Special Collections and Archives

J. Gregory Payne papers

Special Collections and Archives

J. Gregory Payne 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.

J. Gregory Payne papers

May 4 Collection -- Box 67

Finding Aid

Prepared by Denise D. Cibulas, 4 April 1984; Update by Penny White, June 2013.

Inclusive Dates: 1975-2007
Extent: 1 cubic foot (1 record storage box and 2 oversize folders)
Physical Location: 12th floor

Biographical Note:  J. Gregory Payne, Associate Professor at Emerson College (Boston, MA) has taken a great interest in the May 4th events over the years. A few weeks following the May 4th shootings, Payne drove from Illinois to the Kent State campus where he was unable to stay on the campus for any length of time, due to restrictions issued by the University. That summer he started to explore the events by contacting those immediately involved. He completed his dissertation (Ph.D) at the University of Illinois on the Kent State incident: A Rhetorical Analysis of Selected Interpretations of the Kent State Incident.

As a result of his research, Payne has helped to produce several noteworthy projects concerning the May 4th events. In 1973, he put together a slide show at Illinois for connection with a communications class that he was teaching which explored the 1970 shootings. In 1975, prior to leaving Illinois, Payne served as chairman of the Kent State-Jackson State Memorial Forum and he has been involved in other memorial services since that time.

In 1977, Payne worked on a reader's theater presentation of the May 4th events with Mary Woods and Marissa O'Leary. The piece, which focuses on the events as seen through the eyes of Mrs. Florence Schroeder, eventually became known as Kent State: A Requiem. The piece summarized the political, legal and personal events that have followed as a result of the May 4th shootings.

In 1980, Payne served as Historical Consultant for the Interplanetary Productions/Osmond Communications film "Kent State" (35mm/color). The screenplay was written by Gerald Green and Richard Kramer. The film, directed by James Goldstone, was filmed in Gadsen, Alabama, August-September 1980. The film was presented as a docu-drama on NBC in February 1981. Another creative effort put forth by Payne in connection with the May 4th events is the book Mayday: Kent State, published by Kendall/Hunt (Dubuque, Iowa) in 1981.

More information on Payne's work about the Kent State shootings can be found at his May4Archive site.

Scope and Content:  The papers of J. Gregory Payne reflect his research of the Kent State shootings. The papers will be of value to the researcher of student unrest, especially that which occurred on the Kent State campus in May 1970. Clippings serve to help document the reactions of those involved in 1970, as well as those reactions stirred-up ten years later in 1980 as a result of the filming of the NBC movie. Notes made by Payne provide a careful study of the sequence of events leading to the final confrontation between the National Guard and the students on May 4th. Although most of the collection concerns Payne's involvement in the making of the NBC movie, information that was gathered to provide a basis for the film will prove to be significant to the researcher who is interested in the May 4th events and the aftermath.

Arrangement: The items within this collection are arranged alphabetically in folders by subject matter. The items within each folder are then arranged by date.

Acquisitions Note: The bulk of papers of J. Gregory Payne were transferred to the Kent State University Archives on November 3 and 5, 1980. Additional papers, including a copy of a speech given at the 1985 commemoration, were donated on May 20, 1985, and new materials are added on an irregular basis.

Restrictions on Access: Payne has restricted folder 52, containing correspondence from Peter Davies. This material is accessible only by means of Payne's written permission.

Restrictions on Use: J. Gregory Payne has transferred property and literary rights that he owns in this collection to Kent State University Special Collections and Archives. 

Related Materials: Payne also has placed a collection of works at Yale University.

May 4 Collection - Box 67
Folder -- Contents

  1. Blueprints, scene sketches for the film "Kent State:" undated
    Physical Location: Includes eight drawings which are oversized and are filed in the map case.
  2. Box, spent shell casings: undated
    Historical Note: Unidentified by J. Gregory Payne, but thought to have been used in the film "Kent State."
  3. Brochure, "Campus Violence: Lessons Learned from Kent State," 2007
  4. Brochure, "Kent State: A Requiem"
  5. Brochure, "Kent State: A Wake"
  6. Brochure, "Michael J. Colligan History Project presents J. Gregory Payne, The Legacy of Kent State," Miami University, Hamilton, April 7, 2005
  7. Call sheets, for the film "Kent State": August 15, 1980-September 9, 1980
  8. Cast list, for the film "Kent State": undated
  9. Clippings, filming of "Kent State": undated
  10. Clippings, "Kent State" August 19, 1980-February 1981?
    Scope and Content: Includes clippings on both filming and TV presentation
  11. Clippings, "Kent State: A Requiem": May 1979-May 1980
  12. Clippings, looking back on May 4th events: May 4, 1972-April 30, 1980
    Scope and Content: Includes articles by Arthur S. Krause and Craig Blazinski. Also includes the poem "Allison" by Alex Gildzen, May 4th Task Force flyer, and copies of photographs taken at May 4th vigil (1979).
  13. Clippings, TV presentation of "Kent State": January 18, 1981-February 1981?
  14. Clippings, Kent State Commemoration in Kent and Conference in Boston: 1995
  15. Correspondence, from J[ames] G[oldstone] to cast of "Kent State": August 25, 1980
  16. Correspondence, from J. Gregory Payne: August 10, 1980-February 3, 1982.
    Scope and Content: Includes letters to Kent State University's Archives concerning placement of his papers.
  17. Correspondence, to Friend of the Theater, concerning "Kent State: A Requiem": 1980?
  18. Correspondence, concerning "Kent State: A Requiem": 1978-80
  19. Invitation, to reception celebrating commencement of photography of the film "Kent State": August 17, 1980
  20. Kent State-Jackson State: 25 Year Retrospective of Kent State and Jackson State, 1995
  21. Notes, aftermath of May 4th events: undated
  22. Notes, director's shot list for the film "Kent State": August 15, 1980
  23. Notes, filming of "Kent State": August 11, 1980
  24. Notes, sequence of events of Sunday May 3, 1970: undated
  25. Notes, sequence of events of Monday May 4, 1970: undated
  26. Paper (copy), "Historical accuracy versus dramatic license in television docu-drama: The making of 'Kent State'" by J. Gregory Payne. Note: Presented at the Speech Communication Association, November12-15, 1981
  27. Paper (copy), "Kent State: Not Just a Requim [sic], But Much More" by Tricia Deghi: Spring 1980. Note: "With Insights From Robbie Stamps and Damian Archibold."
  28. Paper (copy), "Kent State: Why the Shroud of Silence?" by J. Gregory Payne". Presented at the 1985 May 4 Commemoration, KSU: 1985.
    Scope and Content: Page 1 of this document is missing.
  29. Paper (copy), "Kent State University: May 1-4, 1970: A Study of Conflict" (author unidentified): undated
  30. Paper (copy), "Mediated Reality in Docudrama: The Struggle for Accuracy in NBC's Kent State" by J. Gregory Payne. Presented at the Iowa Ethics and Television Conference: April 1985
  31. Paper (copy), "A Rhetorical Analysis of Selected Interpretations of the May 1970 Kent State Incident" by J. Gregory Payne: 1977
  32. Paper (copy), [Untitled] by J. Gregory Payne: undated
  33. Papers (copy), student papers
  34. Photograph (b/w), J. Gregory Payne undated
  35. Photograph (color), art piece from Ruth Gikow's "Elegy": undated
  36. Photograph (b/w), Bill Wenger: undated
  37. Photographs (42 b/w, 3 color) filming of "Kent State": August 1980?
  38. Photographs (copies), filming of "Kent State": August 1980?
  39. Photographs (7 color), May 4th vigil/memorial: May 1979?
  40. Press book (one loose-leaf binder), press tour of NBC's 1980-81 season: January 1981. Note: Includes information on screening of "Kent State."
  41. Press release, announcing J. Gregory Payne as Historical Consultant to the film "Kent State": September 7, 1980
  42. Press release, "Emerson Students to Host Kent State Event, Virginia Tech Vigil," [2007]
  43. Press release, "Kent State: A Requiem" 1980 National Tour: undated
  44. Publicity pamphlet for the film "Kent State": undated (shelved in 12th floor map case)
  45. Publicity pamphlets, for the book "Mayday: Kent State" by J. Gregory Payne: undated
  46. Recording, audiocassette: Radio program "I Want to Know," KGIL; interview of J. Gregory Payne and John David by Maureen O'Connor?, 1980
  47. Schedule, for filming of "Kent State": July 24, 1980
  48. Staff and crew housing list, for filming of "Kent State": August 15, 1980
  49. Sticker, "KS Transportation": undated
    Historical Note: Thought to be used in the film "Kent State."
  50. Student papers, Argument and Advocacy course, 2007
  51. Synopsis of the film "Kent State": undated
  52. Note: This folder is restricted. The donor, J. Gregory Payne, has requested that written permission be obtained from him before this material can be examined. See Special Collections staff for assistance.
  53. Vita of J. Gregory Payne, 1980
  54. Videotape (VHS): "Kent State: Mary Vecchio and John Filo," undated 
    Scope and Content: Boston news clip of Vecchio at Emerson; Kahler also; 3-minute news package on "Emerson Remembers Kent State"
  55. Videotape (VHS): "Kent State Reunion," undated
  56. Videotape (VHS): "Kent State: 25th Anniversary," 1995
  57. Videotape (VHS): Kent State: Events," 1995