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Sid Simon Photographs

Identifier: SCA-0063

Scope and Content Note

The photographs document a January/February 1965 trip by Queens College students to Mississippi to help rebuild churches that were burned down during Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964. The group was stationed in Tougaloo, twelve miles north of Jackson. The collection consists solely of photographs.


  • 1965



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


The Sid Simon Collection is physically owned by 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.

Historical Note

Mississippi in 1965 was a dangerous place for African American communities. A common target of hate crimes were community churches, which were often burned down by the Ku Klux Klan. Following up on the civil rights activism of Queens College students during the 1964 Mississippi Freedom summer, Professor Sidney Simon helped coordinate two student trips to Mississippi to help in church rebuilding efforts. The projects were developed by the Committee of Concern, a group of Mississippi religious leaders. The local communities did not have enough money to hire people for reconstruction, instead working on the buildings themselves on weekends and in free hours. Volunteer help was much needed and appreciated.

Two trips were organized, the first for two weeks in January/February 1965, and the second during the Easter Recess. Sid Simon was the faculty advisor for the first trip, which created the photographic documentation that comprises this collection. Professor Steve Zeigfinger served as the faculty advisor for the second trip. Though there were faculty advisors, students organized and funded the trip themselves. A transport car was donated to them by the Woodcrest Commune in Rifton, NY.

The first trip consisted of six students: Jon Alexander, Nick (“Gus”) Pereos, Walt Jarsky, Art Gatti, Robert Masters, and Bob Madden. They worked primarily in Tougaloo and Jackson, Mississippi. The second trip’s members were Bob Madden again, Marc Helman, Lewis Fein, Ronny Pollack, and Bob Morrissey. This group worked on churches around Meridian, Mississippi.


0.5 Linear Feet (One box with 4 sleeves of photos)

Language of Materials



Sid Simon was the Queens College professor and faculty advisor for the student groups who wanted to volunteer in civil rights initiatives in the South. In 1965, Simon traveled twice to Mississippi to help rebuild churches that were burned down by the Ku Klux Klan. The first group traveled in February; the second during Easter recess. The photos in this collection depict students participating in the February construction projects, as well as scenes of the region in which the volunteers worked.

Arrangement Note

The Sid Simon Collection is comprised of three series: Series I: Profiles of Sid Simon, Queens College volunteers and other people Series II: Rebuilding Churches Series III: Scenes of local area


Donated by Sid Simon in 2013.


Sid Simon Papers
Thomas Cleary
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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