Special Collections and Archives

Sheila Tabakoff papers

Special Collections and Archives

Sheila Tabakoff papers

Important Notice: Due to a grant-sponsored project to digitize materials from the May 4 Collection, in-person use of the May 4 Collection is available by appointment only. Please help us serve you better by contacting us in advance to schedule an appointment for access to this collection.

Sheila Tabakoff papers, 1970

May 4 Collection -- Box 59

Finding Aid

Prepared by Scott L. Bills, August 15, 1980; Updated by Penny White, June 2013; Updated November 2016

Extent: .50 cubic foot (1 half-size record storage box)

Physical Location: 12th floor; oversized materials are shelved in map case

Historical Note / Scope and Content: Sheila Tabakoff was an instructor in the School of Art at Kent State University in May of 1970. After the shootings of May 4, the University was closed by court injunction, and it remained closed for the duration of the spring quarter. Special arrangements were subsequently made in each academic department for students to complete coursework. In the case of the Art Department, mimeographed letters were sent to students' home addresses offering them alternate ways either to receive partial credit or withdraw from the course. In large part, this collection consists of the student responses to the forms that she sent out in the weeks following the shootings.

Professor Tabakoff sent not only academic information but also included informational items and her own commentary on the Kent State situation. She wrote, "It is my personal hope that you will use this period to reexamine your beliefs and aspirations, and to question the direction and policies of your university and your country." She urged her students to contact groups of other Kent State students which had gathered at Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve. When the University would eventually reopen, she hoped it would be as a "vanguard of modern education."

This collection will be of value to researchers examining student and faculty attitudes in the period following May 4, 1970. Students returning their forms often wrote notes concerning the shootings and their feelings on the closing of the University. Interesting as well are materials which indicate faculty sentiments within the School of Art. Individual items of interest are the Kent State Faculty Resolution of May 5, 1970; the May 18 and May 22 issues of the Kent Strike Paper; and informational leaflets from Kent students in exile at Oberlin College.

Acquisitions Information: Sheila Tabakoff donated these materials to the Kent State University Special Collections and Archives on March 19, 1980.

Restrictions on Use: Professor Tabakoff has kindly donated to the Kent State University Archives whatever property and literary rights that she possesses in this collection.

Restrictions on Access: Some information included in this collection is restricted due to the presence of information protected by privacy laws. This information has been redacted where present on documents in the collection. Un-redacted originals, in all cases, have been retained by Special Collections and Archives. One file has been completely restricted because it is composed entirely of restricted information.

Sponsor: Digitization of this collection was funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


Box 59
Folder -- Contents

  1. Agenda: AAUP Executive Committee: May 26, 1970
  2. Ballot: College of Fine and Professional Arts, Election of College Secretary: May 25, 1970
  3. Burning River Vol. 1, No. 6: May 13-May 27, 1970
    Physical Location: Shelved in map case.
  4. Class rosters: Art Survey 180 and Art History 111
    Restrictions on Access: This file is restricted.
  5. Correspondence: Louis K. Harris to KSU Faculty and Staff Members: May 11, 1970
  6. Correspondence: Regarding Grading Procedures Following KSU Closure: May 13-26, 1970
  7. Correspondence: Tabakoff to Students: May 12, 1970-May 27, 1970
    Scope and Content: Includes Tabakoff commentary on Kent State situation and informational enclosures she included with her class mailings following the shootings.
  8. Correspondence: Students to Tabakoff with Comments, 1970, part 1 of 3
    Scope and Content: Includes responses from students in Tabakoff's Art History courses indicating grade option selected and which also include additional comments from students.
  9. Correspondence: Students to Tabakoff with Comments, 1970, part 2 of 3
    Scope and Content: Includes responses from students in Tabakoff's Art History courses indicating grade option selected and which also include additional comments from students.
  10. Correspondence: Students to Tabakoff with Comments, 1970, part 3 of 3
    Scope and Content: Includes responses from students in Tabakoff's Art History courses indicating grade option selected and which also include additional comments from students.
  11. Correspondence: Students to Tabakoff without Comments, 1970, part 1 of 2
    Scope and Content: Includes responses from students in Tabakoff's Art History courses indicating grade option selected without any additional comments made, except in some cases an indication of the specific course number.
  12. Correspondence: Students to Tabakoff without Comments, 1970, part 2 of 2
    Scope and Content: Includes responses from students in Tabakoff's Art History courses indicating grade option selected without any additional comments made, except in some cases an indication of the specific course number.
  13. Correspondence and Directory: School of Art Faculty: May 1970
  14. Flyers and Leaflets: 1970; undated
  15. Kent State University Community in Exile at Oberlin College: May 21, 1970; undated
    Scope and Content: Includes the so-called "Oberlin Proposals" that came out the Kent State in Exile at Oberlin community.
  16. Kent State University Monthly Calendar: June 1970
  17. Kent Strike Paper, No. 3: May 18, 1970
  18. Kent Strike Paper, No. 4: May 22, 1970 (2 copies)
  19. Manuscript: "Words are inadequate...": undated
    Scope and Content: An undated, unsigned manuscript (photocopy), possibly written in contemplation of the Kent State shootings.
  20. National Strike Information Committee, Newsletter #5: May 7, 1970
  21. National Strike Information Committee, from Newsletter #6: May 9, 1970
  22. National Strike Information Committee, Newsletter #7: May 11, 1970
  23. National Strike Information Committee, Newsletter #8: May 12, 1970
    Physical Location: Shelved in map case.
  24. Poster: The Struggle Has Just Begun... Cambridge Student Strike Committee: summer 1970?
    Physical Location: Shelved in map case.
  25. Resolution Passed by Faculty of Kent State University, May 5, 1970 (multiple drafts)