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Harry G. Lefever papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS1011

Scope and Content

The Harry G. Lefever papers consist primarily of records Mr. Lefever kept on neighborhoods and community organizations in Atlanta, Georgia. The papers reflect his involvement in community organizing; race relations and urban renewal; Atlanta inner-city neighborhoods and associations; and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. These files contain correspondence; articles from books, magazines, and newspapers; reports; and student papers on the relationship between the community associations and local government. There is a file on the "Atlanta Wall" scandal of 1962-1963, which includes copies of photographs, articles, and correspondence Mr. Lefever created and collected during his research. Lastly, there are eleven bound reports on neighborhood profiles and renewal plans. Of these reports, ten were created by the Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta in preparation for the 1996 Olympic Games. The other report outlines the history of ten neighborhood associations in the Neighborhood Planning Unit T.


  • 1966-2009, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Harry Groff Lefever, born December 7, 1931, attended Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Virginia where he earned an undergraduate degree in 1955. Lefever earned his Master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1962 and his Doctorate of Philosphy from Emory University in 1971. After teaching at Eastern Mennonite College for three years, he joined the Sociology Department at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1966. Lefever served as the department chair from 1975-1992. In 2003, he retired from teaching and was named Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Spelman College. He received several awards while teaching at Spelman, including the Presidential Award for Scholarly Achievement, the United Negro College Fund Distinguished Scholar Award, and the Fannie Lou Hamer Achievement Award. Lefever wrote several books related to race relations and the Civil Rights Movement, notably Undaunted by the Fight: Spelman College & the Civil Rights Movement 1957-1967 (2005) and Sacred Places: A Guide to Civil Rights Sites in Atlanta, Georgia (2008). Lefever's wife, Esther, was a district councilwoman for the Sixth District of Atlanta.


2.5 linear ft. (6 document cases)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2009

Related Archival Materials

Harry G. Lefever photographs, VIS 203, James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Description Control

This collection processed in 2012

Harry G. Lefever papers
Paul Crater
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305