Overview of the Collection
Special Collections & Archives
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
P.O. Box 4004
105 Garfield Ave.
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Reference Code: UHC 364
Accession Number: 18-012
Collection Number: University Historical Collection 364
Creator: Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union
Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union, 1969-2017
Quantity: 1.6 linear feet (4 archives boxes)
Location of Collection: Shelf Location: A10/1g
Languages: Collection materials are in English.
Summary: This collection consists of materials related to the activities of the Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union, a regional organization affiliated with the American Civil Liberties Union. These records document the organization’s advocacy and educational initiatives in the Chippewa Valley region. The collection includes material such as letters, activities, and case files.
The Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union (CVCLU) is a chapter group of the American Civil Liberties Union – Wisconsin, an affiliate group of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The CVCLU was founded in the year of 1967 by Tom Barth and Patrick George, two newly hired professors of the University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire. The organization focuses on providing educational services that help individuals and organizations in the Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, and surrounding areas better understand civil liberties. As an affiliate organization, the CVCLU does not provide legal advice, but will refer individuals to the ACLU for those services. The CVCLU delivers presentations and distributes flyers and brochures to increase the knowledge of civil rights and liberties.
The CVCLU has supported notable cases for the ACLU, including some with a local and regional impact. These cases supported constitutional rights and individual freedom. One recent achievement was a local case regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage, Wolf vs. Walker. This case was presented in 2014 in the U. S. Court of Appeals, the decision affirmed a district court’s decision to invalidating Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban. An appeal to the United States Supreme Court was denied. The Supreme Court later ruled in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case that that the right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause that are found in Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. An earlier local case, in 1969, involved an underground newspaper (The Roach). The creator was accused of promoting pornographic material and lewd literature (see also, University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire Student Publications, 1944-1999 for publications from The Roach. Call Number: USGZE AS133). In this case, the school failed in its defense when the four letter words in question were deemed not obscene. Another notable case in the 1980s involved the separation of church and state where a creche scene was displayed in a public park. The ACLU was in the middle of two similar cases, Chabad v. ACLU and the City of Pittsburgh v. ACLU that involved religious scenes on display on government and public properties. It was ruled that these displays were in violation of the Establishment Clause. These cases represent some of the local issues that the CVCLU has supported.
Significant people of the CVCLU are the volunteers, local lawyers, and advocates for the CVCLU. Many of the members provide support for the group while the rest provide specific services such as legal advisor to the organization, treasurer, event management, etc. The volunteers and advocates work to educate the public and operate fundraisers to support the organization.
The materials in this collection consist of newspapers, letters, case files, notices, flyers, brochures, proposals, complaints, meeting minutes and articles. The collection ranges in material dating from 1969 to 2017. The bulk of the material is case files and meeting minutes.
The first series contains the meeting minutes and other activities and programs engaged by the CVCLU. These documents help to identify the organization’s role in the community. The meeting minutes date from 1969-2017.
The second series contains correspondence. This includes correspondence addressed to the state and national offices addressing topics of concern to the CVCLU. Other correspondence involves individuals and organizations seeking legal advice from the CVCLU.
The third series is a collection of documents associated with cases connected to the CVCLU. Case files range from local to national in scope and address issues related to the service area of the CVCLU.
Acquisition Information: Donated to the Special Collections and Archives Department, McIntyre Library, in January 2018 by Ann Heywood.
Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public.
Use Restrictions: Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. Copyright not owned by the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.
Preferred Citation: Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union, 1969-2017. UHC 364. Special Collections & Archives. McIntyre Library. University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Eau Claire, WI.
Processing Note: Processed by Maxx Handel in January 2018.
Arrangement: Flat arrangement.
OCLC #: 1038277822
Personal Names: Ann Heywood, John Hibbard, Dale Dick
Corporate Names: Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union
Subject Terms: Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union, Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, Obergefell v. Hodges, Discrimination, Freedom of Speech
Geographical Terms: Eau Claire,Wisc. and Chippewa Falls, Wisc.
Detailed List of Contents
Series 1: CVCLU’s Organization Documents
Series 1 contains all the meeting minutes, agendas, newsletters, by-laws, board of director’s lists, meeting topics, holiday programs, activities, banned books, press releases, and fundraisers. The agendas contained in this collection are sporadic but the meeting minutes and newsletters are nearly all intact. The by-laws are sporadic but each show what year they were amended. The board of director lists are all intact. The holiday programs, activities, banned books, press releases, fundraisers, and equity and diversity in education materials indicate what the CVCLU was involved in.
Extent: .5 linear feet (1.25 archives boxes)
Box 1/Folder 1
Series 2: Correspondence
Series 2 contains correspondence between state and national offices such as senators to CVCLU as well as individuals seeking help from the CVCLU. The letters from legal advisors provided people with advice on how to handle their cases.
Extent: .1 linear feet (.25 archives boxes)
Box 2/Folder 6
Series 3: Case Files
Case files that the CVCLU was monitored and supported the years. Some are national cases that center around the ACLU with support from the CVCLU and others are local cases. Some cases document other cases that were similar in nature and resolved while others explain rules and regulations. Often, case files contains letters from the parties involved.
Extent: 1 linear foot (2.5 archives boxes)
Box 2/Folder 10