Grant helps to make Peoples Temple photos, recordings accessible to public

Some 5,000 images and 49 audio recordings from the Peoples Temple political activism in the 1970s will be among thousands of photographs and records made available to the public, thanks to a nearly $100,000 grant to the California Historical Society.

The grant, from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, will also help provide public access to ACLU of Northern California records and the papers of activist Mike Miller, the historical society announced today.

Materials from the three archival collections come from hundreds of cartons of records and papers, tens of thousands of photographic negatives, slide and prints, and 49 audio recordings.

An estimated 50,000 photographs in the collections document the social and political history of California in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Jim Jones founded Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, commonly shortened to Peoples Temple, in 1955. This Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of the Nov. 18, 1978 mass murder and suicide of 918 Americans, including 300 children, at Jonestown, the temple's remote settlement in Guyana.

The California Historical Society is the chief repository of records documenting Jonestown and the Peoples Temple.

The Peoples Temple Publication Department Records represent the largest collection of visual materials documenting the predominantly African American utopian movement in the U.S. and Guyana.

The ACLU of Northern California records document the group's groundbreaking legal advocacy work in the 70s and 80s, including cases related to immigration, executive power and LGBT rights that were adjudicated all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The papers of Mike Miller document the activity of the community organizer in San Francisco, throughout California and across the country from the 1940s through the 2000s. Topics include the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the anti-urban renewal struggles of the 60s and 70s.

Some of the photographs and materials can be viewed at https://hpastrategiccommunications.app.box.com/s/gpjfgilim7qmiyfv6wst7pig1lz6kxsx

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