SEARCH UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
May 4 Collection - Boxes 190, 190A, 190B
Author: Prepared by Dyani Scheuerman, June 4, 2003
Revisions: Updated May 2017; February 2020. Last Updated: March 2021.
Origination: Ruffner, Howard
Inclusive Dates: 1970-1998
Bulk Dates: 1970-1971
Extent: 1.83 cubic feet (1 half-size record storage boxes, 1 record storage box; 1 document case)
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.
The collection also includes video recordings from the 1980s and 1990s on the subject of the Kent State shootings from major networks such as NBC, ABC, and CBS.
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. Audiovisual materials are arranged chronologically.
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. The copyright for audiovisual materials in this collection is not owned by Kent State University. The photographs and audio visual materials are available for research purposes only.
Other Form Available: A digital viewing copy of the 1971 Chestnut Burr yearbook is available online.
Sponsor: Digitization of the audiovisual materials in this collection was supported by a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
May 4 Collection - Box 190
Folder -- Contents
Photographs from 1971 Chestnut Burr
May 4 Collection - Box 190A
Folder -- Contents
Publications, papers, and documents
May 4 Collection - Box 190B
Folder -- Contents
Physical Location: Original recordings in storage as archival back-ups are shelved on the 11th floor.
Restrictions on Access: Researchers should be directed to use the digital copies of these recordings as originals are not playable due to format and preservation concerns.