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Michigan State University

The American Radicalism Collection: An Overview: Home


Welcome! This guide is designed to provide an introductory overview to the American Radicalism Collection at the MSU Libraries Special Collections. Here you will find a brief description of the collection, highlights of key sub-collections, and complementary materials in both Special Collections and the rest of the MSU Libraries.

About the Radicalism Collection

The American Radicalism Collection documents the history of radical groups in the United States from the late 19th century to the present. It contains roughly 35,000 items, including books, posters, periodicals, pamphlets, and other ephemeral material. This collection includes material from both left-wing and right-wing radical groups and covers a wide range of political, economic, and social ideologies. 

This collection is strongest in its holdings from the American Left in the 20th century, most notably communist movements, labor history, and student anti-war protests of the 1960s. We also have a continually growing collection of material documenting local radical and activist movements in the Greater Lansing area, including the East Lansing Food Co-Op, Peace Education Center, Lansing Area Human Rights, and more. However, over the years the collection also has grown to include significant holdings from the radical right, including material on white nationalism, neo-Nazi organizations, the KKK, and the Christian Right. Our coverage of both left-wing and right-wing radical groups highlights the incredible diversity of radical thought and action that has shaped political, economic, and social landscapes over the course of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. 

More information on the library's collection development policy for radical materials is available in the Radicalism Collection Development Policy statement.

Michigan State University