The Benjamin Lawson Hooks Papers: An Introduction

William C. Love

In 1996, Dr. Benjamin Hooks, three years retired as Executive Director of the NAACP, donated his professional papers to the University of Memphis Libraries. The time and scope of the papers range from the mid-1970s when he served as commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission to the early 2000s when Dr. Hooks worked with the Hooks Institute for Social Change, an institute that continues to work from the University of Memphis to teach, study, and promote Civil Rights and social change in the Memphis area.
The papers were given in installments to the University of Memphis Libraries between 1996 and 2006. The papers were processed and housed in 2007, with no new additions arriving until 2015 when Dr. Hooks' daughter, Patricia Hooks, donated 4 boxes of manuscript and audio/visual material. As the collection stands now, it contains 397 archival boxes with close to 195,000 items that range from correspondence to printed material, memoranda, administrative files, photographs, and audio/visual material.