Graphic representation of news articles including “book censorship.”


Censorship and challenges happen in every state and city.  Finding your case requires research. Don’t settle on the first case you find, keep looking until you find the best case.

The censored or challenged material should be a book. If your group wants to do another type of media you will need to make a compelling case and win approval.

No two groups can use the same book. If two groups select the same book, they need to make a case that they will be looking at very different aspects of it, and win approval.

The project must include some primary source materials. These can include oral history interviews, letters, challenge forms, transcripts of hearings, or news reports made at the time.


Work with local archivists and librarians to identify potential cases for your website. You may need to be creative in your definition of “local,” depending on where you live. Censorship happens in every state, though it is more prevalent in some areas.

  • ALA List of Banned and Challenged Books
    • An excellent resource for recent challenges in school districts. Contains lists of challenges from 2005-2015.
    • Search local papers for coverage of censorship issues.
  • Google Books
    • Search for instances of censorship in your state, town, region.
  • Catholic Church Index of Proscribed Books (1504-1966)
  • Archive Grid can help you find primary source materials, especially those near you. You might find the records of a banned author, a publishing house, or of a group seeking to ban or overturn bans on censored books.
  • You might check with a local ACLU office to get information on censorship attempts in your locale. They may also be able to help you identify people to interview.

Once you have selected the case that you want to work on, begin drafting the contract.