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Kent State Shootings. Oral History Project, 1990-[ongoing]


The May 4 Oral History Project collects, records and provides access to oral history accounts pertaining to the shootings on the Kent State University campus in 1970 and their aftermath. Founded in 1990 by Sandra Perlman Halem, the Project continues to seek first-person narratives and personal reactions to the events of May 4, 1970. It seeks accounts from all viewpoints: members of the Kent community; faculty, alumni, staff and administrators who were on campus that day; National Guardsmen, police, hospital personnel; or other persons whose lives were affected by these historical events. The Oral History Project is conducted by Kent State University Libraries’ Department of Special Collections and Archives and follows the standards of the Oral History Association.

Transcripts and digital audio recordings of the oral histories are available online through the OhioLINK Digital Media Center.


The physical recordings are located in three May 4 sub-collections: Box 92 (1990); Box 110 (1995); and Box 129 (2000-2006). Researchers are asked to access the recordings online in order to help preserve the original recordings.

In addition to the Oral History Project, the Department of Special Collections has also collected personal narratives, submitted in writing. These personal narratives are collected in Box 101 of the May 4 Collection, and transcripts of most are available online.

If you are interested in recording an oral history, please contact Special Collections and Archives for details.