Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Gay J. McDougall South Africa and Namibia Papers, 1932-2006, bulk 1980-1994

Summary Information

Abstract

The Gay J. McDougall Papers document the South African anti-apartheid movement in the 1960s through the 1990s. The records primarily include correspondence, writings and speeches, administrative records, court documents and case files, and newspaper clippings related to human rights, anti-apartheid activism, political prisoners, the 1989 Namibian election and the 1994 South African election. The collection documents the work of McDougall; the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Southern Africa Project, a non-governmental organization (NGO); and the Commission for Independence in Namibia.

At a Glance

Call No.: HR#0016
Bib ID 10169543 View CLIO record
Creator(s) McDougall, Gay J ; Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law ; South Africa. Independent Electoral Commission
Title Gay J. McDougall South Africa and Namibia Papers, 1932-2006, bulk 1980-1994
Physical Description 268 linear feet (268 linear feet)
Language(s) Material is in English and Afrikaans.
Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Some files containing personally identifiable information are restricted. See the finding aid for more information.

Box 24 is missing.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in three series: Series I: Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Southern Africa Project, 1932-2006 Subseries I.1: Administrative, 1969-2006; Subseries I.2: Namibia, 1967-1994; Subseries I.3: Case Files, 1967-1994; Subseries I.4: Chronological Files/Correspondence Files, 1973-1994; Subseries I.5: Lawyers Against Apartheid, 1984-1986; Subseries I.6: Subject Files, 1932-1994; Subseries I.7: South Africa Papers, 1980-1994; Subseries I.8: Elections, 1968-1994; Subseries I.9: Steve Biko, 1969-1988; Subseries I.10: Testimonies and Papers, 1986-1994; Subseries I.11: Trial observations, 1974-1985; Series II: Independent Electoral Commission, 1993-1994; Series III: Writings and Later Work, 1981-2003

Description

Summary

The Gay J. McDougall Papers document the South African anti-apartheid movement in the 1960s through the 1990s. The records primarily include correspondence, writings and speeches, administrative records, court documents and case files, and newspaper clippings related to human rights, anti-apartheid activism, political prisoners, the 1989 Namibian election and the 1994 South African election. The collection documents the work of McDougall, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Southern Africa Project, a non-governmental organization (NGO) and the Commission for Independence in Namibia.

  • Series I: Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Southern Africa Project,

    This series is the bulk of the collection and is divided into ten subseries. The materials in this series document the Southern Africa Project, which Gay McDougall directed. The materials offer extensive documentation of the Lawyers Committee's anti-apartheid work in South Africa and its relationship to anti-apartheid movements in the United States.

  • Series II: Independent Electoral Commission

    This series documents the work of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in overseeing the 1994 election in South Africa. The IEC was a statutory body consisting of 11 South Africans and 5 others. Gay McDougall served on the Commission as the only United States representative. Materials relating to the work of the communications, logistics, administration and monitoring units are included. The IEC met frequently, sometimes daily, and therefore the agendas, minutes, and accompanying documents from the meeting (for example, reports) provide a chronological look at the IEC's day to day work leading up to the election. There are also sample ballots and posters.

  • Series III: Writings and Later Works

    This series represents McDougall's work following her time with the Southern Africa Project and the Independent Electoral Commission. Included are topical files and published writings by McDougall.

General Note

Processing of this collection was made possible through the generous support of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Some files containing personally identifiable information are restricted. See the finding aid for more information.

Box 24 is missing.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Gay J. McDougall Papers; Box and Folder; Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Accrual

Accruals are expected

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Susan M. Kline 2013-2014.

Finding Aid written by Susan M. Kline 2014.

Revision Description

2014-09-17 xml document instance created by Susan M. Kline.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Anti-apartheid movements Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Apartheid -- South Africa Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Election monitoring Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Human rights Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Human rights advocacy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Human rights workers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lawyers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lawyers -- Civil rights Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Non-governmental organizations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Political prisoners Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Southern Africa Project (Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note and History

Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1947, Gay J. McDougall is a lawyer and activist who worked to end apartheid in both South Africa and Namibia.

McDougall graduated from the Yale Law School and worked in private practice at a corporate law firm in New York City before becoming the director of the Southern Africa Project at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in 1980. At the Lawyers Committee, McDougall, working with lawyers and activists from around the world, oversaw a variety of campaigns to advance the cause of human rights.

Additionally, McDougall founded the Commission on Independence for Namibia in 1989; the group monitored the United Nations led elections in Namibia. Concerning itself with the fairness of the election, it successfully worked to change legislation related to election laws.

McDougall left the Lawyers Committee after she was appointed to serve as a member of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa, based in Johannesburg. She was the only American member of the IEC, which oversaw and administered the 1994 election in South Africa, which led to the election of Nelson Mandela.

Following the 1994 election, McDougall remained active in the human rights movement. She served as the Executive Director of the NGO, Global Rights until 2006. The United Nations Human Rights Council appointed her their first Independent Expert on Minority issues, a role she held from 2005 to 2011. She received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1999. She has also served as a board member for Africare, CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere), and the Global Fund for Women.

The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization was established in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to promote justice through the law in response to the civil rights movement in the United States. The Southern African Project emerged in 1967 and continued until 1994.