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Robert Masters Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SCA-0058

Scope and Content Note

The Robert Masters collection is comprised of letters, printed material, photographs, and artifacts that document his experiences as a volunteer working for racial equality in Mississippi in the mid-1960s. As a volunteer during the Mississippi Summer Project (Freedom Summer) in 1964, he canvassed door-to-door in Greenwood, Mississippi, soliciting support for the nascent Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. In 1965, as president of Queens College’s Mississippi Freedom Project, he returned to the state for a 12-day church rebuilding project in Tougaloo. The collection includes letters in which Masters discusses the importance of the Freedom Summer; printed material including newspaper interviews with Masters and news stories relating to the civil rights struggle in Mississippi; color photographs; an automobile license plate; and a “Freedom Now” sweatshirt that was used for fundraising.


  • 1963-1967
  • Majority of material found in 1964 - 1964



Collection is open for research. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.

Conditions Governing Use

The Robert Masters Collection is the property of the Queens College Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.

Biographical Note

Robert Masters was born in 1944 and grew up in Long Island. He enrolled at Queens College in 1963, and graduated with a degree in psychology in 1966. At age 20 he spent seven weeks in Greenwood, Mississippi as a volunteer in the Freedom Summer of 1964. As a volunteer he canvassed door-to-door on behalf of the new Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), enlisting support among the African American community for the party’s challenge to the established, all white-delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. During his time in Greenwood, Masters was arrested twice and spent time in jail for his organizing activities. After graduation, Masters joined the Peace Corps, working in West Africa from 1966-1970. He went on to study law and obtained his JD from NYU Law School in 1973. Currently Masters serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Acadia Realty Trust in White Plains, NY


3 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Robert Masters graduated from Queens College in 1966; at age 20 he spent seven weeks in Greenwood, Mississippi as a volunteer in the Freedom Summer of 1964. The collection includes newspaper and magazine articles, color snapshots, letters in which Masters describes his work in Greenwood, and artifacts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Robert Masters, 2010

Related Materials

The following Queens College collections include more records from the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project:

Barbara (Jones) Omolade Papers

George Albertz Papers

Mark Levy Papers

Susan Nichols Papers

Johnnie Mae Walker Letter to Anne Koeppicus



Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Special Collections and Archives Repository

Queens College Library, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us