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Grand Rapids Urban League records, 1941-1986

4 linear feet

Affiliate of the National Urban League. Records include historical information file, administrative files, topical files, and photographs.

The records of the Grand Rapids Urban League document its activities as a civil rights and social service organization serving the African-American community in Grand Rapids. The records have been arranged into four series: Historical/Background Material, Administration Records, Topical Files, and Photographs. The series date from the organization's founding in 1943 up to the mid-1980s. There are numerous gaps in the files with the bulk of the records dating before 1970.


Helen Jackson Claytor papers, 1924-2005 (majority within 1955-1985)

6 linear feet — 1 oversize volume — 1 oversize folder

Grand Rapids, Michigan, clubwoman, officer in the Grand Rapids chapter of the Young Women's Christian Association, president of the national YWCA, 1967-1973. Primarily speeches delivered on topics relating to the YWCA, civil rights, citizenship, and the family; speeches reflect in part her thoughts as a black woman on questions of school and housing segregation; and photographs.

The Helen J. Claytor papers primarily document her leadership in both the National and Grand Rapids YWCA, her community work on a local and national level, as well as the speeches she delivered, ca. 1940-1985, on topics relating to her activities in the YWCA, the civil rights movement, and the Episcopal Church.


Lyman S. Parks papers, 1962-1977

4 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Pastor of the Grand Rapids A. M. E. First Community Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, city commissioner, acting mayor, and later mayor, 1971-1975. Mayoralty files, political materials, scrapbooks of career activities, and photographs.

The Lyman Parks collection consists mainly of files created and accumulated during the period of his mayoralty. Included are files on the many federal, state and local conferences that he attended. The correspondence files consist mainly of congratulatory letters. The best documentation of Parks' mayoralty will be found in his speech file and in the several scrapbooks from the years when he was in office. The collection also includes photographs, both portraits and photographs of public activities.

The collection has been arranged into the following series: Biographical and Personal; Correspondence; Mayoralty Files; A.M.E. Activities; Photographs; and Scrapbooks.