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Paul I. Phillips reference collection

Identifier: RHC-19

Collection Description

The collection includes biographical information, copies of speech notes and testimony, writings, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles from 1947-1980 about blacks in America.


  • 1947-1980


Access to Materials

Collection is open for research use. Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.

Publication Rights

For information on copyright or permissions for this collection, contact Grand Valley State University Special Collections.


Paul Phillips was a prominent African American community service leader and was the first African-American to hold elected office in Grand Rapids. Phillips came to Grand Rapids in 1946 to work for the Borough Community Association. He worked to affiliate the organization with the Grand Rapids Urban League in 1947 and served as Director of the League from 1947-1976. Phillips received an honorary degree from Grand Valley in 1972 and served as a member of the Grand Valley Board of Control from May 1976 until his death later that year.


1.5 Linear feet (2 boxes)

Source of Acquisition

Acquired from Ethel Phillips in 1982.

Related Material

Paul I. Phillips papers at the Grand Rapids Public Library #006.
Paul I. Phillips reference collection, RHC-19
Special Collections & University Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States