal, and desegregation primarily in Boston; and subject files of local (Roxbury or Boston) organizations that were concerned with these issues but had no direct relationship with Freedom House.  The collection is organized into six series: 1) Administration, 2) Fund Raising, 3) Programs, 4) Issues, 5) Outside Organizations, and 6) Photographs and Video Tapes.