The Archive for Human Rights at the Special Collections Library has signed an agreement with Patricia (Patt) Murphy Derian to be the repository for her papers, which document her long career in human rights. Derian was a civil rights activist in Mississippi prior to being chosen by President Jimmy Carter to head the newly created Bureau for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. In 1977 she became the nation’s first Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Affairs; she held the position until 1981.
The collection, which covers roughly the period from 1976 to 2007, includes correspondence, news clippings, reports, memos, and personal notes organized in three categories that cover Derian’s tenure in the Carter administration, human rights (primarily related to organizations), and countries. The countries category, comprising eight of the fifteen boxes of Derian’s papers, includes subseries pertaining to Argentina, Korea, Nicaragua, Vietnam Paraguay, and El Salvador. According to Human Rights Archivist Patrick Stawski, “The Derian papers are a perfect addition to the Archive for Human Rights’ Latin American holdings, complementing such collections as the Marshall T. Meyer Papers and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) records.”