In 1919 Ruth Brown was hired as the director of the Bartlesville [Oklahoma] Public Library. In 1946, Brown helped established the Committee on the Practice of Democracy which was the first Congress of Racial Equality group in that part of the country. In a nationally reported case, Brown was dismissed from her job as head librarian in 1950 due to the library carrying what was then deemed to be subversive materials: Two left-wing magazines and Soviet Russia Today. During the city council hearing to discuss this issue, questions arose about her personal life, particularly her activities with racial integration. Brown received her termination notice over the phone, never receiving written confirmation. She appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, but eventually lost her case. Brown later taught at the Piney Woods School, an African-American junior college in Mississippi for three years. The Ruth W. Brown case was the basis for the 1956 Bette Davis movie, Storm Center. Ruth W. Brown died in 1975.

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Submissions from 2018

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Pamphlet, "Are you a good library board member?", Ruth W. Brown Archive and Public Library Service Division, State of Alabama

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Articles regarding Dr. Willard Goslin from church newsletter

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The Bartlesville "Voter", Bartlesville Voter and Joe Barber

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Article, "Private Censors Ban Magazines", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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Article, "What Censorship Keeps You From Knowing" (Part 2), Collie Small

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Article, "What Censorship Keeps You From Knowing" (Part 1), Collie Small

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Editorial, "Hush-Hush in Bartlesville", Darlene Anderson Essary

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Typewritten copy of article, "Ruth Brown's Dismissal Shocks Former Bartlesville Resident", James W. Henderson

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Article, "Readers' Voice" from Library Journal, Library Journal

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Article, "Freedom's Frightened People", Joseph Stocker

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The News, "Ruth Brown's Dismissal Shocks Former Bartlesville Resident", James W. Henderson

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To the ALA on its 75th Anniversary, Clarence R. Graham

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Article, "Censorship in Bartlesville", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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Short article, "Report on Bartlesville Dispute", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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Article, "Legal Action Taken at Bartlesville, Oklahoma", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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Article, "The Piney Woods Country Life School", J. O. Emmerich

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Typewritten manuscript, "Three Years in a Negro School in Mississippi", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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Testimony by Miss Ruth Brown, Ruth Brown

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"My Own Summation ...", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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Legal document, Ruth W. Brown and Darlene Essary vs. Edwin S. Dunnaway, et al., Ruth W. Brown Archive

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Petition In the District Court of Washington County, Oklahoma, Attorneys for Plaintiff

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Report submitted to The President and Executive Board, Oklahoma Library Assn., The O.L.A Committee on Intellectual Freedom

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Article, "City Wins Court Library Decision", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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Article, "Myriad Issues Obscured by Smoke of Library 'Battle of Bartlesville'", David Miller

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Article, "Library Case in High Court", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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Letter to the editor, undated clipping from the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, N. D. Welty

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Editorial, "You've a Right to Your Opinion", Dallas Morning News

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"Harry's Column" undated clipping from the Bartlesville Record Advertiser, Harry L. Moore

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"Peggy of the Flint Hills" column, October 5, 1979, Zula Bennington Greene

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Article, "Raising Issues" from New York Times, Bosley Crowther

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Article, "Screen: 'Storm Center', New York Times

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Article, "'Storm Center' Course", Daniel Taradash

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Article, "Harry's Column,"July 24, 1953, Harry L. Moore

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Article, "Harry's Column," March 27, 1953, Harry L. Moore

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1953, February 27, "'Friends of Miss Brown' Use Suit Money for Books", Record Advertiser

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1952, March 28, "Out of the Mouths", Harry L. Moore

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1951, October 15, "Oil-Rich Bartlesville in Throes of Fight over Civil Liberties", F. A. Behymer

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Article, "Battle of Bartlesville," March 3, 1951, Max Keefer Gilstrap

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1951, February 11, "Letter to the editor from Anthony Andrews", Anthony Andrews

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1951, January 28, "Letter to the Editor", James C. Adams

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1951, January 22, "Bartlesville condemned on Library Tiff", Tulsa Tribune

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1951, January 22, "State Library Groups Raps Citizens' Committee Action", Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise

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1951, January 20, "Dismissal of Bartlesville Librarian Scored by Board", Jack Heaney

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1951, January 16, "Another Black Eye", John A. Bannigan

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1951, January 15, "Black Eyes and Bartlesville", Snair D. Robert

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1951, Jan 15, "Many Issues Involved in Bartlesville Library Case?", Bob Snair

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1950, Letter to the Editor, "How They Voted", Wright M. Alvah

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1950, November 13, Tulsa Tribune "What goes on in Bartlesville?", Tulsa Tribune

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1950, November 9, "Former City Librarian Denied Reinstatement", Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise

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1950, October 29, "Another Judge Assigned for Library Case", Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise

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1950, October 16, 1950, "Librarian Fights for Job Lost over Criticism of Journals Chosen" (page 3), F. A. Behymer

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1950, October 16, 1950, "Librarian Fights for Job Lost over Criticism of Journals Chosen" (page 2), F. A. Behymer

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1950, October 16, 1950, "Librarian Fights for Job Lost over Criticism of Journals Chosen" (page 1), F. A. Behymer

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1950, October 16, "Librarian Fights for Job Lost over Criticism of Journals Chosen", F. A. Behymer

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Article, "Librarian Fights for Job Lost in Row on Magazines", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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1950, October 16, "Librarian Fights for Job Lost over Criticism of Journals Chosen", F. A. Behymer

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1950, October 15, Tulsa World, "Library Suit Judge Chosen. Pawnee Jurist to Preside Over Bartlesville Reinstatement Plea", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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1950, October 14, "Oil-Rich Bartlesville in Throes Of Fight over Civil Liberties", F. A. Behymer

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1950, October 4, "Library Board Announces New Committee Personnel", Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise

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1950, October 2, "District Judge Disqualifies in City Library Job Lawsuit", Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise

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1950, September 18, Letter to the Editor by Thomas M. Finney, Thomas M. Finney

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1950, September 18, "True Meaning of Americanism", Darlene Anderson Essary

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1950, September 17, "Just Friends Backing Mrs. Brown's Suit", Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

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1950, September 14, "Richard Lloyd Jones", Richard Lloyd Jones

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1950, September 13, "City Will Not Hire Special Counsel in Library Action", Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise

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1950, September 12, "Ex-City Librarian Sues City For Job", Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise

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1950, August 17, "Denver Post Editorial page", Denver Post Editorial Page

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1950, August 12, "Patriotism in Bartlesville"

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1950, August 10, "Letters to the Editor from Susie Keefer Allen", Susie Keefer Allen

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1950, August 4, "Letters to the editor from James C. Adams", James C. Adams

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1950, August 2, Article, "Group Appears Before Board on Dismissal of Miss Brown", Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise

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1950, July 28, "Letters to the Editor," Mrs. F.E. Rice, Mrs. F. E. Rice

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1950, July 26, Article, "City Library Chief Fired Tuesday Nite", Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise

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1950, June 18, Article, "City Absorbs Library Board", Daily Oklahoman

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1950, May 28, Article, "Library Board Makes its Report to Commissioners", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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1950, May 28, "Report on City Library is Made by Citizens Group", Ruth W. Brown Archive

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1950, April 19, Newspaper clipping, "Voting Begins on Policies of Y.W.C.A"

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1950, March 7 Newspaper column of "Library Board Report"

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1951, August 8, Letter from Mary Hays Marable to Miss Vern Hutchison, Mary Hays Marable

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1951, July 31, Letter from Vern Hutchison to Mrs. Mary Hayes Marable, Vern Hutchison

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1951, March 12, Letter from Mrs. F.J.Spies, Jr., Miss Hanna Parry, Mrs. Edith Jones, Mrs. Jean Barker, Mrs. Darlene Essary, John D. Upham, Anthony Andrews, John Widdowson, Robert Manuel, Mrs. Gordon Allen, M.L. Studebaker, Mrs. F.E. Rice, Treasurer, Friends of Miss Brown

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1950, September 18, Letter from M.P. Matuszak to John D. Upham, M.P. Matuszak

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1950, July 25, Minutes of the meeting held at the City Managers office, Ruth Brown

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Letter, August 21, 1950, from The Friends of Miss Brown, to Friends, Friends of Miss Brown