The Louisville Defender (founded in 1933) and its editor Frank L. Stanley, Sr. (1906-1974), reflected the aspirations of the black press, its leadership, and their relationship to a variety of issues essential to understanding American life in the twentieth century. Through correspondence, speeches, and photographs, this material depicts the newspaper's constituency, their lives, and, on a larger scene, national figures who have been interviewed and photographed as they visited Louisville, Kentucky.
Stanley's papers and the Defender records were presented to the University of Louisville in 1983 by Stanley's widow, Vivian Clark Stanley, and by his son, Kenneth Stanley, at the suggestion of Priscilla Hancock Cooper, a former Defender reporter then on the staff of the University of Louisville. We are indebted to Ms. Cooper and the Stanley family for their interest in preserving these materials, which reflect an institution, its times, and its leadership. Mrs. Stanley has been kind enough to share memories of her husband in an oral history interview.
We thank the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for providing the major funding for this project and Dr. Nancy Sahli of the Commission for her help in carrying out the provisions of the grant. She was always ready to provide explanations of the Commission's guidelines and answers to various questions. We are indebted as well to Ms. Martha Alexander Bowman, University of Louisville Librarian, and to Mr. John Richards of the Bingham Foundation for additional financial support.
Dr. Dwayne Cox, Associate Archivist, saw the importance of preserving and organizing these papers and worked to obtain the funding for their preservation. He also provided leadership to make this project an ongoing reality. Mr. David Horvath, Curator, Photographic Archives, worked closely with the project staff as they arranged and described the large series of photographs present in the collection. His knowledge of historical photographs was invaluable.
Co-workers on this project, Ms. Mary Walter, Archival Assistant, and Mr. Larry D. Raymond, Chief, Microform Services, have also made major contributions toward completion of the work. Mary approached the task of processing the many photographs with an artist's eye and her usual cheerfulness. Larry spent hours in planning to produce the best possible quality of microfilm. He ran numerous tests to ensure a splendid finished product. The result is a tribute to his attention to these matters.
Colleagues in the University Archives, Dr. William J. Morison, Director, and Ms. Deborah Skaggs, Associate Archivist, have graciously read copy, made helpful suggestions, and provided encouragement.
Janet B. Hodgson, Project Archivist, June 3, 1985