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Michigan State University

Vietnam and the MSU Connection: Resources in Special Collections: Archival collections


From 1955 to 1962, Michigan State University "played an active role in the American-led effort to build a stable non-communist state in the Republic of Vietnam (better known as South Vietnam)." (1)

American military forces were committed to assist South Vietnam in the conflict with its northern neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. By 1967, anti-war and anti-draft protests were widespread in the United States, including the MSU campus.

This resource guide identifies primary sources in Special Collections at the Main Library. Our holdings include material on MSU's involvement in Vietnam and campus activism against the war. Related sources describing other anti-war activism, especially in Michigan, are included.

This page covers archival collections in Special Collections. The MSU University Archives and Historical Collections also hold archival material. See the MSU Vietnam Group Archive and this guide to resources on student activism in the University Archives.

(1) MSU Vietnam Group Archive websit

Collection highlights

Cover of Ramparts magazine September 1966 with Madame NhuFlyer from vertical file on MSU Student Strike, May 1970February 1971 ad in Playboy for Vietnam Veterans Against the WarFlyer from vertical file on MSU Student Strike, May 1970Poster for Conspiracy Stomp benefit concern to aid "Chicago Seven" protestersFlyer from vertical file on MSU Student Strike, May 1970Interior spread from Mayday Scrapbook showing Vietnam War protest posters

What is an archival collection?

An archival collection is a set of papers generated by a person or organization over some period of time.

  • An individual's personal papers might include journals, photo albums, letters and postcards.
  • An individual's professional papers might include drafts of published writing; correspondence with colleagues, speeches given, awards received.
  • The papers of a non-profit organization might include past issues of its newsletter, fundraising letters, meeting summaries for the board of directors and annual reports.

An archival collection can range from a few folders of material to hundreds of boxes.

A finding aid is the document describing the contents of an archival collection -- usually not every document, but folder by folder.

Search Special Collections finding aids. This interface works best if you type AND between each keyword in your search.

How to request archival collections

Our archival collections are stored off-site. Please request material three days before your visit.

We keep the retrieved material on hold for you for four weeks. We'll be glad to keep it on hold longer if you let us know.

1) Look at the finding aid to determine what boxes you need. 

2) Go to the library catalog search box on the Special Collections page.

3) Search for the collection title listed at the top of the finding aid.

4) Use the Request It! button to generate a request for the material. 

Major archival collections

This section identifies archival collections where most or all of the material is relevant to Vietnam War protests at MSU or in Michigan.

East Lansing Peace Education Center Archives

  • Significant material under the headings U.S. Military; Peace and justice: Asia; and Michigan State University.

Enrique 'Henry' Martinez Papers

  • Tomas V. Martinez was the first soldier from Bay County MI to be killed in action in Vietnam. Archival material was collected by his brother Enrique.

Kenneth Heineman Collection on the Anti-Vietnam War Movement at Michigan State University

  • Correspondence, newsletters, and interviews collected by Kenneth Heineman during research on the Vietnam War protest movement at MSU.

Lansing Area Peace Council Papers

  • Vietnam War protest movement materials created by and collected by the Lansing Area Peace Council.

Michigan State University Student Activism Collection

  • Documents, flyers, and newspaper clippings concerning MSU student activism against the Vietnam War.

Mike Price Red Squad Files

  • Documents outlining the FBI and Michigan State Police surveillance of a Michigan-based anti-war activist.

Students for a Democratic Society Collection, 1966-1974

  • Material from the Vietnam War protest group, with significant material on activities of the MSU chapter.

Selected holdings in other archival collections

This section identifies archival collections with some material relevant to MSU's pre-war involvement in Vietnam, in the Vietnam War, or in Vietnam War protest. These collections all have Michigan as the main focus.

Daniel Tirado and Linda Medina Tirado Papers

  • Under Materials collected by the Tirados, see folder "Vietnam and the Selective Service"

Edith and Arthur Fox Collection

  • Under Political and Labor Activities, see folders on
    • Detroit Citizens for a Negotiated Peace in Vietnam
    • SDS Committee to End the War in Vietnam
    • SDS Committee to End the War in Vietnam - Detroit
    • SDS Vietnam Day Commitee - Berkeley CA
    • Vietnamese conflict - anti-war movement - Detroit
    • Vietnamese conflict - anti-war movement - Detroit - labor groups

José F. Treviño Papers

  • Under Michigan State University, see
    • Fulbright, Senator J.W. "We have not shaken hands with the troops"
    • Serials/periodicals, Students for a Democratic Society, "Vietnam, no mistake: how the U.S. got involved"
    • Unpublished papers, "History of U.S. involvement in Indochina..."
    • Vietnam Veterans Against the War and John Kerry

Stuart Dowty and Janet Goldwasser Papers

  • See folders:
    • Amnesty (for Vietnam GIs)
    • Det. Coalition to End the War
    • Draft Resistance 1960s 1970s
    • Friend Shipment
    • G.I. movement
    • People's Peace Treaty

United States Political Button and Ephemera Collection

  • "Kill for Peace" anti-Vietnam button with portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968

Draft resistance outside Michigan

Draft Resistance Movement, 1967-early 1970s

  • Materials primarily from Boston and New England.

Bread and Roses: Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement in Boston, 1968-1971

  • Includes 3 folders of anti-Vietnam War materials.