Skip to main content

Charles S. Scott papers

Call Number: RH MS 1145


The Charles S. Scott Papers are those of a prominent native Topeka, Kansas lawyer who focused on civil rights and was one of the plaintiff's lawyers in the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas case.


  • Creation: 1918 - 1989


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Charles S. Scott, Sr. (1921-1989)

Charles Sheldon Scott was born 15 April 1921 in Topeka, Kansas to Elisha and Esther (Van Dyne) Scott. Scott attended the Topeka public schools and graduated from Topeka High School. He served with the 2nd Cavalry Division and the Red Ball Express Transportation Unit of the United States Army during World War II.

After returning to Kansas, Scott graduated from Washburn University with a Bachelor of Law degree in 1948 and a Juris Doctorate in 1970. After earning his Bachelor's degree, Scott joined his father's law firm. He worked for integration of elementary schools in South Park, Johnson County, Kansas and for access to Topeka theatres, restaurants, and pools.

In 1954, Scott was one of the attorneys appearing for the plaintiffs in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas case. During the mid-1960s, Scott worked as a voluntary lawyer with the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee traveling to Mississippi to aid civil rights workers; he also served as a national legal counsel for the Congress of Racial Equality (Core). Scott additionally served as a staff attorney and hearing examiner for the Kansas Civil Rights Commission.

Beyond practicing the law, Scott taught part time at both the University of Kansas (from 1970-1971 in the Political Science Department) and Kansas State University (in 1971 in the Community and Urban Planning Department). Scott was highly active in multiple organizations. He was a longtime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serving for many years as chair of the Topeka Branch's Legal Redress Committee; he was also founder and chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the Black Community. Scott was an active member of many other organizations, including Asbury Mt. Olive United Methodist Church, the Elks (Lodge No. 1441), and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Charles S. Scott married Louise Crawford on 7 February 1947. The couple had two children, Charles Jr. and Debra Louise. Charles S. Scott, Sr. died March 3, 1989.


8.75 Linear Feet (10 boxes + 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Charles S. Scott Papers date from 1918 to 1989 and are arranged in four series: Career Papers, Organizations, Personal Papers, and Photographs. Folder arrangement in each series and subseries is alphabetical by topic. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Ks information can be found in all three series. Court documents and other information related to the case are located in Career Papers. Within Organizations are items related to the group Friends of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Inc. Items within Personal Papers relate to speaking engagements and other anniversary-related items. Due to fragility and/or stability, some items are photocopies of the original documents. Many retained items still display some signs of damage and should be handled with care. Photographs from the collection are located at RH MS-P 1145. Oversize materials are located at RH MS Q294 and have been described at the end of each series or sub-series with which items are associated.

Physical Location

RH MS 1145

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1145

Physical Location

RH MS Q294

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Charles S. Scott, 1988; Debra L. Scott, 1991.

Processing Information

Previously shelved at RH MS 494.

Guide to the Charles S. Scott Collection
Charles S. Scott papers
Finding aid prepared by mbw, 2008. Finding aid encoded by mbw, 2008. Finding aid revised by skt, 2010; eear, 2015; mwh, 2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Charles S. Scott papers, RH MS 1145, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States