Collection inventory

Special Collections home page

Peter Graham Collection Relating to Bayard Rustin

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 4 Aug 2010

Biographical History

Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was an American civil rights activist. An advocate of peaceful protest (his grandmother, with whom he grew up, was a Quaker), he worked with civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King, George Houser and A. Philip Randolph, encouraging non-violent approaches to protest and social reform. With Houser he organized the "Journey of Reconciliation" in 1947, the first of the celebrated Freedom Rides, and with Randolph he organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In the 1970s and 1980s Rustin served on the board of trustees for Notre Dame University and as a human rights and election monitor.

Rustin's obituary in the 25 Aug 1987 New York Times quoted him as saying that "The principal factors which influenced my life are 1) nonviolent tactics; 2) constitutional means; 3) democratic procedures; 4) respect for human personality; 5) a belief that all people are one."

Peter S. Graham (1939-2004) was an American librarian, writer and professor. He held positions at Columbia University, Indiana University and the Research Libraries Group, and was University Librarian at Syracuse University (SU) from 1998 to 2003. He also taught English and textual studies at SU from 2000 to 2003, and throughout his career served on numerous advisory boards and governing bodies for organizations relating to libraries, books and scholarly publication. In his early twenties he became involved in the civil rights movement, participated in sit-ins and protests, and was once arrested with Stokely Carmichael. He worked for Rustin as office manager during the organization of the 1963 March on Washington.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Peter Graham Collection Relating to Bayard Rustin consists of memorabilia collected by Graham relating to his work with the civil rights movement and to Bayard Rustin. The collection contains photographs, one clipping, and a business card. There are also a few items of correspondence between Graham and the Rustin Film Project regarding use of some of the photographs, and a copy of a lengthy email (May 2002) from Graham to two high school students; in the email, Graham responds to their questions and recounts some of his experiences in the civil rights movement in the 1960s and of working for Rustin.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence appears first, arranged chronologically, followed by photographs.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Graham, Peter S.
Rustin, Bayard, 1912-1987.


African Americans -- Civil rights -- 20th century.
Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Civil rights workers -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)


Civil rights workers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Peter Graham Collection Relating to Bayard Rustin,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Peter S. Graham, 2002.

Table of Contents