Fall 2018 Interns Explore ACLU-MO History

Special Collections is happy to introduce Natalie Hilmer and Jordan Dubin, this semester’s ACLU-MO Archives Interns.


Natalie is working on providing better descriptions for boxes in Series 3 of the ACLU-MO Records, covering the 1940s-early 1980s.  Several of these files relate to violent interactions between police and African American men, including the Mattis v. Schnarr case starting in 1972. Natalie has noted, “the case is regarding the police shooting of the 18 year old son of Dr. Mattis. Mattis (the younger) was shot and killed fleeing the scene of a theft. The main arguments of the case were due process of the law, cruel and unusual punishment, equal protection of the laws (as it applies to suspects of different types of crimes), and that the deadly force police statutes were ‘unconstitutionally vague.'”

Jordan’s work is focused on the earliest years of St. Louis Civil Liberties organizing, and the key figure of Roger N. Baldwin during his time in St. Louis.  Before going on to help found the national ACLU in 1920, Baldwin was a Professor of Sociology here at Washington University (starting in 1906), where his students included noted author Fannie Hurst.

WUSTL undergraduates Natalie Hilmer and Jordan Dubin stand with boxes from the archive.

ACLU of Missouri Archive Interns, Fall 2018. WUSTL undergraduates Natalie Hilmer and Jordan Dubin stand with boxes from the archive. (Photograph by Daniela Velazquez, ACLU-MO)

American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Archive Internship

As part of an ongoing project between the Washington University Libraries’ Julian Edison Department of Special Collections and the ACLU of Missouri, student interns are reviewing the ACLU-MO’s archived records for themes, important historic turning points, and other notable moments in the organization’s nearly-hundred year history. The project began in 2017 and is expected to continue through the 2019-20 school year.

The academic internships are open to students enrolled in any local college or university.  For more information email spec@wumail.wustl.edu or dvelazquez@aclu-mo.org

About the author

Miranda Rectenwald is Curator of Local History, Washington University Special Collections. More info.