Kent State Shootings: Oral History Project

Special Collections and Archives

Kent State Shootings: Oral History Project

Special Collections and Archives

Kent State Shootings: Oral History Project


Three ways to participate

  1. Schedule a facilitated recording session with a trained oral history team member (all recordings are being done over the phone due to the COVID-19 public health crisis)

  2. Submit your own audio recording of your story (if longer than 20 minutes, we recommend option #1)

  3. You can choose to upload a written version instead; we want participation to be as accessible as possible

We seek stories from ALL perspectives
  • Kent State alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators who were on campus that day
  • residents of Kent and nearby communities
  • members of the Ohio Army National Guard
  • local law enforcement officers and staff
  • local hospital personnel
  • accounts from during the aftermath, such as the investigations, court cases, the Gym Annex ("Tent City") controversy
  • people whose voices have been historically underrepresented in the May 4 archive
  • any persons whose lives were affected by these historic events

Who we are

Since the Oral History Project's founding by Sandra Perlman Halem for the 20th Commemoration of May 4 in 1990, Special Collections & Archives has recorded, permanently archived, and provided access to audio recordings of people's stories about the Kent State Shootings and their aftermath. Over 125 first-hand accounts have been contributed to date and are essential historical resources for writers, students, and other researchers. Personal narratives submitted in writing are also being collected and archived.

Your story will be permanently archived in the May 4 Collection

Special Collections & Archives houses the May 4 Collection, one of the largest archives related to the Kent State Shootings and their aftermath. More than 50,000 items from this archive are now available in digital format online, along with oral histories and audiovisual materials. Our archivists and librarians have in-depth expertise in assisting researchers, filmmakers, students and others to access archival resources associated with May 4. Your personal account would be preserved in this archive and become part of the historical record.

How to participate

To sign up to record your story with a trained team member: CLICK HERE

To submit your own audio recording or written story: CLICK HERE

Questions? For our contact info: CLICK HERE