A Guide to the Frank R. Parker Papers 1963-1997 Parker, Frank R. Papers, 1963-1997 009

A Guide to the Frank R. Parker Papers 1963-1997

A Collection in
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives
Collection Number 009


Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives, Washington and Lee University

Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives
Washington and Lee University
School of Law
Lexington, Virginia 24450-0303
Phone: (540) 458-8969
Email: powell@wlu.edu
URL: http://law.wlu.edu/library/powell/

© 2001 By Washington and Lee University

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives Staff

Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives, School of Law, Washington and Lee University
Collection number
Frank R. Parker Papers 1963-1997
Physical Characteristics
47 cu. ft.

Administrative Information


There are no restrictions on access.

Preferred Citation

Frank R. Parker Papers 1963-1997, Ms 009, Lewis F. Powell Jr. Archives, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA

Biographical/Historical Information

Frank Ruff Parker III was born on May 11, 1940 in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania to Marjorie LeClair Parker and Frank R. Parker, Jr. He attended public schools in Steubenville, Ohio, and received his B.A. from Oberlin College in Ohio. After studies at Oxford University in England, Parker received an Erwin N. Griswold Scholarship to Harvard Law School, where he obtained his L.L.B. degree in 1966. Married three times, to Virginia Foster Durr, Carolyn Parker, and Ann Burlock Lawver, Parker had four children: Barbara Parker Golden, Stephanie Parker Weaver, Kevin Parker, and Ian Parker.

He began his legal career as a staff attorney in the Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in Washington from 1966-1968. In 1968, Parker moved to Jackson, Mississippi, to work for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He became chief Counsel of the Jackson office in 1976, where he litigated dozens of voting rights, public employment, and segregation cases. This work included the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Connor v. Finch.

In 1981, Parker moved to Washington to direct the Lawyers' Committee's Voting Rights Project, where he helped secure from Congress a 25-year extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. During his 12 years as Director of the Voting Rights Project, he launched a program to enforce the guarantees of the Voting Rights Act on a nationwide level through litigation and public education, and was a leader in the five- year struggle to enact the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. In 1990, he authored an award-winning book on the impact of the Voting Rights Act in Mississippi, Black Votes Count: Political Empowerment in Mississippi After 1965. He co-founded the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He also wrote eight book chapters, seven law review articles, and numerous case notes, conference reports, and articles.

In 1993, Parker accepted a position at the District of Columbia School of Law, where he taught from 1993-1995. He was a visiting professor at American University Washington College of Law in 1995-1996, and Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1996-1997. At the time of his death on July 10, 1997, Parker had accepted an appointment as a visiting law professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Scope and Content Information

Biographical materials include correspondence, resumes, photos, and memorabilia. Obituaries and materials from the memorial service in Parker's honor at the U.S. Department of Justice are also here. Personal papers include correspondence and notebooks from Parker' s student days at Oxford, England. Audio and video recordings are mostly interviews given by or conducted by Parker on the subject of votings rights. Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law papers document Parker's work for the Committee's voting rights project at both its Mississippi and Washington, D.C. offices. Included are correspondence subject files, and case files. Redistricting in Lee County Mississippi is heavily documented. Writings include printed versions of much of Parker' s writing from throughout his career; research materials for Black Votes Count; research materials and a typescript for the unpublished book For the Common Good: The Case for Affirmative Action. The teaching papers include subject files and class materials from Parker' s years of teaching law at the District of Columbia School of Law, American University' s Washington College of Law, and Washington and Lee University School of Law.


Only rough sorting of this collection has been accomplished. Materials are generally not arranged within the potential series described in the scope and content note.

Contents List

Biographical Materials 1963-1997
Box 1
1 cu. ft.
Personal Papers 1963-1997
Box 2
.5 cu. ft.
Audio & Video Recordings 1986-1994
Box 3
.5 cu. ft.
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
2.5 cu.ft.
  • Box 4-6
    Mississippi Office 1963-1976
  • Washington Office 1991-1992
    • Box 7
      Correspondence & Subject Files
      1 cu. ft.
    • Box 8
      Subject Files re Mississippi Desegregation
      1 cu. ft.
    • Box 9
      Unorganized Papers
      .5 cu. ft.
    • Box 10
      Electronic Records ("floppy discs")
      .5 cu. ft.
    • Box 11-13
      Subject and case files 1985-1993
      3 cu. ft.
    • Lee County, Mississippi
      • Box 14
        Depostions 1993
        1 cu. ft.
      • Box 15
        Depostitions, Pleadings, & General Records 1992-1993
        1 cu. ft.
      • Box 16
        Correspondence, Memoranda & Discovery 1992-1993
        1 cu. ft.
      • Box 17
        Pleadings & General Records 1994
        .5 cu. ft.
      • Box 18
        Notes and General Records 1993-1994
        .5 cu. ft.
    • Box 19
      "Near Print" Committee Materials 1981-1991
      1 cu. ft.
Joint Center for Political Action 1995-1996
Box 20
1 cu. ft.
  • Box 21-23
    General 1964-1994
    3 cu. ft.
  • Black Votes Count
    • Box 24
      Research Materials 1964-1968
      1 cu. ftl
    • Box 25
      Subject Files 1990
      1 cu. ft.
  • Box 26
    Shaw v. Reno& Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases(Hays) 1994
    1.5 cu. ft.
  • Box 27-28
    Affirmative Action ( For the Common Good) 1992-1996
    2 cu. ft.
Teaching (subject files and class materials)
  • Box 29-36
    District of Columbia School of Law 1993-1995
    7 cu. ft.
  • Box 37-42
    American University Washington College of Law 1993-1995
    5.5 cu. ft.
  • Box 43-45
    Washington and Lee University School of Law 1996-1997
    2.5 cu. ft.
Printed Materials
  • Box 46-52
    United States Court of Appeals Reports & Briefs 1969-1992
    5.5 cu. ft.
  • Box 53-56
    United States Supreme Court Reports and Briefs 1969-1990
    2 cu. ft.