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Brown v. Board of Education: A 50th Anniversary Exhibit

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the Library has created two new exhibits: this online exhibit and a physical exhibit in the Library.

Online, we have combined striking images from the past 50 years with a collection of links to other Web sites. Select a decade from the timeline above to explore Brown and its consequences.

The physical exhibit is housed in the display cases in the Dolliver Reading Room on the fourth floor of the Library. We have arrayed books, articles, and photographs along a timeline annotated with significant judicial decisions in the civil rights movement. The exhibit draws from both national and local events, and uses many non-legal materials to provide context for important legal landmarks.

Brown v. Board of Education overruled the principle of “separate but equal” and ordered the desegregation of the nation’s schools with “all deliberate speed.” Brown also signaled the beginning of the modern civil rights movement. Our exhibits explore this momentous history very briefly: if you are interested in further research, relevant books in the Library’s collection have been placed on open reserve.

Please send questions or comments about these exhibits to the Law Library at

Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary

This photograph, taken by Bradley Smith, was part of a pamphlet entitled “How about a decent school for me?” published by the NAACP, dealing with desegregation of Southern schools. Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-USZ62-122614]

Test your knowledge, play the Brown games.

The Library would like to thank:

  • Joshua Curry
  • Museum of History and Industry
  • Paul Rockwell
  • Seattle Post Intelligencer
  • Seattle School District Archives
  • University of Michigan Photo Services