The FBI and other law enforcement agencies were frequently involved in the surveillance of organizations and individuals associated with the civil rights movement. While this work was sometimes done over the course of conducting criminal investigations of civil rights figures, law enforcement agencies also worked with many people in the movement to protect them from potential threats.
Engaging in interviews, undercover work, and wire-tapping, these law enforcement agents created thousands of pages of reports, transcripts, and correspondence that have since been released under the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA). These resulting collections provide detailed accounts of what was happening in the movement and how law enforcement perceived their actions and responded.
In addition to being available in the library, nearly all of these collections are available in their entirety at the FBI's Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room.