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Claudette Colvin: Pioneer in Bus Desegregation

Claudette Colvin, age 15 (right) accompanied by one of the newspaper headlines detailing her arrest.

Claudette Colvin, age 15 (right) alongside one of the newspaper headlines detailing her arrest.  Photo credit: The Clarion-Ledger. 


Getting Started

Begin your research by brainstorming keywords - the words and phrases you’ll use to search for books, articles, websites, government documents, and other resources. These may include names of people and places or historical concepts like eras and movements. A librarian can suggest “subject headings” to find the most relevant resources.

Example Keywords & Catalog Subject Headings

Claudette Colvin
Bus Segregation
Jim Crow
African Americans
Civil Rights
Racial Integration

Genealogy, African American and Western History Resources

The Western History & Genealogy department focuses on Colorado and the West. These materials do not check out, but are available to view on Floor 5 of the Central Library.

The Blair Caldwell African American Research Library archives and reference collection contain primary and secondary source materials about African Americans who helped shape the West. These materials do not check out, but are available to view at the Blair Caldwell library. Email askblaircaldwell@denverlibrary.org or call 720-865-2401 for more information.

Database/Online Resources

Library databases are online collections of information, organized for research. Databases contain articles, eBooks, images, maps, primary sources and more. If you don’t have a library card, register online for immediate access to these resources.The following recommended databases are available on our Research and Teen Social Studies pages.

Internet Sources

Before using information you find on the internet for assignments and research, it is important to establish that the information comes from a reliable and appropriate source. The following websites, from government, academic and nonprofit organizations, have been evaluated for authority, accuracy, content and currency.

Provided by the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, this page links to Claudette Colvin's original arrest record from March 2, 1955. (Primary source.)
A compilation of primary source documents related to the arrest and subsequent court case involving Claudette Colvin and other pioneers of the civil rights movement. Provided by the National Archives. (Primary source.)
Claudette Colvin speaks about her life s a pioneer of civil rights and desegregation at the 2010 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Provided by the Library of Congress.
The Library of Congress maintains several research guides on important topics in history. This civil rights research guide provides links to ancillary topical pages with resources like historical images of African American life and culture, slavery, and Brown v. Board of Education. Provided by the Library of Congress.

Contact the Reference Services department for help with your research project