Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections

Lynn Goldsmith Papers: The Diary and Papers of a Young Civil Rights Worker

Martin Luther King Jr, SCOPE training in Atlanta, Georgia, 1965

Martin Luther King Jr, SCOPE training in Atlanta, Georgia, 1965


Brandeis University’s Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections Department houses the diary, photographs, correspondence and papers of Lynn Goldsmith (married name Lynn Goldberg), a Brandeis University alumna, in our University Alumni Collection. Lynn Goldsmith assisted with voter registration in South Carolina in 1965 as a volunteer with the Civil Rights movement. She donated the materials that document her experience to Brandeis University in 2011.

Lynn Goldsmith, 1965Lynn Goldsmith, 1965

Lynn Goldsmith was a freshman at Brandeis University when she volunteered for a summer voter registration project called the Summer Community Organization and Political Education Project (SCOPE), organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The SCLC was founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bayard Rustin and was at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement. The SCLC, in coordination with universities, designed the SCOPE Project to increase voter registration and provide political education. The SCOPE Project recruited college students nationwide to work with African Americans in the South. Over 600 students from more than 100 universities in the U.S. eventually volunteered for the SCOPE Project.

People waiting to register to voteRegistering to vote

While participating in the SCOPE Project, Lynn Goldsmith kept a diary meticulously documenting her experiences in the Civil Rights movement. The diary is a unique resource documenting the experiences and thoughts of a young Civil Rights worker. It captures the bravery, sincerity and idealism of the young volunteers, as well as their everyday experiences and concerns. The photographs and other materials that accompany the diary all work to create a cohesive story about this exciting and turbulent period in America’s history.


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The Archives and Special Collections Department is very grateful to Lynn Goldsmith Goldberg for documenting her experiences and donating her valuable materials so that future students and scholars can study this important topic.

The diary in the collection was transcribed by Drew Flanagan.

The online exhibit was created by Gurudarshan Khalsa in 2011.