History Day - Civil Rights & Human Rights

Contact Us

Government Information
Reference Services


Civil Rights & Human Rights - History Day

This guide is for History Day resources. It is just some examples to highlight the numerous resources we have. See also specific groups under Demographic Groups page in the MAIN History Day Research guide.


While Civil Rights and Human Rights are not the same, they are grouped together here to condense organization.

The United Nations defines Human Rights as: "Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more.  Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination."

The Law Information Institute (LII) explains:

 "A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. 
Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of the individual's membership in a particular group or class. Various jurisdictions have enacted statutes to prevent discrimination based on a person's race, sex, religion, age, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin, and in some instances sexual orientation.


Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

People often confuse civil rights and civil liberties. Civil rights refer to legal provisions that stem from notions of equality. Civil rights are not in the Bill of Rights; they deal with legal protections. For example, the right to vote is a civil right. A civil liberty, on the other hand, refers to personal freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights. For example, the First Amendment's right to free speech is a civil liberty."

See https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/civil_rights


Books, Documents, etc

Articles & Databases

These are some suggested databases - many require our library card for remote access.

HeinOnline has several collections - scroll through the main menu page and click on items such as:

  • Brennan Center for Justice Publications at NYU School of Law
    Civil Rights and Social Justice
    Criminal Justice & Criminology
    History of Capital Punishment
    Immigration Law & Policy in the U.S.
    Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: History, Culture & Law
    LGBTQ+ Rights
    Open Society Justice Initiative
    Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law
    Women and the Law (Peggy)


Other Institutions



Connecticut State Library | 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106 | 860-757-6500 * Toll-free 866-886-4478
Disclaimers & Permissions | Privacy Policy | State of Connecticut Home Page

The State of Connecticut is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and strongly encourages the applications of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.