Collection contains bound manuscript diaries kept by Elgin W. Mellown (1904-1975), while superintendent of public schools in Sumter Co., Alabama during the 1940s-1960s, and other materials which shed light on conditions in Alabama schools during that period. The diaries are sometimes difficult to interpret: on occasion Mellown used an entry for organizing his thoughts on a subject, but most of the time entries consist of briefly jotted reminders and sometimes only appointments. Names are often rendered as abbreviations. Collection also contains audio tapes featuring interviews with school staff and citizens, both black and white. There are also slides related to Mellown's work. Original audio recordings are closed to use; listening copies must be made before contents can be accessed.