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Michigan State University

Student Activism at MSU Archives & Historical Collections : Archival Collections

Archival Collections

Office of the President. Walter Adams Papers (UA 2.1.13) 

  • Adams’ papers contain administrative subject files, speeches, and correspondence relating to student protests and unrest. 
  • Adams was president of Michigan State University in 1969, following the retirement of long-time president John A. Hannah. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Associated Students of Michigan State University Records (UA 12.1.1) 

Office of the President. Oscar Clute Papers, 1889-1893 (UA 2.1.5) 

  • The Clute papers primarily consists of correspondence. 
  • Clute was president of Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) from 1889 to 1893.  The college faced numerous crises from within as well as without during that time, including student unrest, large scale faculty turnover, and the populist revolt. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

College of Arts and Letters Records (UA 15.9) 

College of Human Medicine Records (UA 15.13) 

Department of Anthropology Records (UA 16.13) 

Lana Dart Papers (UA 17.263) 

  • This collection includes newspaper clippings about the Paul Schiff case and Committee for Student Rights (1965), flyers for student protests (2009), and a working paper, “Black Activism Reappraised: Tactics and Strategies” (circa 1970). 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Faculty Student Affairs Committee Records (UA 

Fraser Family Letters (UA 10.3.441) 

  • The collection consists of photocopies of letters written by William Fraser, Eugene Law and Fred E. Miller to John C. Fraser, his wife Mrs. Eliza M. Fraser or John Fraser (father of William and John C.) The letters describe their life at Michigan Agricultural College (now MSU), including descriptions of the student protests against Professor Samuel Johnson. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Grapevine Journal Records (UA 12.7.3) 

Robert L. Green Papers (UA 17.20) 

  • This collection consists of publications Green authored while a faculty member at the University. These items center for the most part on minority students in college, their admission and various programs utilized by them. Also included is the speech "The University and Society," centering around the unrest in higher education during and around the 1970s and what is to be done about it at a land grant college like Michigan State University. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Thomas H. Greer Papers (UA 17.21) 

  • Included in this collection are materials relating to the student and faculty response to the Vietnam War, including newspaper clippings, speeches, and planning materials for the April 1965 Teach In at MSU. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Ruth Simms Hamilton Papers (UA 17.269) 

  • The Ruth Simms Hamilton papers consist of subject files and research materials on African American issues, including civil rights and affirmative action at MSU and other universities.  The collection includes case studies of MSU conflicts and protests, newspaper clippings, files about other countries, files about university programs, and papers written by Hamilton and others. Also included are files about MSU student organizations which include Akers Black Caucus, Associated Black Students of Sociology, Black Brothers of Emmons, Black Brothers of Shaw, Black Liberation Front, Black Caucus, Black Med Students, Black Pre-Med (WAGANGA), Black Sisters of Rather, Black Student Alliance, Black Students of Engineering, Black United Front, Coalition of Black Athletes, Minority Pre Law, Pan African Students Organization of the Americas, United Blacks of Wonders Hall, and Office of Black Affairs.   
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Office of the President. John A. Hannah Papers (UA 2.1.12) 

  • Of particular interest are subject files related to ROTC incidents, student demonstrations and riots, protests and demonstrations, Students for a Democratic Society, Paul Schiff, James Zarichny, and the MSU Vietnam Project. 
  • Hannah was president from Michigan State (1941-1969) during a time of extensive growth of the University, in both physical size and enrollment.  
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Clarence H. Judson Papers (UA 10.3.126) 

Kamuyu-wa-Kang'ethe Papers (UA 10.3.112) 

  • Kamuyu-wa-Kang'ethe was an international graduate student from Africa at Michigan State University studying anthropology. He refused his master's degree and instead of writing a Masters of Arts thesis, wrote a thesis of protest.  It decries western education, anthropology, and demands acceptance of African institutions as equal to European. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Madison Kuhn Collection (UA 17.107) 

Lansing Magazine Publication, 1979 (UA 28.11) 

Media Communication Records (UA 8.1.1) 

  • The subject files include student protest activities for the years 1968-1971, the Central Intelligence Agency controversy in the 1970s, the May 1989 black student occupation of the Hannah Administration building.   
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Michigan State University Student Strike Files, 1970 (UA 26.1) 

  • The records consist of materials related to student demonstrations and strikes in 1970.  Materials include news clippings, copies of student flyers, and press releases.  There are also notes of damage to buildings, class attendance, and a timeline of events. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Office of the Ombudsperson Records (UA 2.13) 

Office of the President. Robert S. Shaw Papers (UA 2.1.11) 

Special Senate Committee to Investigate Colleges and Universities Report, 1970. (c.00483) 

Sports Information Records (UA 8.1.3) 

Forrest W. Starrett Papers (UA 10.3.77) 

State News Records (UA 12.7.2) 

Don Stevens Papers (UA 1.1.2) 

  • Student activism subjects in this collection include Vietnam War, Civil Rights, ROTC, and MSU’s Vietnam Project. 
  • Don Stevens was a member of the MSU Board of Trustees from 1958 to 1978.  He was active on local, state, and national levels in the areas of education, religion, youth, employment, civil rights, and labor and industrial relations. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

 Vice President for Student Affairs. Student Protest Files (UA 7.0) 

  • The records document the activities of a number of protest groups and organizations.  MSU Students for a Democratic Society, the most prominent protest organization on campus, was active in virtually every area of protest.  Newspaper articles concerning their actions and SDS literature are prevalent throughout the protest files.  Also included is coverage of the SDS national convention which was held at MSU in 1968.  The Committee for Student Rights, another protest group, concerned itself solely with student rights.  Organizations such as the Black Liberation Front and the Black Students Alliance surface in civil rights material mainly concerning racial incidents in residence halls.  Also included in the civil right protests are groups protesting the Chicago Conspiracy trial in 1970.  Other groups include the Committee to Abolish ROTC, United Students, and the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. Publications include protest newspapers such as the “National Guardian, “The Student Mobilizer,” “Logos,” “Swill & Squeal,” and “State News” articles which cover the major events on campus during this period. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Vice President for University Relations Records (UA 8) 

  • The Subject Files (boxes 3039-3040) include information about student demonstrations, campus unrest, and activism.  Specific topics include civil rights, Vietnam War, ROTC, James Zarichny, and Paul Schiff.  The “Special Senate Committee to Investigate Colleges and Universities Report to the Michigan Senate” (a.k.a. the Hubert Report on Campus Unrest) from August 1970 may also be of interest to researchers. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Wesley R. Fishel Papers (UA 17.95) 

Office of the President. Clifton R. Wharton, Jr. Papers (UA 2.1.14) 

  • Of note are subject files related to Demonstrations, and his speech on “Campus Violence and the Indochina War.” 
  • Wharton was president of MSU from 1970 to 1978.  His term of office was often a turbulent one, featuring student demonstrations focusing on the war in Vietnam and Civil Rights. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

William A. Wiltberger Papers (UA 17.283) 

  • William Wiltberger was a visiting lecturer in criminal justice at Michigan State University in the later 1950s.  His collection includes a file of research materials titled “Articles on Student Protests, “Dissent,” and “Subversion”” from 1968 through 1970. 
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

James Zarichny Collection, 1949 (UA 10.3.284) 

  • The collection consists of the document "The Case Against James Zarichny." James Zarichny attended Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) and was placed on disciplinary probation for being involved in the American Youth for Democracy organization. The AYD had applied to be a recognized student organization but was denied. The members of the organization continued to meet for which they were placed on disciplinary probation when this was discovered by the college. Zarichiny was one of the members and as punishment was not allowed to be involved in extra-curricular activities as a student. Later he was found to be in contempt of his probation because he continued to be involved in extra-curricular organizations. One of the organizations was a Communist organization which the college objected to, not because of political party affiliation, but because of Zarichny's involvement in extra-curricular activities. Zarichny contested the decision based on grounds that his civil rights had been violated. The document in the collection outlines the details of the case. 
  • Finding aid to the collection: