Special Collections and Archives

Students for a Democratic Society, Records, 1965-74

Students for a Democratic Society (S.D.S.), Records, 1965-74

May 4 Collection -- Box 107

Finding Aid

Prepared by Francis J. Cizmar, April 26, 1995, Updated by Penny White, July 2013.
1 cubic foot (1 record storage box and 1 oversize folder)

Physical Location: 12th floor

Scope and Content

The Students for a Democratic Society (S.D.S.) Papers contain various types of documentation and records which chronicle events precipitating and subsequent to the shooting of four Kent State University students on May 4, 1970, as well as other realia from the period. The primary focus of the collection is the activity of S.D.S., a militant anti-war group which existed during the Vietnam conflict. Included is a brief history of the development of S.D.S. by Gary Allen, who was president of the Foundation for Economic and Social Progress at the time. Propaganda pamphlets and position statements from S.D.S. and other militant groups, as well as radio and television transcripts are among some of the items collected. Realia include S.D.S. rally posters, adhesive-backed stickers, and three photographs. Additional posters are housed in an oversized folder in the 12th floor map case. A secondary emphasis of the collection is on official documentation of intelligence reports, witness statements, court proceedings, and other legal correspondence surrounding camps unrest. There are also investigation reports from the Ohio State Highway Patrol and lists of known S.D.S. members and other subversive groups. The provenance of this material is unknown.

May 4 Collection -- Box 107

Folder -- Contents
  1. S.D.S.: Information pamphlets and publications, [1965-1969?]
  2. S.D.S.: Flyers and publications, 1968-1970
  3. S.D.S.: Position statements, recruitment forms, 1968-1972
  4. S.D.S.: Application for K.S.U. charter, February 20, 1968; notification of suspension, April 8, 1969
  5. S.D.S.: Arrest records and police reports. April 16 and May 22, 1969
  6. S.D.S.: Newsclippings of Ravenna court hearings, July 30, 1969
  7. S.D.S.: Flyers and publications from Columbia University, 1969
  8. S.D.S.: History of and paper by Gary Allen, 1969-1970
  9. S.D.S.: Information pamphlets, publications and flyers from the Regional New York S.D.S. groups, 1969-1970
  10. S.D.S.: Membership lists. 1969
  11. S.D.S.: Posters, 1969-2005 (shelved in 12th floor map case)
  12. S.D.S.: Radio and television incident reports, interview transcripts, 1968-1969
  13. S.D.S.: Rally posters, adhesive-backed support stickers, 1968-1969
  14. S.D.S.: Reports of planned activities, statements surrounding demonstrations, 1968-1969
  15. S.D.S.: Tape transcripts, 1969
  16. Anti-war and militant groups: Information pamphlets and publications, [1963-1972?]
  17. World Historians Opposed to Racism and Exploitation (W.H.O.R.E.). Meeting notice to bury a copy of the U.S. Constitution, [no date]
  18. Lists of Subversive groups and radical speakers.,1968
  19. Concerned Citizens of the K.S.U. Community (C.C.C.). Statements and rally posters, 1968-1969
  20. Vice-President for Student Affairs, Office of the President: Official statements, April-May 1969
  21. Photographs, [May 4, 1970?]
  22. The American Legion Magazine, March 1971
  23. Daily Kent Stater, November 18, 1971; clippings from October 28, 1969
  24. The Echo: Ruth Gibson's indictment; denial of connection to Ligonier paper, [no date]
  25. Member list. Campus Safety, Security, and Justice Institute, August 31-September 3, 1970
  26. Intelligence Unit reports, April 16, 1969-July 12, 1970
  27. Ohio State Highway Patrol. investigation reports, August 10, 1969, June 5, 1970-August 14, 1970
  28. ROTC building arson May 2, 1970. witness statements taken August 6, 1970
  29. Court proceedings and legal correspondence, subpoenas and deposition notices,1973-1974 (file 1 of 2)
  30. Court proceedings and legal correspondence, subpoenas and deposition notices, 1973-1974 (file 2 of 2)
  31. Special Equipment Request Forms, October 23, 1972, February 28-March 1, 1973
  32. Audio Cassette: April 8, 1969, Rally in front of Union and speakers at Bowman Hall. For listening only
  33. Audio Cassette: April 8, 1969, Rally at the Administration Building. For listening only
  34. Audio Cassette: April 16, 1969, Rally in Music and Speech Building, to call for hearings for two suspended students. For listening only
  35. Audio Cassette: [April 16, 1969, Rally in Music and Speech Building, to call for hearings for two suspended students?] For listening only
  36. Audio Cassette: [April 16, 1969, Rally in Music and Speech Building, to call for hearings for two suspended students, only a few minutes on tape?] For listening only
  37. Audio Cassette: May 20, 1969, SDS and Student Religious Liberals (SRL) disrupt ROTC drills. For listening only
  38. Audio Cassette: [no date], SDS Rally at Fred Fuller Park. For listening only