The Center for the Study of Constitutional Rights was established in 1981 as part of the Project for the Study of Human Rights at George Mason University. The Center examined the formation of the Bill of Rights and the ways that landmark document was influenced by George Mason of Gunston Hall. It also coordinated an annual lecture series known as “The Legacy of George Mason,” and published these lectures through the George Mason University Press. The lectures focused largely on the histories of states and countries that established bills of rights as well as the effects of the First Amendment.
Over the summer I had the opportunity to process records from the Center for the Study of Constitutional Rights. These records date back from the time the Center was established in 1981 all the way to 1992. Material in this collection includes videotapes from “The Legacy of George Mason” lecture series, photographs, address lists, audience survey forms, bibliography of human rights, organizational bill of rights, documents on advisory committees as well as a number of associations and institutional societies. It also contains records pertaining to correspondence, grants proposals, budgets, and conferences, among other things.
While processing this collection I came across a folder containing hand drawn portraits of Supreme Court Justices Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter from 1982. Both these portraits were done by Oscar Berger and were provided to the Center for the Study of Constitutional Rights by The National Portrait Gallery.
In addition to the above portraits I came across this photo, given to the Center by the Library of Congress, that is visually appealing and captures a piece of history.
These are photos taken during the Center’s “Legacy of George Mason” lecture series in 1982 and 1983.
*Ms. Page is an archival student assistant at Special Collections & Archives and working towards her MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.