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May 4 Collection - Boxes 190 and 190A
Prepared by Dyani Scheuerman, June 4, 2003; Updated May 2017; Updated February 2020
Inclusive Dates: 1970-71
Extent: 1.5 cubic feet (1 half-size record storage box, 1 record storage box)
Physical Location: 12th floor
Biographical Note: In 1970, Howard Ruffner was a second year student at Kent State University, majoring in broadcast communications. Prior to attending the University, he had spent four years in the Air Force, where he learned photography. Ruffner was on the staff of the Daily Kent Stater and the Chestnut Burr, editing the yearbook in 1971. He agreed to provide photographs for Life Magazine of the events on and surrounding May 4, 1970. One of his photographs became the cover of the May 15, 1970 issue of Life. Of the students who suffered that day, Ruffner stated, "I saw their faces and I could feel their pain, and I took their pictures so that no one would ever forget what happened at Kent State and the trauma that it caused for our nation." A number of his photographs ended up being used in the various legal proceedings dealing with the May 4 shootings. Ruffner is currently a freelance photographer in Phoenix, Arizona.
Scope and Content: This collection primarily includes photographs that appeared in the 1971 Chestnut Burr. Predominantly they involve the events surrounding May 4, 1970 (on and leading up to the date and also its aftermath), but several other subjects are represented as well. These photographs were taken by a number of different photographers, including Ruffner. Also included are various items related to Ruffner's involvement in photojournalism and the protest movement. Captions for photos have been supplied by Special Collections and Archives staff. Page numbers referring to placement in the 1971 Chestnut Burr are noted.
Arrangement: Photographs are arranged in the order in which they appear in the 1971 Chestnut Burr yearbook. Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Publications and other materials are arranged alphabetically by title or type of material.
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.
Restrictions on Use: The photographs in this collection are not owned by Kent State University. Copyright is held by individual photographers and media organizations listed in the credits on page 392 of the 1971 Chestnut Burr. The photographs are available for research purposes only.
Other Form Available: A digital viewing copy of the 1971 Chestnut Burr yearbook is available online.
May 4 Collection - Box 190
Folder -- Contents
Photographs from 1971 Chestnut Burr
May 4 Collection - Box 190A
Folder -- Contents
Publications, papers, and documents